Apprenticeships enable young people and adult learners to train in a real job and gain a recognised qualification while earning a wage. Apprentices usually work at least 30 hours a week and must be paid at least the appropriate National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate for apprentices (which varies according to their age). Government funding for training apprentices is available throughout the UK, and, depending on location, employers can also apply for separate grants or employer recruitment incentives if they take on an apprentice.
Most apprenticeships are delivered as partnerships between employers and training organisations and have a set structure and course content, which usually takes between one and four years to complete. However, additional content can be added to the apprenticeship to meet employers' specific needs.
An apprenticeship comprises several qualifications, including a competency element such as an NVQ qualification (or an SVQ in Scotland), a technical element such as a BTEC qualification, and a functional skills element covering literacy and numeracy.
Apprenticeships in England are available at several levels, including intermediate, advanced and higher (degree) levels, and cover over 1,500 job roles in more than 170 industries.
What are the benefits of taking on apprentices?
Apprenticeships are reported to bring a variety of business benefits:
- According to the British Chambers of Commerce, business owners usually employ an apprentice to improve the skills available within their firm.
- It has been reported that the average person completing their apprenticeship increases business productivity by over £200 a week.
- Employers that offer apprenticeships report that they help with the longer-term development of the business.
Where are apprenticeship vacancies advertised?
Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised in different ways across the UK:
The National Apprenticeship Service, which is a division of the Skills Funding Agency, has a specialist small business team that advises employers with fewer than 250 employees about how to approach the process of recruiting and taking on an apprentice.
Training organisations promote apprenticeship vacancies on behalf of employers and support them in finding apprentices through Apprenticeship Vacancies. Employers must register with the system in order to track vacancies. Go to https://sfacontactforms.azurewebsites.net/access-request to register.
To read more about the apprenticeships for small businesses, download the factsheet below.
A comprehensive guide to all apprenticeship information relevant to Wiltshire including types of apprenticeships, industries, current vacancies and links to further information
Information on Apprenticeships for Employers
Higher Futures is our free and impartial skills service providing advice and support as well as training and learning analysis for employees.