Find out how an apprenticeship can help you grow your business. Choose from employing new staff or upskilling your existing staff


An apprenticeship is a job that combines work with training. The benefits of employing apprentices include:

  • freeing up existing staff to develop other activities
  • preparing to replace an aging workforce
  • planning ahead for an increase in business/activities
  • upskilling existing staff

Your apprentice must:

  • Have a genuine job and a contract of employment.
  • Receive training delivered by a registered training provider within a recognised standard.
  • Complete the required length of time depending on the level and standard.
  • Have 20% off the job training which can be achieved in different ways e.g. shadowing, attendance at conferences. The off the job training must take place during paid time, but can be accumulated up-front such as an induction period.
  • Complete an end-point assessment. They vary in type, but could take the form of an interview, presentation or multiple choice quiz.
  • Apprentices are paid by the employer and are entitled to paid holiday and sickness benefit. Employers are not required to pay NIC for apprentices under the age of 25.
  • Apprentices are in a training situation and will require mentoring and support during the term of the agreed apprenticeship.

What type of work?

  • New staff, identify the job role most useful to your organisation
  • Upskilling existing staff, giving an employee the opportunity to obtain new skills and a qualification

Support and advice before starting the process can be obtained from the Apprenticeships Norfolk Network team based at Norfolk County Council. Contact them at or 0344 800 8024.

First step

Explore the Institute for Apprenticeships website which gives a range of information. 

What type of qualification or training?

  • identify the most appropriate standard to meet the needs of the job role. Search the Apprenticeship Standards on the Institute for Apprenticeships website: 
  • decide what level of qualification is most appropriate. Level 2 is equivalent to GCSE, Level 3 is equivalent to A-level
Name Level Educational level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes
Advanced 3 2 A level passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor's or master's degree

Second step - Finding a provider

Who will provide the training?

There are local training providers such as:

There are standards that are not delivered by local providers. In that case move to the next step to find a provider elsewhere in the country. It may be possible for training to be carried out in-house. Use the website find apprenticeship training which lists the nearest providers who can deliver the training you need.

Training delivery may be day release, block release or in-house. There are national training providers who can provide the necessary training in-house, depending on the type of work. All training providers delivering apprenticeships must be registered. 

Training providers will:

  • prepare a written agreement
  • advise on how to obtain the funding available
  • assist with recruitment

 Organisations may negotiate the cost of training with the provider.

Proceeding to employ an apprentice

From January 2020, all employers must register to access funds to pay for apprenticeship training. There is guidance on how to register and use the apprenticeship service. Also Apprenticeships Norfolk and the training provider you have chosen can help you with the registration process.

Apprenticeships Norfolk is funded through Norfolk County Council to provide independent support and guidance to employers considering employing an apprentice. There are grants available until the end of September 2021. Contact the team through their website to have a chat about how to set up an apprenticeship.

Funding apprenticeship training

This depends on the number of employees and annual payroll costs.

  • Employ fewer than 50 employees and your annual payroll is below £3M: the government will pay 95% of the cost of training. If the apprentice is aged 16 to 18, or 19 to 24 and is a care leaver or has a care plan, the training will be free to the employer. In addition, the government will pay £1000 to the employer and to the training provider. In all other cases the cost of training varies depending on level and type of training. Can request unspent levy to fund training.
  • Employ more than 50 employees and your annual payroll is below £3M: the government will pay 95% of the training costs. Can request unspent levy to fund training.
  • Employers with an annual payroll cost of £3M or more will pay an apprenticeship levy: 0.5% of the monthly payroll cost will be deducted towards a digital account. Organisations can use the funds to pay for apprenticeship training and transfer funds to suppliers. From April 2019 levy payers can transfer 25% of their unspent levy to non-levy paying organisations. The New Anglia LEP have employed an Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Co-ordinator to support the transfer of levy to smaller organisations. Alison Ward can be contacted by email or call 07901 207114.

All employers must register for an account in order to obtain funding.

Apprenticeship minimum pay rates

The national minimum wage rates for apprentices changes in April every year and latest information can be found on National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates.

The above are minimum pay rates. Employers are able to pay more.

All employers will receive £1,000 if, at the start of the apprenticeship, the apprentice is aged between:

  • 16 to 18 years old
  • 19 to 24 years old and who has previously been in care or who has an Education, Health and Care plan provided by their local authority

How do I recruit an apprenticeship?

People aged 16 and upwards can be employed. The training provider should help with recruitment. Some providers, such as colleges, will have their own website and may have a pool of students who have applied for a qualification. 

Training providers may use online recruitment agencies such as and social media. You can organise your own recruitment using the following options:

  • Advertise via the Government’s Recruit an Apprentice (the training provider will need to do this).
  • Advertise through Jobs24, your website and social media accounts.
  • If you are considering a school leaver, contact your local school or college. The best time to recruit school leavers is May and June.
  • Ask your staff to ask family and friends.

For more information and guidance about apprenticeships, please contact