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 or framework.
  • 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.

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

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

Who will provide the training?

There are local training providers such as:

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. 

Find a provider who will deliver the training you need.

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.

Apprenticeship minimum pay rates

2019 to 2020 per hour (rates change every April)
Apprentice Age 1st year 2nd year
Under 18 £3.90 £4.35
18 to 20 £3.90 £6.15
21 to 24 £3.90 £7.70
25+ £3.90 £8.21
No NIC for apprentices under 25 years of age

 £1000 to employer and trainer if:

  • if apprentice is aged 19 to 24 and in care or has a care plan
  • apprentice is aged 16 to 18

How do I recruit an apprenticeship?

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:

  • Send the vacancy to where the team at Apprenticeships Norfolk will promote and market this directly to young people.
  • Advertise via the Government’s Recruit an Apprentice (the training provider might 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/June.
  • Ask your staff to inform their family and friends.

How do I pay for an apprentice?

Funding apprenticeship training - 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.
  • Employ more than 50 employees and your annual payroll is below £3M: the government will pay 95% of the training costs.
  • The annual payroll cost is £3M or more: 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/or transfer funds to suppliers. From April 2019 levy payers can transfer 25% of their levy to non-levy paying organisations.