Apprentice sat in front of a computer.

Whether you’re looking to upskill current staff or bring a new member to the team, apprenticeships are the perfect solution to help boost your business. 

If the process seems a little daunting and you’re not sure where to start or what’s involved, our handy guide shows you the steps to take and how we can help. 

What is an apprenticeship? 

An apprenticeship mixes workplace training with classroom based study. Apprentices are employed by a company but will spend 20 per cent of their working hours studying with a training provider or college to gain a recognised qualification. 

Apprenticeships can last between 12 and 48 months. Anyone over the age of 16 and not in full time education can become an apprentice, including existing employees looking to ‘upskill’

You can find out more on the Employers section of our website. 

Will it cost me anything to hire an apprentice? 

Apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, which currently stands at £4.30 an hour for those aged 16-18, or 19+ in their first year. Apprentices aged 19+ who have completed their first year are entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for their age. 

In addition, apprentices are entitled to time for training or study as part of their programme, holiday pay and other employee rights. 

Funding for apprenticeships depends on the size of your business.  

If you’re a large business with an annual wage bill of £3million or more, you’ll already be contributing 0.5% of that wage bill towards apprenticeship training costs. This is known as the apprenticeship levy and you have 24 months to use it before it automatically goes back to the Government. 

If you’re a business with fewer than 50 employees, you could get 100 per cent of the cost of training paid for by the Government. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can also access levy gifted funds to pay for apprenticeship training. This is funding from large employers who have ‘gifted’ some of their contributions for smaller businesses to use. 

Leading London bus operator Metroline gifted £300k of their unused levy funding to help automotive and electrical apprentices working for SMEs.   

Stephen Harris, Managing Director, said: “Resources for this area of training are desperately needed in this country. 

Diverting our unused levy funding benefits similar businesses that understand the value of delivering apprenticeships. 

There may even be some employer incentives that you can access to help you with costs associated with your apprentice. Whatever size you are, we’re here to support you every step of the way.  

How do I recruit an apprentice?  

The apprentice recruitment process is simple. Once you’ve decided to go ahead, we’ll explore your individual business needs and talk through your funding options. 

We’ll then create targeted vacancy advertisements and promote your apprenticeship vacancy local and nationally. We’ll also filter applications, shortlist candidates and provide post-interview feedback. 

You can check out our wide range of employer resources for more information, advice and guidance. 

Can I get help with the process? 

Of course! Our dedicated Recruitment and Engagement team are available to help you every step of the way. We provide apprenticeship training in over 30 sectors and with years of apprenticeship experience, we can help you find your ideal apprenticeship.  

Chartered surveyors Fifield Glyn worked with us to recruit a new accounting apprentice to their team. 

They said:

Total People’s Business Support Team explained their offer to us while Karen Carruthers, Recruitment and Engagement Officer, advised and supported us at every stage of the recruitment process.  

“When we successfully recruited our apprentice Charlie, we were contacted immediately by the Accounts Learning Coach who clearly explained how the training would work, what we needed to do to get the training started and also what support we needed to offer Charlie during his first few weeks with us and beyond.” 

If you're looking to hire one or more apprentices, or access apprenticeships training for your existing employees, we’re here to help. Call us on 03333 222 666. 

Apprenticeships Employers Blogs