An introduction to Apprenticeships

News on 20 November 2018

Let’s start at the beginning – what exactly is an apprenticeship?

Think of it this way – practical experience PLUS the training to do the job. An Apprentice will also be able to earn while they learn. A lot of people can’t afford to give up work and go to college, or even stay in college without earning, so an Apprenticeship solves these problems. An apprentice will work for a company and learn a trade while they are there. They’ll need to attend college regularly to learn the theory side of things too, but normally it’s 1 day a week.
As an employer, the best part of taking on an Apprentice, is that you get to nurture and help them grow into a fully qualified and experienced employee. Not only will they learn the skills and techniques to do the job, but they will learn all about your Company and the culture there too. This means that if you do have a vacancy at the end of their Apprenticeship, then you’ve already got someone who knows YOUR way of doing things. It’s basically growing your own.
An Apprenticeship can last anywhere from 12 months to 4 years, depending on what they are learning. Your Apprentice will need to be employed do a minimum of 30 hours a week. This can include working for you and time away from work to train (go to college).

What about this Apprenticeship Levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy is a tax that larger employers will pay. If your annual payroll is £3 million or more, then you have to pay this tax. The tax is 0.5% of your pay bill.
If you’re a smaller employer, and your annual payroll is less than £3 million, then you don’t have to pay into it. But you still get the benefits from it.

So, how does the Apprenticeship Levy work?

This is the great thing, as lots of people will be paying in to the Apprenticeship Levy, it means that smaller companies can benefit from it too. Everyone is entitled to an allowance of £15,000 per year per employee from the Levy. This means that for smaller companies, who couldn’t afford to take on an apprentice before, will now have the funds to do this.


Do you need an apprenticeship contract or advice on employee issues generally? Contact us on 033 00 414 636