Employer guide to apprenticeships

6 min read

Find out how the Government’s Apprenticeship scheme could help build the skills in your business

Find out how the Government’s Apprenticeship scheme could help build the skills in your business

Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

  • 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity
  • 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service

(Source - Apprenticeships evaluation 2017: employers)

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying assessment and skills development programme. It is a way for individuals to earn while they learn, gaining valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role. The apprentice gains this through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment. Apprenticeships benefit employers and individuals, and by boosting the skills of the workforce they help to improve economic productivity.

Other benefits of working with apprentices include:

  • you can adapt their training according to the needs of your business
  • they’re motivated to learn new skills
  • you can expand and upskill your workforce

You can employ apprentices at different levels, from school leavers and university graduates to people who want to further their careers or change career direction completely. You can hire someone new or upskill an existing employee and as an employer, you can get funding from the government to help pay for apprenticeship training.

What financial help is available?

You can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training.

The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not. You pay the levy if you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year. If your pay bill is below this threshold, you pay just 5% towards the cost of training and assessing an apprentice. In some instances, the government will pay 100% of the training costs. Details of the thresholds are available via funding an apprenticeship for non levy employers (apprenticeships.gov.uk)

There may also be incentive payment available for hiring a new apprentice, depending on their start date. See funding an apprenticeship for non levy employers (apprenticeships.gov.uk) for more information.

Please note that employers are responsible for paying an apprentice for their normal working hours. They must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage rate depending on their age and the year of apprenticeship training they’re in.

Next steps

There’s a wealth of information available via the government’s apprenticeships website where you can learn more about the support available and the steps to take. The road to a quality apprenticeship is a great resource to help you start planning the process and guides you through everything from accessing the funding available to how to find a training provider and every step in between.

What other help is available?

Santander commits a percentage of our annual apprenticeship levy to supporting SMEs through the government’s levy transfer scheme. We’ll be launching the next round of funding later this year. If you’d like to register your interest, please use the link below and we’ll contact you when applications re-open.

If the apprenticeship scheme isn’t right for your business take a look at the alternatives to apprenticeships where you’ll find information on traineeships and T Levels, both aimed at younger employees.

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