1. Overview

Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying for a work-based qualification - from GCSEs or equivalent up to degree level.

Apprentices can be new or current employees.

You could get a grant or funding to employ an apprentice if you’re in England.

You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage during their placement with you.

Your apprentice must:

  • work with experienced staff
  • learn job-specific skills
  • study for a work-based qualification during their working week (for example, at a college or training organisation)

Hiring your apprentice

There are several steps to taking on an apprentice.

  1. Choose an apprenticeships framework or standard for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level.

  2. Find a training organisation that offers apprenticeships for your industry - they’ll handle your apprentice’s training, qualification and assessment.

  3. Check you’re eligible for a grant and apply.

  4. Advertise your apprenticeship - your training organisation will do this for you through the find an apprenticeship service.

  5. Select your apprentice and make an apprenticeship agreement with them.

To find out more about employing apprentices or providing traineeships, use the National Apprenticeship Service’s enquiry form. You can also call them using the number on the form.

You can use an apprenticeship training agency if you want to employ an apprentice without the responsibility for running the apprenticeship scheme.

How long it lasts

Apprenticeships can last from 1 to 4 years, depending on the level of qualification the apprentice is studying for.

Apprenticeships in Scotland

The Skills Development Scotland website has advice for apprenticeships in Scotland.