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 in England or Wales.

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, eg at a college or training organisation

Hiring your apprentice

There are several steps to taking on an apprentice.

  1. Check the apprenticeships framework for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level - contact the National Apprenticeship Service if you need help or advice.

  2. Register your interest in employing an apprentice with the National Apprenticeship Service.

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

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

  5. Advertise your apprenticeship - your training organisation will do this for you through apprenticeship vacancies. You can track your vacancies by registering as an employer.

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

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.