Employing an apprentice

Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job. Apprentices can be new or current employees.

You can get government funding to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice in you're in England.

You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage.

Your apprentice must:

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

New government incentives for apprenticeship hire.

For the next six months, the government will pay employers to create new apprenticeships.

From August 2020 to January 2021, any firm that hires a new young apprentice aged 16 to 24 will receive £2,000, while those that hire new apprentices aged 25 and over will be paid £1,500.

Announcing the incentives during his summer statement, the Chancellor told the House of Commons that, "ninety-one per cent stay in work or go on to further training".

The Treasury has since published a “plan for jobs” document,  states these payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 incentive the government already provides for new 16 to 18 year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an education, health and care plan where that applies.

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Hiring your apprentice

  1. Choose an apprenticeships framework or standard for an apprentice in your industry and at a suitable level.
  2. Find an organisation that offers training for the apprenticeship framework or standard you've chosen.
  3. Check what funding is available.
  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 and commitment statement with them.

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

For local training companies visit our online business directory.

How long it lasts 

Apprenticeships must last for at least a year. They can last for up to 5 years depending on the level the apprentice is studying.

Get funding

You can get help from the government to pay for the 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 you don't need to pay the levy

You pay 10% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. You need to:

  • agree on a payment schedule with the training organisation
  • pay them directly for the training

The government will pay the rest (90%) up to the funding band maximum. They'll pay it directly to the training organisation.

You could be eligible for extra funding depending on both your and your apprentice's circumstances.

If you pay the levy

You'll receive funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices. The government will add 10%.

How to get your funds and pay for training depends on where you are in the UK. Please see information for England here.

For more information on the funding, pay and conditions for apprentices, and how to make an apprenticeship agreement - please visit this link to gov.uk webpage.