Whether a start-up, large corporate or SME, many companies currently operate Apprenticeship programmes. They recognise the enormous impact that employing apprentices has on the business, both bottom line and culturally, as well as diversifying the skills and age of their workforce.

For every £1 invested in apprentices, the UK economy is boosted by £28, making them a great investment for the future of your own business as well as supporting economic growth.

They also offer the chance to build a loyal and dedicated work force, to bring new fresh ideas to your business along with the opportunity to maximise the potential of your employees. And if your business is part of one of the many sectors to be suffering from a shortage of skills, apprentices can help bring the gap and boost productivity!

Apprenticeship funding flow chart

Apprenticeship Funding Flow Chart. The flowchart below has been provided by Manchester Metropolitan University to help you determine your organisation’s funding position – give it a try!

Does the employer have an annual pay bill in excess of £3m?


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What is a Traineeship?

Traineeships are aimed at giving 16-24 year-olds the opportunity to develop the skills they need to find, and succeed in, employment or progress onto an Apprenticeship. They are comprised of three main elements to prepare you for an Apprenticeship, including English and Maths, work preparation skills and a practical work placement with a local employer. Traineeships are unpaid (however travel expenses and costs of meals may be reimbursed) and should be viewed as a stepping stone into work. They can last anywhere between six weeks and six months.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with an accompanying assessment and skills development programme which lasts for at least a year. It is a way for employees 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.

How much will taking on a trainee or apprentice cost me?

Taking on an apprentice is good value for money. Up to 100% of the training costs are met by Government. As of the 1st April 2020, the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices is £4.15 an hour, although many employers choose to pay a higher rate.

For Apprentices who are under 25 years old the employer enjoys the benefit of paying no Employer National insurance contributions.

What will I gain from hiring a trainee or apprentice?

By taking on a trainee or apprentice, you are making a commitment to developing an individual who will learn the job-specific skills required within your business. In return, they’ll learn your company’s culture and begin contributing to your bottom line more and more the longer they are with you. It’s estimated that the average apprentice contributes £28 to their employer for every £1 spent on them.

What training does the Apprentice receive?

Apprentices train towards recognised Standards designed by employers. Through their apprenticeship, apprentices will gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills and behaviours they need for their immediate job and future career.

At the end of their Apprenticeship apprentices are tested to ensure they are occupationally competent by undertaking an independent End Point Assessment

The apprentice gains this through formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise these new skills in a real work environment.

How difficult is the process?

Developing a scheme and taking on a trainee or apprentice needn’t be difficult. There are numerous learning providers in Greater Manchester who will be able to support you through the process and reduce the demand on your time to get things up and running. To identify your nearest provider, please use our regional map.

Will I be responsible for training?

It’s very much up to you as a business. Whilst some large employers have their own in house programmes businesses of all sizes work alongside approved training providers. Together you can develop tailored programmes ideally suited to your business and employees which meet nationally approved standards. . To identify your nearest learning provider, check out our regional map.

What happens at the end of the Apprenticeship?

Having made a considerable effort to support and train apprentices the majority of employers will seek to retain their apprentices by offering them a permanent position in their business.

Having spent at least a year learning the ins and outs of the business, and having received on average £10,000 worth of training (dependant on government funding available), you will have developed a capable individual ready to work, so why let another company benefit from your investment?

How do I get involved?

The easiest way to begin developing an Apprenticeship scheme is to get in touch with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce who can help to put you in touch with the most appropriate learning provider, and who will be on hand to advise on the process to make things as simple as possible for you.

What is the Apprenticeship levy?

Not sure that we now ned to explain the mechanics of the levy as this has operated for over 3 years. Suggest something simpler –

All employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year pay the Apprenticeship Levy which is 0.5% of their pay bill over £3m per annum.

All levy payers have their own Apprenticeship levy account and are able to use their funds to invest solely in the training of their own apprentices.

They can also use their Levy funds to train apprentices in other organisations. To find out more :

You can either:
• visit the knowledge hub
• search for help in the apprenticeship service at any time
• call (08000 150 600) or email us (helpdesk@manage-apprenticeships.service.gov.uk) during our opening times

What can I spend apprenticeship funding on?

Funds in your digital account provided by the Apprenticeship Levy can only be used towards the costs of apprenticeship training and end point assessment. This must be with an approved training provider and assessment organisation. It can’t be used on other costs associated with your apprentices or wider training effort. For example wages, statutory licences to practise, travel and subsidiary costs, managerial costs, traineeships, work placement programmes or the costs of setting up an apprenticeship programme.

What happens if I am not a Levy payer?

The Government has committed sufficient funding to ensure that all apprenticeships are funded.

All non – Levy paying employers regardless of size and turnover receive at least 95% of the costs of the training from the Government. The employer us responsible for the wages of the apprentice.

For apprentices aged 16-18 working in companies with less than 50 staff 100% of the Apprenticeship training costs are met from government funding.

What other help and support can I get?

The Apprenticeship Growth service focuses on SME’s and enabling growth through skills. Specialist, impartial advisors will be able to advise you on what benefits your business could reap from upskilling, training or recruiting staff. For more information please contact: t: 0161 359 3050 e: info@businessgrowthhub.com

Case Study

Case Study