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What are Apprenticeships?

An Apprenticeship is a way for young people and adult learners to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future. Hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.



Here is a quick summary the way the government funds apprenticeships in England :

  • Employers with less than 50 employees: Apprenticeship training is fully funded and you are only required to pay the apprentice a salary – currently £3.50 per hour first year rate
    (Note: non apprentice hourly rate is £4.05 for under 18’s)
  • Employers with over 50 employees and payroll bill under £3m per year:  Apprenticeship training is 90% funded and the employer pays 10% of the training cost plus an apprentice salary at above hourly rate (Simple example – training costs £2000, 10% is £200 – equal to £16 per month employer contribution plus apprentice hourly rate)
  • Employers with a payroll bill over £3m per year:  must pay the apprenticeship levy of 0.5% of the payroll bill, deducted via HMRC.  A £15,000 credit is given (this is 0.5% of 3,000,000) in a digital account.  If the credit and levy payments are not used by the employer they cannot be carried forward into the next tax year and will be allocated to other employers who are engaging apprentices.

REMINDER: There is a £1,000 grant available to businesses that takes on an apprentice aged 16-18 years.


This handy fact sheet summarises the key changes:

Also see:

The Leicester Employment Hub supports local people into apprenticeships and helps local employers to recruit an apprentice.  Contact them for an informal chat to understand how taking on an apprentice can benefit your business on 0116 454 2952 or visit

Also see the handy flyer: Employer leaflet


Quality is key to Apprenticeships – providing high quality training that benefits both apprentices and employers.



Apprenticeships help businesses grow their own talent.
Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice (96%) reports benefits to their business.
72% of businesses report improved productivity as a result of employing an apprentice.
Other benefits reported by apprentice-employers include improved product or service, the introduction of new ideas to the organisation, improved staff morale and better staff retention, each mentioned by around two-thirds of employers.


Apprenticeships develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
Businesses that offer Apprenticeships view them as beneficial to their long-term development. According to the British Chambers of Commerce, most employ an apprentice to improve the skills base within their business.  Apprentices are supported by quality training from local training organisations.


Apprenticeships improve productivity while reducing costs.
Apprenticeships are boosting productivity by enabling businesses to grow their skills base. The average Apprenticeship increases business productivity by £214 per week, with these gains including increased profits, lower prices and better products.  Apprentices are paid at least the relevant minimum wage and training costs are covered for many apprentices.


From accountancy to veterinary nursing, there are Apprenticeships covering more skills and industries that you would imagine.
Apprenticeships are available at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher (degree) level, covering more than 170 industries and 1500 job roles, from advertising to youth work via environmental engineering and nuclear decommissioning.  Over 100,000 employers are employing or have employed quality apprentices in more than 200,000 locations.



Click the link to join Apprenticemakers- the national network which brings together businesses involved in Apprenticeships: