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Apprenticeship information

Apprenticeships are work-based learning programmes which are built around a real job, with hands-on experience, a salary and the chance for learners to gain a nationally recognised apprenticeship whilst developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for the workplace.


  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time for study with a training provider in their working week

Apprenticeships offer a range of benefits to employers:

  • They can help grow your business by tackling skill shortages and developing the skilled workers needed for the future.
  • They provide an effective way of attracting new talent.
  • They can be an effective way of developing existing staff moving into new occupational roles.
  • They can support innovation and aid company expansion.    
  • Government funding is available to train and develop apprentices, this funding will vary according to the type of apprenticeship scheme being delivered and the type of employer.

Apprenticeships can take between 1 and 5 years to complete depending on their level.

There is a national minimum wage for apprentices, but many employers pay more than this.

Levels of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are offered form Level 2 to Level 7 and each Level has an equivalent educational level.

Framework Equivalent

Level = Equivalent education level


Level 2 = GCSE


Level 3 = A level


Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 = Foundation degree and above


Levels 6 and 7 = Bachelor's or master's degree


Although not available currently, there are level 8 apprenticeships in development which is equivalent to a PhD.

Some apprenticeships may also mandate additional qualifications which are taken as part of the on programme learning of the apprenticeship, such as a diploma or technical certificate.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education are responsible for the development of apprenticeship standards, and they work with Trailblazer groups which are made up of employers who develop robust apprenticeship standards and end point assessment plans. You can visit their website here.

The apprenticeship Levy

In April 2017, the apprenticeship Levy was introduced by the Government for businesses in England as a tax to fund apprenticeships. If a business has an annual wage bill of £3mil or more, they are taxed 0.5% of this figure – this goes into a ‘funding pot’, and can either be reclaimed by the business by using it to fund apprenticeships within their business, or it will go towards supporting other SMEs to fund apprenticeships, utilising the Government’s co-funding model.