Apprenticeships – what are they and how could they work for me?

We provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by business owners.
10 May 2016

Wondering what an apprenticeship involves and how it may benefit your organisation? Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What does an apprenticeship involve?

An apprenticeship is a job which includes training. Apprentices not only carry out work, but also earn recognised qualifications. These are the areas the training covers:

  • an english, maths and sometimes ITC qualification (information communication technology)
  • a skills based element
  • a module on personal development

How long does the apprenticeship take?

It depends on the prior knowledge of the apprentice, the qualification and industry sector. But generally, apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete.

Skills shortages are still one of the biggest threats to UK businesses. Apprentices develop skills and it is possible to adapt training to your business’s specific needs.

What levels are there?

There are various levels of apprenticeship. It all depends on the candidate’s skills and qualifications. They are:

  • Intermediate apprenticeship (level 2)
  • Advanced apprenticeship (level 3)
  • Higher apprenticeship (levels 4-7)
  • Degree apprenticeship (levels 6-7)

What financial support is offered to employers?

SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises or businesses) of less than 50 employees may be eligible for the AGE (Apprenticeship Grant for Employers) grant of £1,500. Read the government's AGE employers fact sheet [PDF].

Why take on an apprentice?

  • It is cost effective – people earn while they are on the job and the government contributes to the cost of learning.
  • Skills shortages are still one of the biggest threats to UK businesses. Apprentices develop skills and it is possible to adapt training to your business’s specific needs.
  • Experience demonstrates that apprentices are good for business.

How much are apprentices paid?

An apprentice needs to be employed for at least 30 hours per week for a minimum of 12 months and be paid the apprentice wage of £3.30 per hour, although many employers pay more.

Central YMCA works with many employers across the UK helping them find apprentices that fit their business needs. Email cheryl.sharp@ymca.co.uk to see how we can help your organisation.

Share this page