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The education landscape can be confusing, so we've brought together employer tools, resources and advice about employing apprentices. As well as the Apprenticeship Frameworks & Standards that an apprentice will need to meet.

What are apprenticehips?

An apprenticeship is a paid job which offers work experience alongside training with an education provider.

Apprentices will gain quality hands-on workplace experience at the same time as they work towards a nationally recognized qualification.  Unlike a fully academic route they will earn a salary as they learn.

Mixing on-the-job and off-the-job learning ensures apprentices get the skills and knowledge they need in employment.

Apprentices will also develop skills in your sector and specific to your business, making them an excellent pipeline to expanding your long term workforce.

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The benefits:

Invest in Apprenticeships as part of your workforce planning:

  • Developing a workforce with the skills that are specific to your business
  • Helping existing employees to pass their knowledge on to the next generation of employees
  • Bringing new thinking and new skills into your business
  • Encouraging a motivated workforce that helps you stay competitive
  • Boosting productivity by freeing up more experienced staff for expert level tasks
  • Enhancing your company reputation in the local area
  • Developing diversity of age, ethnicity and gender in your workforce
  • Increasing loyalty and retention of staff in your business by showing investment in their skills and potential
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Core information

What are the key facts you need to know?

Just like for other qualifications, there are a range of levels for apprenticeship:

  • from Level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) to Level 7 (or Masters degree) in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.
  • from Level 5 (equivalent to Nationals) to Level 10 (or Masters degree) in Scotland.

The standards, frameworks and competencies for apprenticeships are different in each of the 4 UK nations (scroll down the page to find nation specific information).

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Core information continued

Apprentices specialise in topics ranging from Aerospace engineering, Auto-care, Construction, Civil Engineering, to Software based roles.  You'll need to decide which specialism best suits your business.

Apprentices are a long term investment in your staffing and recruitment with most apprentices staying with the same company long after their apprenticeship has finished.

There is no age restriction for apprentices and in fact about half of apprentices are older than 25, they're an excellent way to upskill (or reskill) your existing workforce.

The government will give small businesses help with their costs (up to 95% of the total) through the apprentice levy - find more information in the links below.

Apprenticeship provision across the four nations.

Apprenticeships Frameworks used in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are primarily qualification-focused, whereas Apprenticeship Standards in England are more skills, knowledge and behaviour focused.

England Scotland WalesNorthern Ireland
Who approves Apprenticeships?Institute for ApprenticeshipsApprenticeship Approvals GroupGovernment WalesDepartment for the Economy
Who is the qualifications regulator?Ofqual SQA Accreditations Qualifications WalesCCEA
What is Enginuity's role? 

Develop and maintain the National Occupational Standards. 

  • Develop and maintain the National Occupational Standards.
  • Develop and maintain the Apprenticeship Framework.
  • Certifies Apprenticeships.
  • Develop and maintain the National Occupational Standards. 
  • Develop and maintain the Apprenticeship Framework. 
  • Certifies Apprenticeships.
Develop and maintain the National Occupational Standards.
How can I find funding for an Apprenticeship?Apprenticeship Funding Rules Funding for Employers Funding and Eligibility Finances and Funding for Apprenticeships 
Is employing an Apprentice right for my business? Employ an apprentice for your business: step by step.

How can I recruit an Apprentice? 

Recruit an apprentice service 


Recruit an apprentice


Apprenticeship Vacancy Service 


Connect to Success 


Where can I find further information?The Apprenticeship Digital Communications toolkit for employers 

Recruiting an Apprentice

Once you have decided to recruit an apprentice, what do you need to do?

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Read the Guidance

Two people collaborating in a factory

Make a plan

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Find a training provider

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Access more support

You may receive more applicants than the number of roles you have on offer.  To ensure all candidates find a post with another employer quickly, we've pulled together a rejection letter that you can use to help these candidates find another opportunity.

The recruitment process and oversupply of candidates

You may receive more applicants than the number of roles you have on offer.  To ensure all candidates find a post with another employer quickly, we've pulled together a rejection letter that you can use to help these candidates find another opportunity.

Download the letter

The Apprenticeship Ambassador Network

The Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (AAN) is a group of employers and former/current apprentices in England who champion and support marketing, publicity and events to raise awareness of apprenticeships and mentor other employers. You can sign up to receive the AAN employer skills newsletter here.

Understanding the Education Landscape & Career Pathways

We understand that the Education Landscape can be difficult to navigate. So we have developed the following documents to help you understand the range of courses and training options that are on offer as well as an overview diagram for each Nation. These Career Pathway diagrams could help you to develop your workforce training plans, and give you a better understanding the range of educational and career pathways open to your new recruits and existing employees.

Apprenticeship Certification

Certifications and standards set out the competencies that apprentices need to develop during their study. This section will give you information about Apprenticeship Certification and Registrations across the UK so that you can better understand the work based learning opportunities that you need to provide.

What is Apprenticeship Certification?

What is Apprenticeship Certification?

Scotland: Modern Apprenticeships

Scotland: Modern Apprenticeships

Wales: Apprenticeship Certification

Wales: Apprenticeship Certification

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