Apprenticeships could bring significant benefits to your business and existing workforce. Apprenticeships are a way to ‘grow your own’; combining on-the-job training in your organisation with off-the-job learning.


Apprenticeships are available to anyone aged 16 and over who is not in full-time education and is eligible to work in the UK. High quality Apprenticeships offer young people a way of successfully entering the world of work and gaining skills and experience which will continue to grow with your business. They are also an excellent means to develop the skills of existing employees.

Length of Apprenticeships

In April 2012, the Government announced that the minimum length for all Apprenticeships will be 12 months in an effort to eliminate bad practice. At the same time, it also said that all apprentices must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week. This includes time spent away from the workplace engaged in training.

Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage

All apprentices must be paid at least the Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage relevant to their age. Currently, the national minimum wage for apprentices is £3.70 per hour.

The minimum apprenticeship wage applies to those aged 16-18, and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices should be paid the national minimum wage for their age, or more.

Apprenticeship funding

Employers with annual payrolls over £3 million must pay the apprenticeship levy. Levy-payers can now create an account on the apprenticeship service to:

  • receive levy funds to spend on apprenticeships
  • manage apprentices
  • pay training providers
  • stop or pause payments to training providers

Employers with annual payrolls of less than £3 million contribute 10% of apprenticeship training costs. The government pays the remaining 90%, up to the funding band maximum (£27,000).

Apprenticeship funding estimator tool

Employers can use this tool to estimate if your business will pay the apprenticeship levy, how much your organisation will have available to spend on apprenticeships and how much the government will contribute towards the cost of training.  Visit the estimator tool here.

Next steps

If you are interested in offering Apprenticeships, we recommend reading CIPD’s Guide for Employers and visiting GOV.UK’s Employing an apprentice website.

Colleges and other local training providers often have a dedicated Apprenticeship Scheme Management team who can offer specialist guidance and advice, along with recruitment services. For an independent view on Apprenticeship providers in Somerset contact Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network (DSTPN).

If you have an apprenticeship vacancy, we are happy to promote this on our website, social media pages and e-newsletter. Please get in touch for more details.

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