A Guide to Apprenticeships for Small Business

  • Price: £3.60
  • Published: April 2016
  • Type: Business Information Factsheet
  • Format: PDF

Apprenticeships enable young people and adult learners to train in a real job and gain a recognised qualification while earning a wage. Apprentices usually work at least 30 hours a week and must be paid at least the appropriate National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate for apprentices (which varies according to their age).

Government funding for training apprentices is available throughout the UK, and, depending on location, employers can also apply for separate grants or employer recruitment incentives if they take on an apprentice.

Most apprenticeships are delivered as partnerships between employers and training organisations and have a set structure and course content, which usually takes between one and four years to complete. However, additional content can be added to the apprenticeship to meet employers' specific needs.

An apprenticeship comprises several qualifications, including a competency element such as an NVQ qualification (or an SVQ in Scotland), a technical element such as a BTEC qualification, and a functional skills element covering literacy and numeracy.

Apprenticeships in England are available at several levels, including intermediate, advanced and higher (degree) levels, and cover over 1,500 job roles in more than 170 industries.

In Wales, apprenticeships are available at three levels (foundation, apprenticeship and higher). In Scotland, the equivalent programme is the Modern Apprenticeships scheme, while in Northern Ireland, employers can take on apprentices under the Apprenticeships Programme.

This factsheet provides an overview of apprenticeships for small business and describes the benefits to business and apprentices. It outlines the different types of apprenticeship, how to recruit an apprentice and what support and funding is available to employers.

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