Employer Information

Important stuff you need to know about hiring an apprentice

Hiring an Apprentice

Apprenticeships help bring valuable skills into your business with the government’s support.

They’re suitable for people at any level so you can hire someone new or upskill an existing employee.

You can then:

  • choose an apprenticeship training course with us

You can manage the recruitment process or ask your us to manage it on your behalf.

An apprentice must:

  • be 16 or over
  • not already be in full-time education
  • be living in England

There are other ways to find an apprentice and increase the diversity of your applicants. For example, you can:

  • hold open days
  • arrange visits to schools, colleges and universities
  • use social media
  • participate in careers events, like WorldSkills UK Live

Training your apprentice

During their apprenticeship, your apprentice will receive two different types of training.

‘Off-the-job’ training is delivered by one of Easy Apprenticeships partners during your apprentice’s normal working hours.

This training will teach your apprentice the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship standard so they can achieve occupational competence.

‘On-the-job’ training will be delivered by you, as the employer. You’ll need to give your apprentice training and supervision to help them perform the job you’ve hired them for.

Off the job training

Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their working hours completing off-the-job training.

It can be flexible and doesn’t have to mean 1 day out of the workplace every week.

For example, training could take place:

  • online
  • at the apprentice’s place of work
  • at a college or university or with one of our partners

Or it could be a combination of these options.

What else might your apprentice need?


English and Maths

Your apprentice may also need to study for maths and English qualifications as part of their apprenticeship.

You must allow your apprentice time to study for this within their normal working hours.

Studying for English and maths is not counted as part of the 20% minimum off-the-job training requirement.

An apprenticeship agreement

An apprenticeship agreement is used to confirm individual employment arrangements between the apprentice and the employer.

You and your apprentice must sign an apprenticeship agreement.

It includes:

  • how long you’ll employ them for
  • the training they’ll receive
  • their working conditions
  • the qualifications they are working towards

An apprenticeship commitment statement

You must also sign an apprenticeship commitment statement with your apprentice and Easy Apprenticeships.

It must include:

  • the planned content and schedule for training
  • what is expected and offered by the employer, Easy Apprenticeships and the apprentice
  • how to resolve queries or complaints

Payments and Funding

How much it costs

As an employer that doesn’t pay the apprenticeship levy, you pay just 5% towards the cost of training and assessing an apprentice.

The government will pay the rest up to the funding band maximum.

You’ll pay Easy Apprenticeships directly and agree on a payment schedule.

If you employ fewer than 50 employees, the government will pay 100% of the apprenticeship training costs up to the funding band maximum for apprentices aged:

  • 16 to 18
  • 19 to 24 with an education, health and care plan provided by their local authority or has been in the care of their local authority

If you exceed the funding band maximum, you’ll need to pay all the additional costs.

Paying for your apprentice

You’re responsible for paying your apprentice for their normal working hours and any training they do as part of the apprenticeship.

You must pay them at least the National Minimum Wage rate depending on their age and the year of apprenticeship training they’re in.

The rates from April 2021 are:

Apprentice Under 18 18 to 20 21 to 22 23 and over
In 1st year £4.81 £4.81 £4.81 £4.81
Have completed 1st year £4.81 £6.83 £9.18 £9.50

Hire an Apprentice that has been made redundant

You can also use a new government service to help you hire apprentices who have been made redundant.

Many of these apprentices may already have the skills and knowledge you need. Hiring a new apprentice in this way could mean you have a work-ready apprentice who can quickly add value to your business, shortening the time you’ll see a return on your investment.

It also means you are supporting an apprentice to complete their training and achieve their apprenticeship.

Receiving a transfer of levy funds

Employers who pay the apprenticeship levy can choose to transfer any unused funds to another employer, using the apprenticeship service.

This would help them to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment.

You can find employers who may want to transfer funds by:

  • speaking to Easy Apprenticeships
  • working with employers in your supply chain
  • getting in touch with employers in your industry
  • working with regional partners

A levy-paying employer can transfer a maximum of 25% of their levy funds.

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