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What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a training programme which features a combination of paid work and the opportunity to study for a qualification. An apprenticeship can be undertaken by anyone providing they are over the age of 16.

In order for someone to qualify as an apprentice they need to conform to the following:

  • They must be employed in a real job though an apprentice can be an existing employee or a new recruit
  • They must spend at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training at either a college, university, or training provider.
  • They must be working towards achieving an agreed standard or framework in a particular profession
  • Their apprenticeship contract is for at least 30 hours per week.
  • The duration of their apprenticeship must be at least 12 months and can last as long as 6 years depending on the experience of the apprentice, the level of the qualification, and the type of apprenticeship chosen.

Business Benefits of Apprenticeships

High-quality apprenticeships are essential to supporting our region’s employers and to help our economy prosper in the years to come.

When education and training help individuals achieve a higher level of qualification, their increased competence leads to increases in productivity for their employer.

Education and training raise the level of skills available in the economy, as well as driving productivity and national prosperity.

They also help close the Skills Gap.

The cost of apprenticeship training pays for itself within one or two years of completion, through the increased productivity of the former apprentice.

Apprenticeships are particularly popular with SMEs as they offer nine out of 10 16- to 24-year-olds apprentices with a small or medium enterprise.

Funding an Apprenticeship

Businesses with a payroll of over £3 million pay a 0.5% levy (the Apprenticeship Levy) with those funds being held over for spending on apprenticeships.

Companies that have a payroll of less than £3 million will instead pay 5% of their apprentice’s training costs with Government covering the remainder. In addition, if a company has less than 50 employees and the apprentice they hire is either between 16 and 18, aged 19 to 24 and has been in care, or under 25 with an education, health, and care (EHC) plan.


Apprenticeship Resources

D2N2 Apprenticeships Dashboard

As part of our commitment to Apprenticeships, D2N2 produces data on their uptake across our region.

This data includes who the most popular provider is, how popular each course is, and a breakdown of the apprentices currently on a course in our region.

This work is part of the D2N2 Data Centre.


Careers Strategy



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