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An employer’s guide to apprenticeships

Whether you have experience with apprenticeships, or are just starting out, we’re here with the advice and guidance to help you invigorate, re-engage, or take your first steps to apprenticeship success.

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes that are structured for learner and employer success. Programmes are designed to boost the skillsets of teams across diverse roles and sectors, equipping them with the tools and hands-on experience needed to thrive in a specific career.

Lifetime is a national training provider that delivers apprenticeship training solutions that unlock bright futures for people and businesses. With over 25 years of experience behind us, we’ve partnered with some of the UK’s top employers to define and deliver outstanding skills training across many industries.

How do apprenticeship schemes work for employers?

Apprenticeships are open to learners aged 16 and over and can be used to develop existing employees or attract new talent. Programmes will generally last 13 months, plus an End-point assessment period and are available for entry-level roles up to management and beyond.

Each apprenticeship programme has been designed by industry employer-led “trailblazer” groups to fully meet employer business needs and make sure apprentices are more highly skilled and productive in their role. There are a huge range of apprenticeships available for every job role and industry, with funding options available to employers of all sizes.

Have more questions? Read our guide to the apprenticeship levy for more information about apprenticeship funding rules or visit our Knowledge Hub for all your apprenticeship questions answered for employers.

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What are the apprenticeship rules for employers?

The National Apprenticeship Service have developed ‘standardised’ apprenticeships with clear funding rules to make sure there is consistency across all training for employers and learners on programme. These apprenticeship rules for employers are in place to preserve the quality of training and ensure fair treatment of apprentices. Employers need to:

  • Provide a real job for the apprentice which is related to the standard they are enrolled on
  • Support the 20% off-the-job training element
  • Sign an apprenticeship contract between the employer, apprentice and a registered training provider
  • Provide the correct wage based on apprentice age

Information on apprenticeship funding for employers

In England apprenticeships are either paid for by the apprenticeship levy or through the process of co-investment. Large employers with a payroll of more than £3 million will pay the apprenticeship levy and can use the resulting fund towards apprenticeship training.

Non-levy paying companies will fund apprenticeships through the process of co-investment: the employer pays 5% of training costs, with the government topping up the remaining amount.

In the Devolved Nations such as Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, apprenticeships are still government-funded. Lifetime supports partners in navigating devolved funding.

Have more questions? Read our guide to the apprenticeship levy for more information about apprenticeship funding rules or visit our Knowledge Hub for all your apprenticeship questions answered for employers.

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By transforming the Apprenticeship Levy from an overhead into a hard-working part of your long-term growth strategy, we will provide expert advice and guidance on funding, programme development and achieving impactful results.

Apprenticeship programmes work harder with Lifetime

Wherever you are on your apprenticeship journey, we’re here to help.

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We have a fantastic Apprenticeship Programme in place which is helping our teams to reach their potential, continue their growth and achieve a formal qualification. I am excited to see how the programme develops over the coming year.

Alice Newport, Head of Department, Learning and Development, Big Yellow