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.

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, designed to create a real impact for both learners and employers. Programmes are developed 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.

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Apprenticeship basics

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. Looking for more info on how apprenticeships work for employers?

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Guidelines and rules

As an employer, you’re expected to follow the standard guidelines as set out by the National Apprenticeship Service. These rules were implemented to make sure that the training quality of modern apprenticeships is consistent, balanced and that apprentices are treated fairly.

The apprenticeship guidelines relate to upholding an apprentice’s pay, ensuring a healthy work/training split, and the guarantee of a real job. They also ensure that funding for apprenticeships is fairly distributed and even. Looking for more information on the specific guidelines?

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Financing your apprenticeship scheme

In England apprenticeships are either paid for by the apprenticeship levy, or through the process of co-investment. As an employer, how you fund your apprenticeship scheme will be dependent on the size of your annual wage bill.

If you exceed the prescribed threshold, HMRC will automatically deduct funds which will then sit in a levy pot ready to pay for apprenticeship training costs. For those companies who have a wage bill below the threshold, a small contribution will be combined with government assistance to help pay for training costs.

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 about funding rules? Read our guide to the apprenticeship levy or visit the apprenticeship funding for employers page.

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We transform the apprenticeship levy from an overhead, into a hard-working part of your long-term growth strategy. From expert advice and guidance on funding, to programme development and driving business impact, we're here to help shape the training your business needs.

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