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Apprenticeships explained

Apprentice construction

Good for Business

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers that offer recognised training and qualifications. They provide a cost-effective way of training your workforce with the practical skills and qualifications that your organisation needs now and in the future.  You will enjoy the benefits of having a loyal and motivated workforce that you have trained to meet your specific business requirements.

Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career.

Most apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete. Many of our Intermediate apprentices progress to a Level 3 Advanced apprenticeship after completing the Intermediate at Level 2. We are also now offering Level 4/5 Foundation Degree programmes and apprenticeships in some vocations which may be an option following the Advanced programme.

What’s in it for you and your company?

  • Close your skills gaps
  • Increase the skills capability in your existing workforce
  • Transfer existing skills
  • Reduce your staff turnover
  • Reduce recruitment costs
  • Increased staff loyalty
  • Benefit from funding support and government grants.


We have over 20 years’ experience of placing apprentices in businesses so you can rely on us to guide you through the process.

What does it involve?

As an employer, you can get additional help with funding an apprentice from the government. From 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021, employers in England taking on new apprentices will now be due a payment of up to £3,000 as part of the Government’s plan to support employers during the economic recovery. To make the most of the new incentive scheme and additional government funding, click here.

All apprenticeship vacancies must be fed through the NAS website, therefore we need you to complete the vacancy template for us to advertise your job role to our students and to external candidates –

Once you have submitted your vacancy we can begin to advertise the role on our college website, Careers/Job Shop department, local schools and Jobs Hub. Our Apprenticeship Recruitment team meet and assess all candidates prior to you interviewing them. This process ensures recommended applicants are suitable for your vacancy and have the necessary attitude and skills to commence an apprenticeship framework.

Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training. It is up to the employer and training provider to decide how the off the-job training is delivered. It may include regular day release, block release and special training days or workshops. It must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework or standard and can be delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work as long as it is not part of their normal working duties.

There must be a genuine job available with a contract of employment long enough for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship. Employers must pay an apprentice’s wages and the role must help them gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to achieve the apprenticeship with support from the employer.

To find out more about apprenticeships, how to fund them and government incentives available to employers, call our Business Development Team on 01234 291747 or email


How long does it take?

The length of an apprenticeship varies depending upon the prior skills of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and the industry sector. Generally, apprenticeships take between one and three years to complete.


Is there a cost?

As of April 2017 all UK employers who have a total wage bill in excess of £3 million a year will pay the new apprenticeship levy. The levy rate will be set at 0.5% of your wage bill offset by a levy allowance of £15,000.

If your wage bill is less than this you will not pay the apprenticeship levy, however you will need to make a contribution to fund any apprentice you employ. You will need to co-invest 10% of the agreed price and the government will pay the remaining 90%. For small employers (fewer than 50 employees) who take on younger apprentices (aged 16-18) the government will pay 100% of the apprenticeship costs. Find out more about the Levy.

Why choose us

  • We are the largest college provider of apprenticeships in the South East Midlands
  • We offer flexible and responsive apprenticeship programmes with the backing of ‘Good’ Ofsted college rating in all areas, with adults and young learners developing ‘excellent’ study skills.
  • We offer award-winning industry-led teaching and world-class practitioners
  • We worked with 1327 employers and 1882 apprentices in 2018/19
  • We offer apprenticeships all the way up to degree level
  • We offer 58 apprenticeship programmes
  • With many years experience working with employers and young people we are able to give you the best support with your apprenticeship programme.

We will:

  • Help you decide which apprenticeship programme is right for your business
  • Explain the way that apprenticeships might work for you
  • Explain the Apprenticeship Levy information to you
  • Explain and support you to apply to current employer incentives and grants.
  • Support your existing staff into apprenticeships or help you to recruit an apprentice
  • Agree a training plan with you and your apprentice
  • Deliver the training and provide on-going support to you and your apprentice, with regular feedback
  • Measure the impact an apprentice has had on your business.



The right apprentice will quickly add value as an extra pair of hands and once they’re into their apprenticeship learning, they bring their new-found knowledge to the business too. Your commitment is to employ them for 30-40 hours per week, give them a contract of employment and pay them the current minimum wage for apprentices as well as provide on-the-job training.

If you would like to get started with taking on an apprentice or would like more information, call our Business Development Team on 01234 291747 or email

Your responsibilities
  • Interview and select the apprentice
  • Issue a contract of employment
  • Provide a safe and secure working environment
  • Provide supervision and mentoring
  • Commit to providing a minimum of 20% of the apprentices working time off for learning
  • Provide sufficient breadth of experience to cover the apprenticeship framework.
Our responsibilities
  • Advertise the vacancy and pre-screen applicants
  • Administration of the apprenticeship programme
  • Delivery of training
  • Assessment of work-based competence
  • Mentoring of the apprentice
  • Intermediary between the apprentice and employer
  • Quality of learning experience.