Whether you’re an employer, someone interested in doing an apprenticeship, a teacher or a careers adviser…here we answer lot of questions that are commonly asked.

Please click on a question to reveal the answer.

If you've got any other questions, we'll be happy to answer them!

Learners

Does someone need to have a job to be an apprentice?

If they’re not in employment and want to be an apprentice, our team will help them to find the right opportunity with our Match-You service.

I’m already in a job, can I do an apprenticeship?

If you’re already in employment and your employer agrees, we can offer an apprenticeship specific to the role you’re performing.

Do I need to have a job to be an apprentice?

If you’re not in employment and want to be an apprentice, our team will help you to find the right opportunity with our Match-You service.

How will I do my training?

There are different ways to complete the training that forms part of your apprenticeship and every apprenticeship is different but usually includes:

  • On-the-job training<: developing your skills in the workplace by working with colleagues who will show you how to carry out certain tasks – either in formal, structured sessions or informal and unplanned learning.
  • Off-the-job training<: learning and developing your skills and knowledge away from your place of work. You might need to access a computer to do some online learning or go to one of our training centres where you will learn in a classroom or workshop.
Do I need English and Maths to be an apprentice?

This varies because each employer will look for a different set of qualifications. While some employers feel that asking for English and Maths GCSEs will help them to attract the right candidate for their role, others will allow you to work towards Functional Skills (English, Maths and ICT) as part of your apprenticeship.

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for any other job – and the YH Training team is here to help. With around 11 applications for every apprenticeship, it’s important that you do all you can to stand out and the online application is the first place to start.

Why not just get a job?

An apprenticeship offers lots of additional benefits to simply having a job – but in short, it allows you to earn while you learn!

Your qualification and experience gained will be based on the skills and knowledge that you require for the job you’re doing – and you can progress further up the career ladder while taking home a wage at the end of the week or month.

Also, with an apprenticeship you’ll set yourself up for the future – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training.

Why should I become an apprentice?

Helping you gain all the skills you need to succeed in your career, an apprenticeship gives you real insight into your chosen industry – and you’ll get paid!

The key benefits:

  • You gain valuable workplace skills and experience.
  • You work in a real job for a real employer.
  • You are paid a salary and have a contract of employment.
  • You achieve an apprenticeship recognised by employers.
  • You get support from your colleagues and training organisation.
  • It’s a carer pathway that helps you achieve your goals.
  • It’s something for your CV to show skills, achievements and work experience.

There are more perks. For instance, you’ll also be entitled to a National Union of Students (NUS) Apprentice Extra Card, giving you discounts at more than 120 shops and online sites – result!’

How old do you need to be?

If you’re aged 16 and above, you can become an apprentice.

Apprenticeships have changed a huge amount over this last decade or so and there are so many opportunities for people of all ages. They’re no longer just for school leavers, so don’t be put off if you’re a mature candidate.

You may have gone to university and decided it’s not for you, or you may be a mature worker who’s ready for a change; apprenticeships certainly aren’t just for people aged between 19 and 23!

Instead, they’re an ideal way for you to continue learning throughout your life as you can now progress all the way up to degree level apprenticeships.

What makes a good apprentice?

Being an apprentice is the same as working as an employee in a business. There are different skills and attributes that each company will be looking for in candidates which will also be linked to job role. Your ability to fit in, as well as your personality, will go a long way to determining whether you’re right for an apprenticeship vacancy.

Apprenticeships have moved on a lot in the last decade or so. If you have the drive and determination to succeed – and you’d like to earn a wage while working towards a rewarding, lifelong career – you’re likely to be a good apprenticeship candidate.

How can I progress afterwards?

Once you’ve finished your apprenticeship, you’ll be a much better position to progress in your career. With a qualification under your belt, you can use this experience to work your way up the career ladder and achieve your ambitions. You may even decide to progress to embark on a degree-level apprenticeship and continue your learning.

You’ll also be pleased to know that many apprentices receive a pay rise after completing their apprenticeship.

What will I be paid?

Every employer offering an apprenticeship vacancy will decide what they want to pay their apprentices and this information will be set out in the job description. Like all jobs, salaries vary depending on job role, location, the sector it’s in and how much responsibility you’ll be given.

You’ll be pleased to know, however, that there’s a National Minimum Wage for apprentices. This is £3.50 per hour for apprentices under 19 or in their first year of an apprenticeship. If you’re aged 19 or over and past the first year of your apprenticeship, you’ll be entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate that applies to your age.

Are there different levels of apprenticeship?

There are different levels of apprenticeships:

  • Intermediate apprenticeship (Level 2) - apprentices gain the equivalent of five GCSEs at grades A-C.
  • Advanced apprenticeship (Level 3) - apprentices gain the equivalent of two A-Levels.
  • Higher apprentices (Level 4-5) – apprentices gain the equivalent of a qualification such as a Foundation Degree.
  • Degree apprenticeship (Levels 6-7) – apprentices gain a degree-level qualification, helping to build the high-level technical skills needed for the jobs of the future.
How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?

Lasting a minimum of 12 months, apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete. It depends on the level of the apprenticeship, your ability and the industry sector. An Intermediate Level 2 apprenticeship usually takes 12 to 18 months to complete, whereas an Advanced Level 3 takes around 24 months.

What are apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship can help you gain all the skills you need to succeed in your career and offers real insight and experience into your chosen industry and job role. What’s more, you get paid and gain a nationally recognised apprenticeship to add to your CV. There are apprenticeships for over 170 industries and 1500 job roles, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to consider.

How can I progress?

Once you’ve finished your pre-apprenticeship, you’ll be in a much better position to progress in your career.

A pre-apprenticeship offers a stepping stone to place you in a much better position to compete for an apprenticeship or other job opportunity.

Am I eligible for a pre-apprenticeship?

A pre-apprenticeship is suitable for a young person that wants to develop the skills and build up some experience which will help them get a job or progress on to an apprenticeship. It’s suitable for you if:

  • You’re aged 16-24.
  • You’ve not yet gained a full Level 3 qualification or higher.
  • You’re not currently in a job (or work less than 16 hours per week) and don’t have much work experience, but are focused on getting work.
  • You’re not currently in full time education.
What is a pre-apprenticeship?

It’s education and training combined with some work experience.

Pre-apprenticeships focus on giving young people the skills and experience that employers are looking, with specialist support around Employability Support, English and Maths, for those that need it – combined with a quality work experience placement.

They are available for young people age 16-19 years who may just not be quite ready to enter the world of work, due a lack of experience of the need to improve their English and Maths skills, communication or confidence.

Employers

How does the apprenticeship levy affect my business?

Companies with a wage bill of more than £3 million are required to pay the apprenticeship levy, and some larger SMEs fall into this bracket.

So, what is the apprenticeship levy? It's a payment collected from large employers in the public and private sector and is paid to the HMRC via PAYE returns. Its purpose is to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes; recruiting new apprentices and boosting the skills of their existing workforce.

Looking to fund apprenticeship training? The apprenticeship levy paid by companies can be accessed by those same businesses to fund apprenticeship training within their company.

So, how much is the apprenticeship levy? The levy threshold is calculated by size of payroll. It’s 0.5% of a company’s payroll, with every employer receiving an allowance of £15,000 to offset against the amount they owe.

Businesses have been subject to the levy payment since April 2017 and it is payable each month.

How do I recruit an apprentice?

By now you’re probably wondering how you go about recruiting an apprentice.

YH Training can sit down with you to discuss your options and the necessary next steps. We’ll help you decide what types of apprenticeship would work for your business and develop training to suit your needs.

We will then be able to assist you in recruiting a suitable apprentice.

Not only are apprenticeships are suitable for new recruits, but they can also be used to up-skill existing staff.

Are there any changes to apprenticeships?

Yes! In 2014, the Government published the first new apprenticeship standards, which are replacing apprenticeship frameworks. These have been designed by employers for employers and they ensure that apprenticeships are even better placed to boost businesses’ success.

There are also changes to funding that are currently being introduced, including the new apprenticeship levy.

We can talk you through the changes so that you can understand how they apply to your business.

What about funding?

Looking for some financial support to allow you to take on an apprentice?

If you are under the threshold for the apprenticeship levy, you can apply for funding to cover the costs of an apprentice’s qualification and the amount you can get varies depending on their age.

We can talk to you in more detail about financial support and the changes to how apprenticeships are funded. Please give us a call or drop into one of our learning centres.

What are my responsibilities?

As an employer, you’ll need to:

  • Employ an apprentice for a minimum of 30 hours a week.
  • Pay at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices (for those under 19 or in their first year of an apprenticeship). The NMW rate that applies to the age of the apprentice applies thereafter.
  • Induct the apprentice and support their on-the-job learning.
  • Be involved in reviewing progress with the training provider.

Apprentices are entitled to the same benefits as everyone else in the workplace, such as sick pay entitlement, at least 20 days paid holiday a year, pension and statutory maternity/paternity leave.

How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?

How long an apprenticeship takes to complete depends on the level of the apprenticeship, the ability of the apprentice and the industry sector. An intermediate Level 2 apprenticeship usually takes 12 to 18 months to complete, whereas an advanced Level 3 takes around 24 months.

 

Most intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2)  take between 12-18 months to complete. Advanced apprenticeships (Level 3) usually take between 18-24 months and higher apprenticeships can take 2-4 years to complete.

How can an apprenticeship benefit my business?

Did you know, more and more employers are discovering the benefits of employing apprentices?

You might be one of the many companies out there to discover that embracing apprenticeships could be one of the best things you do.

Apprentices can help tackle skill gaps, injecting new talent and fresh ideas into your business to support its future growth and success.

Many apprentices become highly qualified and can go on to rise through the ranks to management level. They can be a real asset to your company. Apprenticeships offer a great mix of on-the-job training and academic-based learning to ensure candidates have the skills and experience that are right for your business.

What’s more, an apprentice doesn’t have to be newly recruited because apprenticeships are also a fantastic way to develop and up-skill existing members of staff.

Are there different levels of apprenticeship?

There are different levels of apprenticeship:

  • Intermediate apprenticeship Level 2 - apprentices gain the equivalent of five GCSEs at grades A-C
  • Advanced apprenticeship Level 3 - apprentices gain the equivalent of two A-Levels.
  • Higher apprentices Level 4-5 – apprentices gain the equivalent of a qualification such as a Foundation Degree.
  • Degree-level apprenticeship Levels 6-7 – apprentices gain a degree-level qualification, helping to build
  • the high-level technical skills needed for the jobs of the future
What are apprenticeships?

In short, apprenticeships are work-based training programmes that are used to develop new and existing employees – whether they’re in first-time positions or existing roles.

Apprenticeships are available to companies of all sizes and in all sectors. There are 1500 job roles covered by an apprenticeship so, whatever your business, there will be an agreed apprenticeship programme which lays out the knowledge and skills required.

Working with YH Training, you can develop an apprenticeship programme which meets the specific needs of your company.

Teachers/Career Advisors

How do apprentices do their training if they’re working?

There are different ways to complete the training that forms part of an apprenticeship and every apprenticeship is different but usually includes:

  • On-the-job training: developing skills in the workplace by working with colleagues who will show apprentices how to carry out certain tasks – either in formal, structured sessions or informal and unplanned learning.
  • Off-the-job training: learning and developing skills and knowledge away from the apprentice’s place of work. Apprentices might need to access a computer to do some online learning or go to one of our training centres where they can learn in a classroom or workshop.
What entry requirements do apprentices need?

This varies. Some employers require Maths and English GCSE, but others are happy for learners to have, or work towards, Functional Skills in Maths, English and ICT - which we are here to help with. However, the most important requirement is that learners are reliable, keen to learn and able to work with others.

How do people apply for apprenticeships?

Applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for any other job – and the YH Training team is here to help. With around 11 applications for every apprenticeship, it’s important that candidates do all they can to stand out and the online application is the first place to start.

Why not just get a job?

An apprenticeship offers lots of additional benefits to simply having a job – but in short, it allows people to earn while you learn!

The qualification and experience gained will be based on the skills and knowledge that are required for the job someone is doing – and people can progress further up the career ladder while taking home a wage at the end of the week or month.

Also, with an apprenticeship people will set themselves up for the future – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training.

Why should someone become an apprentice?

Helping people gain all the skills needed to succeed in their career, an apprenticeship gives real insight into a chosen industry – and apprentices get paid!

The key benefits:

  • Gain valuable workplace skills and experience.
  • Work in a real job for a real employer.
  • Paid a salary and have a contract of employment.
  • Achieve an apprenticeship recognised by employers.
  • Get support from colleagues and training organisation.
  • It’s a carer pathway that helps people achieve your goals.
  • It’s something for the CV to show skills, achievements and work experience.

There are more perks. For instance, apprentices are also entitled to a National Union of Students (NUS) Apprentice Extra Card, giving them discounts at more than 120 shops and online sites.

How old does an apprentice need to be?

If someone is aged 16 and above, they can become an apprentice.

Apprenticeships have changed a huge amount over this last decade or so and there are so many opportunities for people of all ages. They’re no longer just for school leavers.

Someone may have gone to university and decided it’s not for them, or they may be a mature worker who’s ready for a change; apprenticeships certainly aren’t just for people aged between 19 and 23!

Instead, they’re an ideal way for people to continue learning throughout life as they can now progress all the way up to degree level apprenticeships.

What makes a good apprentice?

Being an apprentice is the same as working as an employee in a business. There are different skills and attributes that each company will be looking for in candidates which will also be linked to job role. An ability to fit in, as well as personality, will go a long way to determining whether a candidate is right for an apprenticeship vacancy.

Apprenticeships have moved on a lot in the last decade or so. If a candidate has the drive and determination to succeed – and they’d like to earn a wage while working towards a rewarding, lifelong career – they’re likely to be a good apprenticeship candidate.

How can an apprentice progress afterwards?

Once an apprentice has finished their apprenticeship, they’ll be a much better position to progress in their career. With an apprenticeship under their belt, they can use this experience to work their way up the career ladder and achieve their ambitions. Apprentices may even decide to progress to embark on a degree-level apprenticeship and continue their learning.

Many apprentices receive a pay rise after completing their apprenticeship.

What will an apprentice be paid?

Every employer offering an apprenticeship vacancy will decide what they want to pay their apprentices and this information will be set out in the job description. Like all jobs, salaries vary depending on job role, location, the sector it’s in and how much responsibility an apprentice is given.

However, there’s a National Minimum Wage for apprentices under 19 or in their first year of an apprenticeship. If an apprentice is aged 19 or over and past the first year of their apprenticeship, they’ll be entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate that applies to their age.

Are there different levels of apprenticeship?

There are different levels of apprenticeships:

  • Intermediate apprenticeship (Level 2) - apprentices gain the equivalent of five GCSEs at grades A-C.
  • Advanced apprenticeship (Level 3) - apprentices gain the equivalent of two A-Levels.
  • Higher apprentices (Level 4-5) – apprentices gain the equivalent of a Foundation Degree.
  • Degree apprenticeship (Levels 6-7) – apprentices gain a degree-level apprenticeship, helping to build the high-level technical skills needed for the jobs of the future.
How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?

Lasting a minimum of 12 months, apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete. It depends on the level of the apprenticeship, the ability of the apprentice and the industry sector. An intermediate apprenticeship (Level 2) usually takes 12 to 18 months to complete, whereas an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3) takes around 24 months.

What are apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship helps people to gain all the skills they need to succeed in their career and offers real insight and experience into their chosen industry and job role. What’s more, apprentices get paid and gain a nationally recognised apprenticeship to add to their CV.

There are apprenticeships for over 170 industries and 1500 job roles, so there are plenty of opportunities to consider.