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What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualification.

Employers can use Apprenticeships to train both new and existing employees who are moving into a new or changed job role and need to learn new skills. Funding is available to train apprentices.

Apprenticeships are designed by the Sector Skills Councils, while the National Apprenticeship Service helps to fund the training. Business representatives from the relevant industry sector work with the Sector Skills Councils to develop the course content. Because they genuinely understand your business, the training will be relevant for your industry.

Over 100,000 employers in over 160,000 workplaces offer frameworks across a wide range of industry sectors.

Depending on the sector and job role an Apprenticeship can take anything between one and four years to complete. It is a package of on-the-job training and qualifications.

As Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, most of the training is 'on the job' - at the work providers premises. The rest can be provided by a local college or by a specialist learning provider, or you could deliver everything yourself.

As the employer you must give your apprentices an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training. You are also responsible for paying your apprentices' wages.

Employment is expected to be for a minimum of 30 hours per week, except in the minority of circumstances, in these cases employment must be for more than 16 hours per week and the length of the apprenticeship will need to be increased accordingly to ensure the apprentice has gained the required level of skills and knowledge to do the job.

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