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Employing an apprentice

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can do an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16, who is not in full time education.

Apprenticeships are open to new employees, but they also offer a valuable route for existing employees to develop their skills and knowledge.

Individuals with a Level 4 or above qualification are not eligible to receive Government funding for an apprenticeship.

How will the training be delivered?

The apprentice will receive most of their training by working with the existing staff within your company through on the job learning.

The kind of training to be provided by the business varies depending on the nature of the job, the sector and the skills level of the apprentice.

For some courses, additional learning will take place off the job and will be delivered by an accredited training provider. This can take the form of day release to the training provider.

How long will the apprenticeship last?

All apprenticeships must last for a minimum of 12 months, but the duration of the apprenticeship depends on the sector, the type of job and the ability of the apprentice.

As a guide, an Intermediate Apprenticeship will take around 12 to 18 months to complete, and an Advanced Apprenticeship will take around 24 months.

How many hours will the apprentice work per week?

Most apprentices will work between 35 hours and 37 hours per week.

Regulations for young workers under 18 will apply to many apprenticeships, for example young workers must not exceed 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. They are entitled to paid holidays and breaks of at least 30 minutes if the shift lasts for more than four and a half hours.


Apprenticeships are available at three different levels.

  • Intermediate (Level 2) Apprenticeships an Intermediate Apprenticeship is the equivalent of five GCSE passes. Apprentices will work towards work-based qualifications, which will deliver the skills required for the role. Completion of an Intermediate apprenticeship will allow entry to an Advanced Apprenticeship, as well as a range of other progression options.
  • Advanced (Level 3) Apprenticeships to undertake an Advanced Apprenticeship the employee must have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship or have a certain number of GCSEs. Completing an Advanced Apprenticeship is the equivalent of two A-level passes.
  • Higher (Level 4) Apprenticeships as with Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships, Higher Apprenticeships offer on the job training while studying for a high level qualification.

Further Resources

Visit our apprenticeship resource page to find out more information and links to the National Apprenticeship Service. 

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