How to start an apprenticeship


Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job.  Apprentices can be new or current employees.  You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage.

Your apprentice must:

  • work with experienced staff
  • learn job-specific skills
  • study during their working week (for example, at a college or training organisation)


Getting started with an Apprenticeship

Whether you are taking on a new apprentice or upskilling an existing employee the process starts in the same way:

  1. Choose an apprenticeships framework or standard for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level.
  2. Find an organisation that offers training for the apprenticeship framework or standard you’ve chosen.
  3. Check what funding is available.

If you are recruiting a new apprentice, then the GOV.UK web site provides further information on how to go about recruiting and what support is available


Arrangements are different in the four nations, in England...


Funding if you don’t pay the levy

You pay 10% (this is changing to 5% from April 2019) towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. You need to:

  • agree a payment schedule with the training organisation
  • pay them directly for the training

The government will pay the rest (90%) up to the funding band maximum. They’ll pay it directly to the training organisation.

You could be eligible for extra funding depending on both your and your apprentice’s circumstances.


Funding if you pay the levy

You’ll receive funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices. The government will add 10%. 


Funding arrangements in the four nations

How you get your funds and pay for training depends on whether you’re in:




Northern Ireland



See also:

Providers of Port Related Apprenticeships