Earn. Learn. Achieve.

Earn. Learn. Achieve.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying assessment and skills development programme. It is a way for individuals to earn while they learn, gaining valuable skills, competence and knowledge in a specific job role. The apprentice gains this through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment. Apprenticeships benefit employers and individuals, and by boosting the skills of the workforce they help to improve economic productivity.

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.

All apprenticeships include elements of on the job and off the job training, leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships also require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice’s ability and competence in their job role.


Frameworks are primarily qualification-focused. The main aim at the end of a framework is to have achieved a competency-based qualification, such as a Diploma, NVQ, and/or a technical qualification, such as a BTEC.


Standards are occupation-focused; they are not generally qualification-led. The learning happens throughout the apprenticeship and the apprentice is assessed through an independent End Point Assessment process. Apprentices must demonstrate that they are competent to carry out all aspects of their job. They develop transferable skills and gain credibility too.

Eligibility and Funding

The government has highlighted the importance of training to develop the country’s skills base and competitiveness. As a result of this it has allocated funding to support training for eligible candidates.


You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you will need to be:

ETS Cross Bullet Point16 or over by the end of the acedemic year

ETS Cross Bullet PointLiving in England

ETS Cross Bullet PointNot in full-time education

ETS Cross Bullet Point You must be a resident in the EU for three or more years

ETS Cross Bullet Point You must not have completed the same apprenticeship


ETS Cross Bullet Point Full funding is available for apprentices aged between 16 and 18, your employer will also receive a £1,000 government incentive payment

ETS Cross Bullet Point If you are 19+ and your employer has an annual pay bill over £3 million, then they will pay for the full cost of your course through their Levy

ETS Cross Bullet Point If you are 19+ and your employer has a pay bill less than £3 million each year then your employer will pay a small 10% co-investment towards your course

National Apprenticeship Wage

From 1st of April 2018 the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate for apprentices is £3.70 per hour. This applies to 16-18 year old apprentices and those aged over 19 in the first year of their Apprenticeship. For all other apprentices the national Minimum Wage appropriate to their age applies. The minimum wage for apprentices applies to time spent on the job plus time spent training. Although an Apprentice minimum wage applies this is only a guide and employer often pay more.

The Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2016 estimated the average gross hourly pay received by apprentices in Great Britain was £6.70 an hour for level 2 and 3 apprentices which is equivalent to nearly £14,000 per year.

Apprenticeship Levels

Name Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 GCSE
Advanced 3 A Level
Higher 4, 5 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6, 7, 8 Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

Apprenticeship Levels

Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 GCSE
Advanced 3 A Level
Higher 4 and 5 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6, 7 and 8 Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

Subcontracting Fees and Charges Policy

The policy applies to all supply chain activity supported with funds supplied by the Education Skills Funding Agency or any successor organisations.

To see the full policy visit the Subcontracting Fees and Charging Policy


National Statistics

Apprenticeship Starts under 19

Apprenticeship starts in 2017/18

starts on apprenticeship standards

starts on apprenticeship Framework

online apprenticeship applications

apprenticeships listed on find an apprenticeship /month

Apprenticeship Process

During the Apprenticeship ETS will:

ETS Cross Bullet Point Where applicable support employer in the selection of the appropriate units to ensure that the Apprentice will be able to provide the required naturally occurring evidence in their job role.

ETS Cross Bullet Point Visit the Apprentice every 8-10 weeks to deliver training, provide mentorship and gather assessment evidence of competence which will be assessed against the assessment criteria of the standard or framework.

ETS Cross Bullet Point Gather assessment evidence through a variety of methods including observation, witness testimony, reflective accounts, work products, tests and workbooks.

ETS Cross Bullet Point ETS uses technology to enable you to benefit the most throughout your learning experience. This includes ‘OneFile’, our online portfolio system that empowers you to produce and upload evidence using a variety of media, allowing you to work at your own speed and at a time that suits you and your employer.

ETS Cross Bullet Point Support you to assist your Apprentice to acquire knowledge and skills in the workplace. Record teaching, learning and assessment using tablet technology

ETS Cross Bullet Point We will carry out a thorough initial assessment to determine the level at which your Apprentice is currently working.  This diagnostic assessment will enable us to provide a structured Learning plan and agreement to use as a basis for a programme of study to meet your apprentices needs.

ETS Cross Bullet Point Apprentices will be required to attend Assessment visits in the workplace, to attend Functional Skills Sessions (if required – see below for details), to undertake 20% off the job training towards your framework or standard.

ETS Cross Bullet Point If the Apprentice has achieved a GCSE grade A-C, or grade 9-4 in English and Mathematics, where applicable ICT, then they will be exempt from the related functional skill. If the Apprentice does not have a relevant qualification that exempts them then they will be required to undertake the following sessions:

ETS Cross Bullet Point ICT where applicable – three one day sessions held twice per month. This consists of two study days and the third day is an assessment day.

ETS Cross Bullet Point Mathematics – five half day morning sessions held twice per month. The first three sessions are study sessions, the fourth session is a mock assessment session and the fifth day is an assessment session.

ETS Cross Bullet Point English – five half day afternoon sessions held twice per month. The first three sessions are study sessions, the fourth session is a mock assessment session and the fifth day is an assessment session.

ETS Cross Bullet Point We will continue to support the Apprentice to undertake their assessments should they not achieve on the first attempt.  This may require additional self-study, additional workshops and 1:1 support sessions.