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 5% co-investment towards your course

National Apprenticeship Wage

From 1st of April 2019 the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate for apprentices is £3.90 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.

National Apprenticeship Wage

The minimum wage a worker should get depends on their age and if they’re an apprentice. The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to. The National Living Wage is higher than the National Minimum Wage – workers get it if they’re over 25. It doesn’t matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the correct minimum wage. 

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18
April 2019 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35


Almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave.

Bank or public holidays do not have to be given as paid leave. An employer can choose to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave.

Apprentice Mental Health Support Organisation

This free service, delivered by Remploy and funded by the Department for Work and Pensions is available to any apprentice who is experiencing mental health difficulties at work. It complements any existing occupational health service you have, delivered by trained professionals with expertise in mental health in the workplace.

Increase the performance, skills & knowledge of your staff to increase your business performance.

Businesses in all sectors need to be more competitive to increase their market share. Inadequately trained staff can have a devastating effect on an organisation’s performance and productivity. Staff Training can overcome problems and give solutions which enable your company to respond positively to the competitive environment. Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line. The majority of employers said that Apprenticeships helped them to improve productivity and to be more competitive. They also said that training apprentices is more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

ETS has a proven track record in providing training for local businesses across the Business and Management functions that are applicable to all organisations. The training offered and the experience of effective delivery will benefit your business and ensure that your employees have the best chance to achieve their options within your business. ETS will work in partnership with you to ensure that you receive an outstanding training service that will improve the effectiveness of your organisation. ETS’ success and retention rates are consistently above local, regional and national rates making us one of the leading training providers not only locally but nationally. We continually strive to improve both our delivery and success rates.  


If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million a year, you must pay the apprenticeship levy from 6 April 2017.  The levy will not affect the way you fund training for apprentices who started an apprenticeship programme before 1 May 2017. You’ll need to carry on funding training for these apprentices under the terms and conditions that were in place at the time the apprenticeship started. Less than 2% of UK employers pay the levy. Levy funds will create opportunities for young people across the country, delivering the skills British businesses need. The levy will give employers control of their training, agree a total price for each apprenticeship, which includes the costs of training and assessment.

In England*, the government will top up employers’ levy with an extra 10%, paid directly to employers’ apprenticeship accounts. An employer’s pay bill is made up of the total amount of the employees’ earnings that are subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions, such as: 

ETS Cross Bullet Point wages

 ETS Cross Bullet Point bonuses

 ETS Cross Bullet Point commission 

ETS Cross Bullet Pointpension contributions

Employers with a pay bill of less than £3 million a year will not need to pay the levy. At least 95% of non-levy-paying employers’ apprenticeship training and assessment costs in England will be paid for by the government. The government will ask these employers to make a 5% cash contribution to the cost, paid directly to the provider, and the government covers the rest.

Employers are not required to pay National Insurance Contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 on earnings below the higher tax rate of £827 a week (£43,000 a year).

 ETS Cross Bullet Point £1,000 payment to both the employer and provider when they train a 16- to 18-year-old

 ETS Cross Bullet Point £1,000 payment to both the employer and provider when they train a 19- to 24-year-old who has previously been in care or who has a local authority education, health and care plan.

Employer responsibilities

There must be a genuine job available with a contract of employment long enough for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship. Employers must pay an apprentice’s wages and the role must help them gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to achieve the apprenticeship with support from the employer. Employers can select a training provider from the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and agree a total price for the cost of training and assessment. For an apprenticeship standard, this should include the cost of the end-point assessment which must be agreed with the provider selected from the Register of EndPoint Assessment Organisations. Employers need to have:

  ETS Cross Bullet Point an apprenticeship agreement in place with their apprentice for the duration of the apprenticeship ETS Cross Bullet Point a commitment statement signed by the apprentice, their employer and the provider

 ETS Cross Bullet Point a written agreement with providers, for employers who pay the apprenticeship levy and use the apprenticeship service, they will need to have a contract for services with their main provider

 ETS Cross Bullet Point an apprenticeship in place for at least one year

 ETS Cross Bullet Point the apprentice on the correct wage for their age, for the time they are in work, in off-the-job training and doing further study

 ETS Cross Bullet Pointapprentices who are paid a wage consistent with the law for the time they are in work and in off-the-job training, updates on progression and average weekly hours and changes to working patterns must be logged and checked with the training provider

 ETS Cross Bullet Point the government is offering additional support to organisations with fewer than 50 employees. Please refer to the ‘Additional Payments and Funding’ section for more details


National Statistics

Apprenticeship Starts under 19

Apprenticeship starts in 2017/18

starts on apprenticeship standards

starts on apprenticeship Framework

apprenticeships listed on find an apprenticeship /month

online apprenticeship applications

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.