employ an apprentice


Employ an apprentice

Employing apprentices can bring a range of tangible benefits to your business.

Through funded, work-based learning, both new and existing employees can learn the skills and knowledge to work with greater effectiveness: generating more productivity, more motivation, more satisfaction and more loyalty.

Key benefits that apprenticeships bring to your business include:

  • 96% of employers that take on an apprentice report benefits to their business *
  • 70% of employers report higher productivity and improved quality of products / services **
  • The average person completing an apprenticeship increases productivity by £214 a week. These gains include increased profits, lower prices and better products.

* (Evaluation of Apprenticeships for Learners, BIS, May 2012)    ** (BIS/DfE Apprenticeships Unit Presentation, 20 November 2013)

How does an apprenticeship work?

What funding is available?

What City & Guilds apprenticeships are available?

Tips for developing your apprenticeship programme


Apprenticeships are typically delivered with the support of a training provider. Get started by finding your nearest training provider.

Get Started


However, if you’re a larger organisation, apprenticeships can also be delivered through your own training programme. Find out more about what we offer employers wishing to deliver apprenticeships.

Andy Smythe

Andy Smyth

TUI Development Manager of Vocational Learning and Chair of the Industry Skills Board

"Year-on-year and age-for-age an apprentice generally achieves approximately 17% higher scales compared to a non-apprentice."

We can help you develop & deliver your own apprenticeship

For employers looking for bespoke apprenticeship support, City & Guilds can partner with you to fully understand your business needs. This ensures that your apprentices receive the training that meets your requirements.

City & Guilds can help with all aspects of your apprenticeships including:

  • Advice and support on everything relating to apprenticeships
  • Guidance on the best apprenticeship programmes for your business
  • Programme design that reflects the way you want to train
  • Administration and funding support
  • Support for programme recruitment, both internally and externally
  • Online portals and content
  • Training delivery, face-to-face and webinars with our unrivalled network of trainers and assessors
  • Marketing, PR and communications support to help you make the most of your programme
  • Assessment, verification and certification

Find out about more about our Employer Services team

Call us now on 020 7294 8128

Apprenticeship Reforms in England and the levy

Apprenticeships in England are currently undergoing the implementation of the Government’s Apprenticeships Reforms. The reforms put employers ‘in the driving seat’ in terms of designing apprenticeships in England. These new apprenticeships are known as ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeships and will replace the old SASE Frameworks.

Find out about Trailblazer apprenticeships  

With a UK Government target of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, an apprenticeship levy is being introduced to help generate the funding to deliver this objective. All employers with a pay-bill over £3million will pay the levy from April 2017.

Find out more about these changes to funding and the levy.

City & Guilds and our Industry Skills Board (ISB) are committed to supporting employers through the apprenticeship reforms and the levy.

Find out more on how we engage with Government on behalf of employers.


How does an apprenticeship work?

Apprentices are employed as a member of staff and will need to be paid the apprentice minimum wage during their programme. Many employers opt to pay the living minimum wage or more.  

They will need to work alongside experienced staff to develop the job-specific knowledge, skills, and behaviour.

They will also need to study for a work-based qualification or end-point assessment (in the case of Trailblazer apprenticeships) during their working week which can be delivered through a provider or your own training programme.

The off-the-job learning typically accounts for 20% of the duration of the training.


What funding is available

In the current system, the amount of funding available depends on the apprentice’s age:

  • aged 16 to 18 - you can get all of their course costs up to advanced level apprenticeship qualifications
  • aged 19 to 23 - you can get half of their course costs
  • 24 years and older - you may only get a contribution

You may be eligible for an apprenticeship grant for up to 5 apprentices if you have less than 50 employees and the apprentice is aged 16 to 24.  

Note - There is a new funding methodology for employers currently delivering Trailblazer Apprenticeships. Qualifications are no longer mandatory but there will be a cost for end assessment and on-programme training. 

Find out more 

Who receives the funding

If an education provider is delivering the apprentice’s training, the provider will get this funding.

If you are providing the apprentice’s formal study as well as being their employer, you can apply for funding for the cost of the approved qualification/s.

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) will only pay cash to organisations that are on the Register of Training Organisations (RoTO). Employers can apply to go onto the register and will have to meet all the SFA reporting and audit requirements.

Find out more

Changes to funding and levy

The levy - From April 2017, an apprenticeship levy is being introduced to contribute to funding for apprenticeships. All UK-based employers with a paybill of over £3million will pay the levy.  

FAQs and guidance on the levy

SMEs - Funding for non-levy paying employers will remain ‘business as usual’ for the next 3-4 years, and we are waiting for further information from the SFA. 

Find out more about apprenticeship funding reforms


What City & Guilds apprenticeships are available?

City & Guilds offers the widest choice of apprenticeships in the UK with over 170   Apprenticeship Frameworks that provide qualifications across 26 sectors in the UK.

Our apprenticeships range from specific sector apprenticeships in industries such as retail, hospitality and transport, through to disciplines such as business administration and customer service.

We also offer a range of teaching and learning resources to support our apprenticeships.  

View our range of apprenticeships categorised by industry sector

Tips for developing your apprenticeship programme

Consider existing skills gaps and shortages within your business.

  • What does your HR People Plan look like across your whole organisation?
  • Where are you recruiting currently and where do you intend to recruit in the future?
  • Consider offering new vacancies as apprenticeship opportunities
  • Consider offering promotions as an apprenticeship at Level 3 and above
  • Consider making your Graduate Recruitment Programme a Higher Level Apprenticeship Programme
  • Think about the job roles where you are planning to recruit people or offer progression opportunities and look at the frameworks to see where there is a fit. Some of the existing SASE Frameworks will continue for a while so you should look at both SASE and the new Trailblazer apprenticeships
  • Think about the training you currently do and how this can be mapped or accredited into the Apprenticeship Frameworks – so that you can maintain a ‘Business As Usual’ approach

When working with a provider you may wish to consider:

  • Has the provider got the capability and capacity to delivery this type of apprenticeship within your business?  
  • What percentage of the delivery of the apprenticeship will the provider deliver, and do they have the capability? Does the provider have the appropriate support staff to deliver the apprenticeship within your business?

Evaluate your internal capability to take on apprentices and what changes you might need to make.

  • Internally, who will have responsibility for managing the levy systems and funds, including access, sign-off, and payments?
  • Are your HR/training and finance teams in dialogue regarding the levy and process?
  • Can/ should training and processes be outsourced to delivery partners i.e. training providers
  • Are you fully committed to the delivery of the apprenticeships, both in time and the cost associated with the apprentice salary and cost of training?

How we engage with Government on the Apprenticeship Reforms

In the autumn of 2014, City & Guilds established the Industry Skills Board (ISB) consisting of leading employers such as TUI, Laing O’Rourke, Nationwide, National Grid, Microsoft, McDonalds, PGL, Barclays, Ginsters, Whitbread and Compass, as well as SMEs such as Optimity and Xtrac, and representatives of England’s Group Training Associations and the TUC.

The ISB has worked on the policy and implementation of the new Trailblazer Apprenticeships for the past year and has engaged with various officials from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

One result of ISB’s work with employers was Making Apprenticeships Work, which was published in September 2015. In March, City & Guilds hosted an employer conference, attended by over 120 employers. The conference invited employers to ask questions and raise any issues relating to the Apprenticeship Reforms. The key issues discussed at the conference included policy, quality and the levy.

City & Guilds recorded employers’ concerns and wrote to Nick Boles MP to address these issues.  

Read the letter here


Apprenticeship case studies

City & Guilds has worked with the Employer Trailblazer Group for 3 years to develop and successfully implement the first Apprenticeship Standard for Operational Delivery.        

Read More

City & Guilds and Tesco have collaborated to create the Tesco apprenticeship programme, helping thousands of learners build their experience in Tesco.                                                    

Read more

Go Ahead London working with City & Guilds and TFL to put customer service at the very heart of driver training with a new, custom-made programme.                                               

Read More

City & Guilds worked with Toni & Guy to map its in-house training programme against National Vocational Qualifications. The result is a powerful apprenticeship programme.

Read more


Find out how City & Guilds can support you to deliver apprenticeships 



Get the knowledge you need to manage apprenticeships well