What is an Apprenticeship?


An Apprenticeship is a job which involves a substantial level of training as part of the day-to-day work. Studying an Apprenticeship programme allows people of all ages to earn while they learn, gain skills and build an employment history. An Apprenticeship provides the opportunity to get on-the-job training with study (usually one day a week).

As an employer you can employ an Apprentice as either a new recruit or an existing member of staff who is committed to your company and willing to develop their skills to meet your business needs.

It usually takes between one and four years to complete an Apprenticeship depending on which level of entry Apprentice you take. Apprenticeships are available at all levels:

Intermediate Apprenticeships

Level 2 – equivalent to five A-C GCSEs.

Advanced Apprenticeships

Level 3 – equivalent to two A Levels.

Higher Apprenticeships

Level 4-7 – equivalent to a foundation degree or above.

Degree Apprenticeships

Level 6 & 7- equivalent to a bachelors or masters degree.

Apprentices can be located in businesses of all sizes and sectors across England and are currently available in 1,500 occupations.

How does it work?

How much will I have to pay?


All Apprenticeships have a wage attached to them, so as an employer, you will pay an Apprentice in the same way you pay other members of your workforce.

The minimum wage for Apprentices aged 16-18 years is £3.30 per hour. The same applies for those aged 19 and over in the first year of their Apprenticeship, after that the employer must pay the National Minimum Wage.

At any time the employer can choose to pay more than these figures, as these are the statutory minimum.

Apprenticeship Frameworks

The current model of funding Apprenticeships is via Apprenticeship frameworks. A framework covers all the requirements of an Apprenticeship programme and has to meet the specification of Apprenticeships for England (SASE).

  • If the Apprentice is aged 16-18 years old the full-cost of training is funded.
  • If the Apprentice is aged 19 and over, a contribution towards the cost of training is made (this is known as co-funding).

This is subject to the Apprentice being eligible for funding. Representatives of the Black Country Colleges will help you to establish the eligibility for funding at the point you discuss taking on an Apprentice.