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Whether you want to know how much an apprentice earns, or what qualifications apprentices get, we have the answers!


What is an apprenticeship and what does it involve?

An apprenticeship combines a job with training.

They can be used for anyone, regardless of their experience or age. e.g. a school leaver or existing member of staff. Apprenticeships enable individuals to carry out a structured training programme which includes professional qualification(s) and on the job training.

They equip individuals with the relevant skills, knowledge and behaviours required to carry out a specific job role.

What are the benefits of running apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are a tried and tested way to recruit new staff. They provide an opportunity to develop new talent and upskill existing talent. Employers who recruit apprenticeships often notice a reduction in staff turnover, and an increase in employee loyalty and satisfaction.

Additionally, they can be a cheaper way to recruit staff and can provide the apprentice with the opportunity to progress their skills and develop in their role.

What level of apprenticeships are there?

Apprenticeships programmes span from level 2 –7. Level 6 & 7 are intended to be equivalent to a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree.

The degree level Apprenticeship in Financial Services (Financial Services Professional) is expected to be ready for delivery in January 2018.

What is the difference between a ‘standard’ and a ‘framework’?

Apprenticeship standards are much more rigorous than the old frameworks and are designed by industry employers. The key difference between the two is that apprenticeship standards require apprenticeships to last for a minimum of 12 months and include an end-point assessment.

The new standards ensure apprenticeship programmes are both challenging and fit for purpose.

When will apprenticeship frameworks be phased out?

The old frameworks are currently being phased out and replaced with new standards.

The government expects the standards system to completely replace the frameworks system by 2020.

How long do apprenticeships last?

The duration of an apprenticeship varies depending on the apprenticeship that you choose, and the apprentice you employ. The minimum duration of an apprenticeship is 12 months. Some higher-level or degree-level apprenticeships can run for up to 48 months.

Is an apprenticeship a real job?

Yes, apprentices must be employed in a real job. They are contracted into a role by the employer and required to work a minimum of 30 hours per week. The apprenticeship contract must stipulate the following: the duration of the apprenticeship, the training provided, the working conditions and the qualifications the apprentice will be working towards. Each apprenticeship must include a minimum of 20% time ‘off the job’ training.

Can a graduate participate in an apprenticeship?

Yes. From April 2017, funding is available to all graduates, regardless of their experience or age. The apprenticeship that they are using must be significantly different to the qualifications they already hold so that new skills are learned.

Can an existing member of staff be offered an apprenticeship?

Yes, if the apprenticeship is relevant to their job role, teaches them something new and provides career progression. Funding is only available for apprenticeships which are relevant to the individual’s job role.

The apprentice must be able to demonstrate the required skills, knowledge and behaviour specified in the apprenticeship.

Can a part-time member of staff participate in an apprenticeship?

Yes, there are concessions available to allow part-time staff to participate in an apprenticeship. However, it will take a part-time apprentice substantially longer to complete the apprenticeship.

What happens if an apprentice goes on maternity, paternity or long term sick leave?

If an apprentice goes on maternity, paternity or long term sick leave during an apprenticeship, the apprenticeship can be paused and will continue when the apprentice returns to work.

How much should apprentices get paid?

All apprentices get paid a salary and this will differ depending on the job role. The employer must comply with the national minimum wage legislation (the current apprenticeship minimum wage is £3.30 an hour). Apprentices over 19 must be paid the minimum wage for their age category. Please note, higher-level apprenticeships are subject to the national minimum wage, not the apprenticeship minimum wage. Apprentices must be offered the same conditions as other employees working on similar grades or in similar roles, including paid holidays, sick pay and any benefits you offer e.g. childcare voucher schemes, coaching or mentoring etc.

Does the levy need to be spent on recognised qualifications?

Yes; the apprenticeship levy can only be used on qualifications specified within the apprenticeship standard. Most apprenticeship standards will have professional qualifications embedded.

Does the term ‘apprentice’ need to be used in the apprentice’s job title?

No; job titles are set by each employer, therefore you will not need to include ‘apprentice’ in the job title.

Are there any concessions available for hiring an apprentice aged 16-18?

Organisations who employ an 16-18 year old apprentice will receive £1,000 to meet additional costs (this will be paid in two instalments, via the training provider. Once the DAS is running, this will be paid directly to the employer).

Additional support of £2,000 will be available for employers and training providers who take on 16-18 year olds or young care leavers (18-24 year olds) with an education, health and care (EHC) plan. This will be split evenly between the employer and training provider.

How much does apprenticeship training cost?

There are 15 funding bands which apprenticeship standards are allocated to. The bands range from £1,500 to £27,000 per apprenticeship depending on the level and apprenticeship type. All existing standards will be placed within one of these bands, and it will be up to the employer to negotiate costs with training providers.

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Types of Apprenticeships available

Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprentices study towards qualifications equivalent to 5 GCSEs or NVQ Level 2 and often go on to complete Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships.


Apprentices gain valuable on the job skills, whilst studying towards a nationally recognised qualification equivalent to 5 GCSEs, 2 A-Levels or NVQ level 3.

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeship individuals work towards a qualification equivalent to a HND / HNC, Foundation or Honours Degree. Higher Apprenticeships are available across a range of sectors from Aerospace to Accountancy, Construction to Creative Media. The Welsh Government is dedicated to improving higher level skills in Wales through Higher Apprenticeships, focusing on increasing the number of technical and professional opportunities at level 4 and above. The number of people choosing Higher Apprenticeships is increasing and more businesses are realising the benefits of supporting higher level skills.

Who pays the college fees?

The College fees are covered through a combination of Government funding and the employer.

How many hours does an apprentice work each week?

30-40 hours a week, including one day a week training at Bridgend College.

What’s the difference between a Traineeship and an Apprenticeship?

A Traineeship (or Pre-Apprenticeship) is unpaid and does not involve a contract of employment. However, we do encourage employers to support trainees by covering their expenses, such as transport and meal costs. A traineeship lasts from 6 weeks to a maximum of 3 months. It can help a young person to gain the skills and experience they need to progress to a paid Apprenticeship or other employment.


What are the benefits?

Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond. Over 50 national universities are currently offering a range of degree apprenticeships with more to be confirmed throughout the year.

– Earning a salary and paid holiday
– Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace
– Increased future earning potential
– apprentices enjoy marked salary increases on finishing their training and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime*

What levels are there?

There are various levels of apprenticeships to apply for depending on current skills and qualifications. Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

Name Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C
Advanced 3 2 A level passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 Foundation Degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree

All apprenticeships include elements of on the job and off the job training leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications.

Some apprenticeships will require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice’s ability.

What entry requirements do they need?

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in Wales and England (?). There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job. Some apprenticeship vacancies will display the `Positive about disabled` logo meaning the employer has agreed to take action to meet five commitments regarding the employment, retention, training and career development of disabled employees.

Any disabled candidate applying for vacancies showing this logo will be guaranteed an interview as long as they meet the requirements for the job being applied for.

What age can they start an apprenticeship?

The government has stated that all young people must stay in some form of education or training until at least their 18th birthday. This does not necessarily mean staying in school. Young people have a choice of how they continue in education or training post 16, which could be through an apprenticeship or traineeship.

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