From education to employment

Employing an apprentice: ESFA’s technical guide for employers

Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job.

Apprentices can be new or current employees.

You can get government funding to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice if you’re in England.

You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage.

Your apprentice must:

  • work with experienced staff
  • learn job-specific skills
  • study during their working week (for example, at a college or training organisation)

Hiring your apprentice

There are several steps to taking on an apprentice.

  1. Choose an apprenticeships framework or standard for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level.

  2. Find an organisation that offers training for the apprenticeship framework or standard you’ve chosen.

  3. Check what funding is available.

  4. Advertise your apprenticeship – your training organisation will do this for you through the find an apprenticeship service.

  5. Select your apprentice and make an apprenticeship agreement and commitment statement with them.

You can use an apprenticeship training agency if you want to employ an apprentice without the responsibility for running the apprenticeship scheme.

How long it lasts

Apprenticeships must last for at least a year. They can last up to 5 years depending on the level the apprentice is studying.

Get help

Fill in the enquiry form or contact the National Apprenticeship Service for more information.

National Apprenticeship Service
Telephone: 0800 015 0600
Find out about call charges

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Contact your apprenticeship authority if you’re an employer in:

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