Apprenticeships for businesses

If you’re running a successful business, and want to enhance and future-proof your workforce, you’re in the right place. Find the right apprentice for your business today, and you’ll be amazed by the value one person can add to your business in the first month.

The Apprenticeship Hub is designed to help business owners in Sutton and its surrounding areas to find out more about apprenticeships, and how to find the right apprentice for your business.

So, what will you find out here on the hub?

  1. The benefits to employing an apprentice
  2. What’s involved in employing an apprentice
  3. The cost of employing an apprentice
  4. How to find the right apprentice for your business
  5. Frequently asked questions
  6. Links and sources of helpful information

The benefits of employing an apprentice
Apprenticeships have become increasingly more popular over the last five years, in fact, last year 440K people started apprenticeships compared to 580K who applied for a university place. So, what are the benefits for you, the employer?

1) This is a forward-thinking and affordable way of recruiting and adding value to your business overnight. It is low risk due to the smaller hourly rate, and each employer may receive a grant worth £1,500 per apprentice. Conditions apply. Find out more here

2) Apprentices are young, fresh and are future-savvy. They will not only fill skills gaps, particularly in new digital skills and help develop innovative new ideas within your organisation, but they will future-proof your business immediately.

3) You are employing the next generation of your business. Recruiting young talent enables a business to pass on its ethos and values, which will strengthen the business now and in the future.

4) Think of the social benefits, such as reducing unemployment in your local area and also inspiring a future generation of savvy business people who will continue to put the postcode on the business map.

The cost of employing an apprentice
Each apprentice must be paid the minimum wage for their age – View wage rates here. It’s advised to pay the apprentice a salary that your business can afford, rather than sticking to the minimum requirement. Pay peanuts… get monkeys.

Other costs include the apparatus that they require, just like any other employee. This might include a laptop and a working space. You will not be expected to cover travel costs, most apprentices will be eligible for an apprentice oyster card offering subsidised travel. Find out more here

Some of your investment may be offset if you are eligible for a government grant. Most employers can receive up to £1,500 per apprentice.

What’s involved in employing an apprentice?
Employing an apprentice is only very slightly different to employing anyone else.
  • The apprentice will need a slightly different contract of employment.
  • The apprentice will need a line manager to support his or her studies, and meet with the assigned assessor for 30 minutes each month to sign paperwork and ensure the apprentice is supported in his or her studies.
  • Once the apprentice has completed his or her apprenticeship, the employer has the option to continue employment with no further studies, or continue employment whilst the apprentice does the next level. Some employers value the apprentice so much, they choose to continue employment and pay for high education courses too. View Tashia’s Case Study
How to find the right apprentice for your business

So, you’ve decided to take on an apprentice – great news. Here’s how to go about it:

1) Write a job description and include a starting salary – there are then two options:
  • Find a training provider that specialises in the sector / type of apprenticeship you are offering
  • Advertise the opportunity on local job boards, in local schools and colleges, in the local newspaper, on noticeboards, share the opening on social media channels. The further the news goes, the more applications you’ll receive. You will need to source a training provider for the individual yourself, or you can become a registered training provider.
2) If you decide to share the job description with a local training provider, they will do all the hard work for you, for no fee – how great is that! They will:
  • Give you advice on how to improve the job description based on their vast amount of experience
  • Advertise the role
  • Share suitable candidates’ CVs with you
  • Arrange interviews
  • Arrange the training and assessor for your apprentice
3) Whichever way you choose to go, once you receive CVs and have interviews booked in, it’s vital to get the interview right – remember, they are interviewing you too!
4) When you decide on the right candidate, you must inform them that they have been successful via telephone, and officially via email, as you would any other employee. You’ll need to agree a start date, and salary.
5) Between you and the apprentice you agree a start date that works best, and the apprenticeship qualification will start a few weeks later. It’s good to use the first few weeks as an induction to the company and get any HR out of the way. Ensure access all areas is given to make the apprentice feel like part of the team.


1. Will it take a lot of my time to train an apprentice?

Each apprentice is given training (sometimes off-site, and sometimes in situ) by the training provider. All that will be expected of the employer is to give the apprentice access to experience, and for those people that they work alongside to be patient, and mentor as they go.

2. I am sole trader, can I take on an apprentice?

Any business can take on an apprentice, but they just need to make sure the interest of the apprentice are considered first. Will the apprentice benefit from working alongside one person only? Read more about employing someone for the first time here

3. Do I need to know all the latest information, or will the apprentice be given training?

See question one

4. Is training given in the workplace, or off-site?

Some training providers ask apprentices to go off-site, and some prefer to send a trainer / assessor to the workplace. If you’d prefer for the learning to happen in your company, ensure you choose a provider that can make this possible.

5. Who trains the apprentice?

See question one.

6. How much should I pay an apprentice?

Each apprentice must be paid the minimum wage for their age – View wage requirements here. It’s advised to pay the apprentice a salary that your business can afford, rather than sticking to the minimum requirement.

7. Should apprentices be paid bonuses?

Apprentices should be treated just like other employees. They are working towards the same business objectives, so should receive the same benefits.

8. Can I choose how old the apprentice is?

Anyone of any age can do an apprenticeship, however to apply for a grant the applicant must be aged between 16-24. When writing your job description, you can specify what level of apprenticeship you’d like to offer, which can determine what age applicants are.

Apprenticeship Type

Equivalent to

NVQ level

Apprenticeship Type Foundation apprenticeship

Equivalent to Entry level education

NVQ level Entry level

Apprenticeship Type Foundation apprenticeship

Equivalent to GCSEs grades D-G

NVQ level Level 1

Apprenticeship Type Intermediate apprenticeship

Equivalent to GCSEs grade A*-C

NVQ level Level 2

Apprenticeship Type Advanced apprenticeship

Equivalent to Entry level education

NVQ level Level 3

Apprenticeship Type Higher apprenticeship

Equivalent to Foundation degree or diploma

NVQ level Level 4/5

Apprenticeship Type Degree apprenticeship

Equivalent to Degree

NVQ level Level 5/6

9. Do I need to pay travel expenses?

If you can afford to, it’s a nice gesture. It is not compulsory, and there are student cards that can help apprentices save money on their travel. Find out more here

10. How long will the apprentice stay with my business?

Hopefully the apprentice will stay with your company long-term. Once he / she has completed their first year (level 2 or 3), they can choose to stay on to do the next level, if you’re keen to continue their employment on this basis. Once all studies are complete, you can give the former apprentice a position in the company – you’ll just need to revise their contract for a standard employment contract, rather than a training one.

11. If I decide the apprentice is not right for the business, can I terminate the contract?

Just as with any other employee, there are laws and rules that employers must abide by when it comes to terminating any employment contracts. Seek advice from your HR advisor.

Sources of information
  • Step


    Choose from over 200 apprenticeships.

    From building planes to herding cattle, apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes. You can find a whole host of apprenticeships using our jobs page!

    Find An Apprenticeship


    Find The Right Employer.

    To find the right employer offering an apprenticeship, you can go through a training provider for that type of apprenticeship, respond directly to the employer's advertisement, or approach any business directly and suggest they should take on an apprentice.




    You may be required to complete an application form and submit your CV and a covering letter detailing why you are right for the opportunity.



    Attend Your Interview.

    If your application is successful you will be invited to attend an interview. This is a vital step in securing your apprenticeship. Make sure you're prepared!



    After Your Interview.

    Upon a successful interview you will be informed of the start date. If the interview wasn’t successful, the employer should provide constructive feedback to help you improve your skills.