Apprenticeship FAQs

What is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, which allow people of all ages, from school leavers to experienced workers, to work and learn at the same time by combining technical training with workplace assessment. They are designed by employers for employers and are created to meet the specific needs of industry.

Who are Apprenticeships for?
Apprenticeships are for:

  • people new to the industry and who need job-specific training for the first time
  • people who are unemployed and who are looking to learn new skills to get into work
  • existing workers who need retraining or upskilling in line with business demands or new technology
  • existing workers requiring continuing professional development.

Apprenticeships are open to all young people aged over 16 who:

  • have three to five GCSEs at grades D-E (if applying for an intermediate Apprenticeship (England) or C Foundation Apprenticeship (Wales))
  • have five GCSEs at grades A*-C (if applying for an Advanced Apprenticeship (England) or an Apprenticeship (Wales)).

What are the key benefits to taking on an apprentice?
Investing in an apprentice makes sound financial and business sense.  Apprentices are proven to deliver a return on investment within two years and help your business to:

  • increase productivity
  • improve competitiveness
  • build and retain a motivated, flexible and loyal workforce
  • develop people with knowledge of your products and processes
  • secure its future talent pipeline.

How long does an Apprenticeship last?
An Apprenticeship can take between 18 months and four years to complete depending on the level.

What support will we get if we take on an apprentice?
Semta Apprenticeship Service is with you every step of the way. Our team of Apprentice Advisers handle everything for you by:

  1. Identifying your business’ skills needs.
  2. Developing relevant programmes.
  3. Finding and securing all available funding.
  4. Recruiting the right apprentice for your business.
  5. Sourcing market leading training provision.
  6. Delivering ongoing mentoring and support.  
  7. Providing independent assessment, awarding and certification.

How much is it going to cost?
We know the cost of taking on an apprentice is a concern for many businesses. However hiring and training your own apprentices, with the support of the Semta Apprenticeship Service, can be much more cost effective than recruiting skilled staff:

  • for apprentices aged 16 to 18 training costs are fully funded so you need only pay their salaries
  • for apprentices aged 19 to 24 funding is available for 50% of training costs, with the employer expected to cover the remaining costs as well as the apprentice's salary
  • for apprentices aged 25 plus partial funding is still available.

The apprenticeship National Minimum Wage applies to all 16-18 year olds and to those aged 19 and over during the first year of their apprenticeship. The current minimum wage is £3.40 per hour, however many apprentices in industry earn a lot more.

The Semta Apprenticeship Service is a fully funded service, available at no cost to the employer.

What funding is available for people aged 16 to 24?

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 to 24 year olds supports employers with less than 50. Grants of £1500 are available to eligible employers.

How do we get started?
Simply call us on 0845 643 9001 or email us at to get started and find the right apprentice for your business.

One of Semta's expert team of Apprenticeship Advisers can come and visit your business, or simply talk over the phone to assess how we can support and advise you.

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