Take on an apprentice in England

Information about funding, eligibility and frameworks for taking on an apprentice in England.

Taking on an apprentice

An apprenticeship is a job with a training element designed to help an individual develop competence within a recognised occupation.

The apprentice undertakes a combination of on-the-job training with their employer and off-the-job training with a registered apprenticeship training provider, which can sometimes be their employer (conditions apply).

The first step is to identify what job you wish the apprentice to do. This will determine which apprenticeship standard (or framework where these are still active) the apprentice works to and is to be assessed against.

The next step is to identify a training provider to deliver the off-the job training, which must represent at least 20 per cent of the apprenticeship. They will check that the apprentice will be working in a safe environment and help the employer to recruit. 

Once the apprentice starts the employer and training provider will agree when the apprentice is to undertake their off-the-job training within their contracted working hours.

Apprenticeship Standards require that the apprentice is assessed at the end of the apprenticeship via an independent End Point Assessment Organisation.  The employer will decide when the apprentice is ready for assessment.

Who can take part in an apprenticeship? 

In England any registered employer can take on an apprentice. You can still arrange for a non-registered employer status (sole trader / freelancer) to take on an apprentice through an Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA).

The apprenticeship must be linked to an industry developed Standard, which must have been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships.  There are hundreds of apprenticeship Standards approved for delivery are in development that align to unique occupations.

What are Creative Apprenticeships?

There are a number of apprenticeship standards in development designed to support occupations that are unique to the creative and cultural industries.

Please see our sector apprenticeship map for details of standards approved for delivery or currently in development.

Costs and funding information

In England, the cost of the off-the-job training element is funded mainly (90%) by the government if you are a non-levy paying employer, or through your apprenticeship levy vouchers (90%) if you are a levy payer.

All apprentices must be employed and paid at least the National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage if aged 16-19 or if they are older than this and in the first year of their apprenticeship.  After this an apprentice must be paid at least National Minimum Wage for their age. We always encourage employers to pay more or to increase the salary as their apprentice’s skills increase.  Pay should ideally reflect the job the apprentice has been employed to do and the level they are working at as per recognised industry rates.

Apprentices should work for a minimum of 30 hours a week, including the off-the-job training, and the contracted period of employment must last a minimum of a year. If an apprenticeship is part time, the apprentice must be contracted and paid for the equivalent minimum hours over an extended duration.

  • Apprenticeships are for anyone aged 16 or over.  There is no maximum age limit.
  • Apprenticeships can be undertaken by those with higher level qualifications at a lower, equivalent of higher level as long as the apprenticeship is in an occupational area that differs to their prior qualification(s).

How Creative & Cultural Skills can help

We can offer technical expertise in the identification of the relevant framework and training provider to deliver that framework.

Apprenticeships can be advertised for free on our careers resource Creative Choices.

Useful information


If you would like an informal chat about our service and what it can offer you, or you’d like to discuss whether apprenticeships could work for your business, please get in touch at apprenticeshipenquiries@ccskills.org.uk or call us on 020 3668 5753.