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What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a form of training that an employer can use to upskill their workforce or hire somebody with the desired qualifications for a specific job that is required. They are a great way to support your staff within their career and ensure that you have the required skilled workforce for your organisation’s daily needs.

If you are wondering what apprenticeship standards are available or have a specific one in mind, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education outlines what available apprenticeships there are and the current providers that offer what you are looking for.

Once you have decided what you would like to offer within your organisation, you can contact the desired Training Provider about how to get started. They will be able to explain their specific onboarding process.

The video below can provide you with some insight into apprenticeships and what they require.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions from employers regarding apprenticeships. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss an apprenticeship opportunity, please contact

Is the job role that I am advertising eligible for the apprenticeship standard?

If you are unsure whether the job role you are offering provides the right experience for your staff to complete the apprenticeship, please contact your training provider who will be able to advise on whether it is appropriate.

The role must ensure that the apprentice is gaining the right experience for the standard they are completing. On the IfATE, each apprenticeship has an outlined list of knowledge, skills and behaviors that they need to demonstrate to successfully pass their apprenticeship. You can ensure that the correct opportunities would be available by comparing the roles to the list.

How do I fund the apprenticeship?

It is your responsibility as the employer to fund the apprenticeship. There are a few ways this can be done depending upon your organisation specifics.

Non-levy paying employer-You will pay 5% towards the training costs and the government will pay the remaining 95% directly to the training provider.

Levy paying employer- If you contribute to a levy, you will use the money in the levy pot to pay for the apprenticeship. However, the government will also give you 10% funds to spend on apprenticeships.

There is also further funding available dependent upon the apprenticeship which you can view if you are eligible on the GOV.UK website.

What is a Digital Apprenticeships Service (DAS) account?

Before your apprentices start on programme, you will be required to sign up (if you do not have an account already) for the Digital Apprenticeship Service. This is a service established by the government for employers to manage their apprentices and the payments to the Training Provider. It will display your apprentice's status and provides you with the ability to pause or stop payments for an apprentice if they interrupt their studies or withdraw from the apprenticeship. This means the money will not be taken out of your levy pot.

There are many videos available to talk you through establishing the account and adding apprentices if you need some support. 

What do I need to pay an apprentice?

It is up to each employer what you would like to pay your apprentice. However, you must ensure that your pay is in line with the government apprentice minimum wage requirements, which are outlined on the GOV.UK website.

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

The list below provides you with a few ideas for where you can advertise your apprenticeship opportunities externally. However, this list is not limited and there are other places you can utilise.

  • GOV.UK
  • UCAS
  • Job advertising websites such as Totaljobs and Indeed.

If you would like the University of Chester to help with advertising apprenticeships, please email and they can aide with posting ads to the UCAS website.

What do I need to offer in the workplace to support my apprentice?

For any apprenticeship role, you will need to provide an appropriate Workplace Mentor. They need to be able to support the apprentice with their development whilst they are studying and understand what is required from the apprenticeship. They will also need to attend the Tri-Partite Review meetings every 8 to 12 weeks which are organised by the Training Provider to support the apprentice.

You will also need to ensure that you are allowing the apprentice the opportunities to develop to meet the outlined knowledge, skills and behaviours. This can mean providing opportunities within the workplace if there are areas of the apprenticeship KSBs that do not usually encompass the apprentice’s daily responsibilities. Opportunities can include secondment, shadowing or observation.

What are Off the Job Hours and On the Job Hours?

Every apprentice is required to be given a set number of hours for them to be able to complete their apprenticeship. The minimum number of these hours is outlined on the Training Plan (a contract provided to you by the Training Provider at the beginning of the apprenticeship).

This will mean that the apprentice can attend lectures, write their assignment and do additional reading and work for their qualification. But the Off the Job time also encompasses opportunities you provide the learner to attempt any new learning that they have not done previously which is related to the apprenticeships KSBs. These would be classed as on the job training, through shadowing, attending meetings they do not normally attend, being part of a project group, or being given additional responsibilities to support their development.  All of these, and what an apprentice does in their normal daily duties, can be classed as on-the-job training and will be recorded by the apprentice over the duration of the programme.

What’s an Apprenticeship Agreement?

At the beginning of the apprenticeship, you will be asked to provide a signed Apprenticeship Agreement to your Training Provider. This is a document that outlines that you agree to support the apprentice throughout their training. This is only between you and the apprentice, but the Training Provider will need to see a copy of this fully signed contract for the apprentice to be able to start on programme.

There is a template provided on the GOV.UK website that you can utilise if your organisation does not already have one.

What is an End Point Assessment (EPA)?

After your apprentice has completed their qualification, they will then need to complete their EPA. This assesses the knowledge, skills and behaviours specifically to ensure that they have developed enough to appropriately perform their desired job role. This can mean they need to do further work on a portfolio of evidence, preparing for a professional discussion or a workplace observation. You will still need to provide Off the Job time for the apprentice to complete their EPA.

The apprenticeship is not deemed complete until the apprentice has attempted their EPA. Once they have successfully passed, they will receive a certificate to note that they have then completed their apprenticeship.

What support is available?

As an employer, we want to ensure you feel supported. Therefore, the university can help you with events or sessions that you would like to host to educate your staff on apprenticeships. Please contact if you are interested in this and would like some further information.

Throughout the duration of the apprenticeship, we offer one to one meeting with our Employer Engagement Team to discuss apprentice progression, opportunities and a space to provide the University with any feedback.

Every three months, we also hold an Employer Liaison Group (some in person and others via Teams) that employers can attend. This will also provide you with the opportunity to network and make connections with other organisations that are involved in apprenticeships.