How to get started with your apprenticeship programme

January 11, 2023

If you’re considering an apprenticeship programme, you’ve come to the right place.

Apprenticeships offer a variety of benefits to people throughout their career. By offering an apprenticeship programme, you will be teaching your employees new skills, providing opportunities for your staff to take on more responsibility, and in the long run enable them to support the success of your business.

Apprenticeships teach people skills directly related to their role. These skills are often transferable, making the apprentice a valuable, versatile employee that could help in different areas of the business. A newly qualified apprentice could share their newly learned knowledge with other team members so more people are upskilled, for example. Investing in your staff will also help you attract and retain the best people.  

Here is some guidance on how to get started with an apprenticeship programme.

Table of Contents

Getting started

To get started you will need to create a Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account. You need this to be eligible to receive any funding for the training. The DAS account also provides employers access to new apprenticeship standards and training providers all through an online service account.

You’ll also have to work with an external training provider to facilitate the programme, and with the right provider it will be a positive and productive experience.


Where to look for an apprenticeship training provider

The government provides a comprehensive list of apprenticeship training options. On top of that, you can also find a register of apprentice training providers (ROATP) who are eligible to receive government funding to train apprentices.

It helps to have a provider that has experience in your industry so you’re confident they understand the particular pain points in your company that can be addressed with apprenticeship training.


What to look for in a training provider

You want your apprenticeship provider to be passionate about providing customised training courses catered to fit your needs. No matter what you’re trying to achieve, a good training provider should develop a solution unique to your business and the goals you want to meet. Ideally, your provider will design a plan that accommodates different methods of delivery to make it easier for your employees to dedicate their time to off-the-job training. And of course, they should have coaches that are highly trained experts on their chosen topic of instruction.

The Education and Skills Partnership is an OFSTED Rated GOOD Apprenticeship Training Provider, which provides a range of high-quality training and apprenticeships across sectors. Get in touch with us to get started on an apprenticeship training plan.


What are your funding options?

You can apply for funding through your DAS account. The cost of apprenticeship training will depend on the type of programme and funding band you are in. If your company has a payroll of more than £3 million, the apprenticeship levy provides the funds to cover apprenticeship training expenses.

If you don’t meet the payroll threshold and don’t pay the apprenticeship levy, you will pay 5% of total training costs, invoiced through your training provider, and the government will pay the remaining amount. If your company has less than 50 employees, you can get full training costs funded for young apprentices.


How to recruit and select an apprentice

You can recruit for a new apprentice or put one of your existing staff on the programme. There are different levels of apprenticeship courses, so you will need to work with your staff member and training provider to identify the right one.

If you are recruiting, you can create an advert yourself to post on the government’s website. However, if you’re working with a training provider, they’ll often have a recruitment service available to you. Remember that you are recruiting an employee first and foremost, so the person has to fit your company and job specification.

Once you’ve found an apprentice, you will need an apprenticeship agreement. The agreement is different to your employment contract and needs to be signed by the employer, the apprentice, and the training provider as a commitment by all to fulfil the apprenticeship programme. It will include apprenticeship dates, obligations, apprenticeship programme details, payment schedule and other terms and conditions.


What happens if an apprentice doesn’t work out?

No matter the reasoning, an apprentice is allowed to leave the programme at any point. They must abide by the notice period outlined in their employment contract, but they are well within their right to do so. It’s trickier if you, as the employer, wish to end the apprenticeship early and the outcome will depend on what is in your apprenticeship agreement. If your apprentice is looking to end, change or transfer their programme, you will need to liaise with your training provider.


It’s important to note that funding for your apprenticeship programme will stop upon the loss of your apprentice.


Ensuring success

After investing time and money in your apprenticeship programme, you will want to ensure it’s successful. One of the best ways to do that is to foster an environment that is supportive of the programme and apprentices. A line manager has an important role to play and should work with their apprentice to ensure they have the right support for their off-the-job training, as well as their on-the-job learning. This can be a real pain point for employees and their line managers and getting this right is crucial. Of course, senior managers should also actively support an apprenticeship programme to ensure its success.

Managing an apprenticeship programme might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you take care of the upfront administrative work and find a training provider to partner with, it will become clear that apprenticeship programmes are well worth the work.


Support for employers

Whether you’re looking to upskill your workforce, need support delivering your curriculum, or are struggling to embed internal learning, The Education and Skills Partnership will tailor a solution with your goals in mind.

We believe that placing learning at the heart of a talent attraction and retention strategy is the best way to meet your goals. Through a combination of high level occupational experience and excellent coaching skills, we have the expertise to deliver a high quality, bespoke training solution for you.


To develop your talent pipeline, bridge skill gaps, and benefit from the hands-on nature of apprenticeship training, get in touch with The Education and Skills Partnership.


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