We understand it’s can be a tricky decision to take on an Apprentice – Here’s the top 5 most common questions we’re asked, feel free to call our team if you have any questions we don’t cover here.


Q1. Do I have to pay for the Apprenticeship training?

A1. If you are an employer with a wage bill of over £3million per year then you will pay the Apprenticeship Levy. Apprenticeship training will be paid for via your Apprenticeship “levy pot” this includes new Apprentices to the organisation as well as training for existing staff which is completed via the Apprenticeship pathway. If you do not pay the levy then the government will fund 95% of the training costs and 5% will be paid by you. If however your Apprentice is aged 16-18 when they start the government will cover 100% of the training costs.


Q2. How much do I have to pay my Apprentice?

A2. The minimum hourly rate for an Apprentice is currently £4.15 per hour (increasing to £4.30 from 01/04/2021). Apprentices who are aged over 19 and who have completed one year of an Apprenticeship already must be paid at the NMW for their age. The minimum is set by the government so you can pay more than this if you wish.


Q3. How long does the Apprenticeship last?

A3. The minimum duration of an Apprenticeship is 12 months, plus the end point assessment, however this can be longer depending on the level of the programme. All Apprentices must spend 20% of their contractual hours “off the job”. There are different delivery models available and this will be discussed with you – one day per week as a “study day” is a typical example.


Q4. Are there any financial incentives available for taking on an Apprentice?

A4. Yes, if you take on an Apprentice aged 16-18 or if they are aged 19-25 with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) or have recently left Care you will be eligible to receive an incentive of £1,000. This is paid in two amounts – 50% 90 days from the start of the programme and then the remaining 50% after 365 days. During the Covid-19 outbreak the government introduced additional financial incentives for employers – £2,000 for Apprentices aged 16-24 and £1,500 for those aged over 25 at the moment these additional incentives are only available until the end of March – so if you are thinking of taking on an Apprentice now is the time!


Q5. I haven’t taken on an Apprentice before, what do I need to do?

A5. Southend Adult Community College will be there to support you from the very first stage of the process. We offer a FREE recruitment and matching service to identify suitable candidates for you to shortlist and interview. Once they start we have a wealth of occupationally competent staff to support you and your Apprentice throughout the programme. Our curriculum teams will be in regular contact to review progress and make sure your Apprentice is on track for a successful completion.

To find out more about Apprenticeships contact us on 01702 445700 or email: JuliaWalker@southend-adult.ac.uk