Apprenticeship Rules For Employers

Government rules and regulations around apprenticeships are constantly evolving and can be confusing for first time apprentice employers. To help you understand your commitments, we’ve broken the government’s guidance down into bitesize questions.

Who is eligible for an apprenticeship?

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their chosen hire is eligible to complete an apprenticeship. To qualify for government funding, your apprentice must be:

  • Aged 16 or over
  • Not in full-time education (or won’t be by the time they start their apprenticeship)
  • If your business is based in England, your apprentice must also live in England

How much should apprentices be paid?

By law, apprentices must be paid at least minimum wage. For FY20/21, this is £4.15 per hour for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. Following this, the apprentice must be paid minimum wage for their age bracket. In reality, employers will need to offer salaries upwards of £12,000 per annum to attract quality talent. A good training provider will be able to advise on an optimal starting salary for your role.

Do apprentices get paid for college days?

Apprentices are entitled to pay on college days too. Your apprentice is an employee of your company and so is entitled to the same rights as other team members. This includes pay to complete training required for their job.

Should an apprentice have a contract of employment?

As an employee, your apprentice should have an employment contract in place. The term of the contract must be long enough for the apprentice to complete their programme, including End Point Assessment (EPA). On top of this, you’ll need an apprenticeship agreement – a three-way contract between you, the apprentice and the training provider. You’ll also need to sign a commitment statement. This confirms your responsibility to give the apprentice time to complete their training, amounting to 20% of their contracted hours.

What should an apprentice do?

Apprentices must have responsibilities that give them the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills required for their apprenticeship. As part of their qualification, apprentices will need to provide a portfolio of work-based projects, so it’s important that they have plenty of opportunity to apply their learning.

Can apprenticeships be part time?

While most apprentices work full-time (30-40 hours per week), apprenticeships can also be part time. This is helpful for apprentices with caring responsibilities or other commitments outside of work. The exact hours will need to be worked out between you and your apprentice and must come to a minimum of 16 hours per week. The apprentice’s employment contract must also be extended to ensure they have enough time to complete their programme.

We hope this post has helped you understand your commitments as an apprentice employer. If you have any other questions, feel free to tweet us @diginativeuk or send an email to