​Your questions answered

What are Apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship is a training development programme tied to a job role. It allows the apprentice to gain technical and functional knowledge, and real practical experience, required for their immediate job. On completion of the apprenticeship the apprentice must be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the role, confidently and competently to the standard set by the industry.

What are the benefits for my business?

Apprenticeships have been designed by industry experts (Sector Skills Councils) to ensure candidates receive relevant practical and knowledge training that is focused on making your new/existing employee as competent as possible within their role in a relatively short amount of time. 96% of employers who have taken on an apprentice have reported benefits to their business. 82% of businesses report improved productivity and employee satisfaction as a result of employing an Apprentice and offering further qualifications to their workforce*.

Is there a cost involved?

Apprentices need to have a contract of employment and have the same rights as any other employee. As such they will also need to be paid a wage like other employees. The cost for the Apprenticeship training would usually cost anything from £5000-£27,000. However, the government executive agency (Skills Funding Agency) will fully fund the cost of training a 16-18 year old apprentice, and part fund any apprentices aged 19 or over.

How much should I pay an Apprentice?

The more you are prepared to pay, the higher the calibre of candidate you will attract and the more likely they will be to stay with you. On average, apprentices earn £170 net pay per week*, however, the Apprentice National Minimum Wage for those on an intermediate or advanced level apprenticeship currently stands at £3.70 per hour for 16 to 18 year olds and those aged 19 and over in the first year of their programme. For apprentices aged 19 or over, who have completed the first year of their programme, the full National Minimum Wage for their age applies. The Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage rate does not apply to Higher Apprenticeships.

What are my responsibilities as the employer?

Apprentices must be issued with a contract of employment for a minimum of 30 hours per week (including time spent at College). Employers must also be covered by valid Employers Liability insurance. Apprentices cannot be self-employed. Apprentices may not necessarily have the experience or skills required when they first start the programme and will need to be supported in their new role and given the correct responsibilities to complete their programme. They must also be given time to complete their work and to come to the college when required.

Is there a financial incentive for SMEs?

Yes. Businesses with less than 50 employees, will be fully funded if they employ an apprentice who is aged 16-18.

Also, the employer will receive a payment towards the additional cost associated with training if, at the start of the apprenticeship, the apprentice is:

-       Aged between 16 and 18 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August); or

-       Aged between 19 and 24 years old and has either an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority or has been in the care of their local authority.

Can an existing employee undertake an apprenticeship?

Yes, Apprenticeships are a great way to reward existing staff members who would benefit from a structured training programme.

How long do apprenticeships last?

The duration of an apprenticeship depends on several factors including the subject, the level undertaken and the apprentice’s existing skills and qualifications. They can take between one and four years to complete.

How much time will my apprentice spend at college?

This varies depending on the framework, however an apprentice would typically spend one day a week in college and the rest of the time would be spent in the workplace. Some of our frameworks are conducted fully in the workplace.

Is there a maximum number of apprentices I can employ?

No, you can employ as many apprentices as you need.

How can I find the right candidate?

Croydon College’s Apprenticeship Hub offers a full and comprehensive recruitment service free of charge. Your vacancy will advertised on various recruitment sites, including the National Apprenticeship Service, Universal Job Match and the College website. The Apprenticeship Hub ensures all potential candidates are fully vetted and shortlisted for you to then decide who you would like to interview.

If you would like to recruit an apprentice please complete our online vacancy form.

Once submitted we will give you a call to go through the next steps you are happy as clear about us advertising your position.


*National Apprenticeship Service, 2014

Contact us

If you are an employer interested in taking on an apprentice please contact our Apprenticeship Hub:

Tel: 0800 652 0784

You are also welcome to drop into the College Apprenticeship Hub to the right of the main College entrance. It's open Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm.



Further information for employers from the National Apprenticeship Service: