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Apprenticeship FAQs

For any information email us at support@ior.org or call 0871 288 2108

What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you’ll:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.


Apprenticeships are perfect for:

  1. People moving into their your first job
  2. People who have been promoted into a new role that requires you to take on new responsibilities and exercise new skills and abilities.
  3. People who changing career.


You are never too old for an apprenticeship:

There's no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice, although arrangements for funding are different if you are over 24 years of age.

Take a look at the story of 67-year-old apprentice Robert Brown if you need further proof...

Can the BIoR find you an apprentice?

Yes.  The BIoR’s Business School is a government registered training provider and can register your apprenticeship vacancy on the government’s ‘Recruit an apprentice’ website. This service is for registered training providers (including large employers with direct grant funding) to post vacancies and manage applications for apprenticeships and traineeships.

How much should employers pay apprentices?

You must pay apprentices at least the minimum wage rate.

Can I get a grant if I employ an apprentice?

Yes you can get a £1,000 apprenticeship grant if:

  • you have less than 50 employees
  • your apprentice is aged 16 to 18

You can claim support for up to 5 apprentices.

How long do apprenticeships last?

Apprenticeships can last from 1 to 5 years, depending on the level of qualification the apprentice is studying for.

How soon can it start?

Anytime.  An Apprenticeship is a job like any other and you can begin one at any time of the year.  The employer, apprentice and BIoR agree on a start date suitable to all parties.

How does an employer support the apprentice?

Employers must:

  • provide experienced staff for the apprentice to work with
  • support them in learning job-specific skills
  • allow apprentices to study with the BIoR for their work-based qualification during their working week

What apprenticeship levels are there?

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels.

Name                    Level                   Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 GCSE passes at grades A* to C
Advanced 3 2 A Level passes
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation Degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree


What training is involved?

Most of the training is on-the-job at an employer’s premises, working with a mentor to learn job-specific skills in the workplace.  Apprentices will be assessed monthly to monitor their progress.

What is the apprenticeship levy?

The apprenticeship levy is part of the Government’s plan to increase apprenticeships and is a new tax which aims to fund 3 million new apprenticeships in England by 2020. The Government’s aim is that the new levy should help to improve both the quantity and the quality of apprenticeships and will come in to effect in April 2017.

Who will pay the levy?

The apprenticeship levy only applies to employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, they will start paying the levy in May 2017.

Each month, you must:

  • let HMRC know whether you need to pay the apprenticeship levy
  • include the levy you need to pay in your usual PAYE payment to HMRC – you should do this by 19 (or 22 if you report electronically) of the following month

Any apprenticeship levy payment to HMRC will be allowable for Corporation Tax.

How do I calculate how much levy I pay?

To calculate how much levy, you will pay, follow these steps:

1) Work out what your total pay bill is.

Your pay bill is made up of the total amount of your employees’ earnings that are subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions. Employees’ earnings include any money they make from employment, such as:

  • wages
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • pension contributions

We will not charge the levy on other payments to employees, such as benefits in kind.

2) Work out what 0.5% of your total pay bill is.

3) Subtract the £15,000 allowance.

An employer with an annual pay bill of £5,000,000 will need to spend £10,000 on the levy:

  • Levy sum: 0.5% x £5,000,000 = £25,000
  • Subtracting levy allowance: £25,000 - £15,000 = £10,000 annual levy payment.


Who can apply

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:

  • 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education