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Apprenticeship FAQs

For any information email us at support@ior.org or call 0161 232 0991

What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. An apprenticeship is a way for people of any age (16+ with no upper age limit) to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future. Hiring apprentices or putting existing staff on apprenticeship training programs help businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Please note that to register your interest in becoming an Apprentice you must be an English Citizen or have the right to remain in the UK.

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 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 your apprentice is aged 16 to 18 and you are a Levy Payer or an SME with less than 50 Employees.  There are no restrictions on the number of incentive payments that can be claimed for 16-18 apprentices.  Fill in the enquiry form or contact the National Apprenticeship Service to check you’re eligible and apply.


Where is the grant (employer incentive) deposited and what can it be used for?

The employer incentive grant is paid directly to the BIoR and the BIoR will issue the grant incentive directly to the employer.

Funds are released in staggered payment:

  • £500 – within 120 days of Apprentices starting the program
  • £500 – released  upon completion of the course (365 days)

This grant can be used however the employer wishes.

How long do apprenticeships last?

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


Do I need to be employed full time?

You will need to be employed for a minimum of 16 hours per week.


Can the BIoR offer End Point Assessment EPA?

Yes. The British Institute of Recruiters offers the leading End Point Assessment EPA service for Recruitment Apprenticeships.

Click here for more information on End Point Assessment EPA service for Recruitment Apprenticeships.

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?

Vocational qualifications (NVQs), Technical Certificates, on-the-job training, Functional Skills (English and Maths).

Most of the training is on-the-job at the employer’s premises, working with a mentor to learn job-specific skills in the workplace.  The Apprentice will be required to spend 20% of their working week carrying out off-the-job-training.  Apprentices will be supported monthly by a qualified Tutor and then assessed towards the end of the qualification by an Independent End Point Assessor.


What activities can be used to meet the 20% off-the-job-requirement?

Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties.

The off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework or standard and could include the following:

  • The teaching of theory (for example lectures, role-playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training)
  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions
  • Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments

Off-the-job training does not include:

  • English and maths (up to level 2) which is funded separately
  • Progress reviews or on-programme assessment needed for an apprenticeship framework or standard
  • Training which takes place outside the apprentice’s paid working hours.

See the Department for Education Off the Job Training guide here.

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 ½% 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: ½% x £5,000,000 = £25,000
  • Subtracting levy allowance: £25,000 - £15,000 = £10,000 annual levy payment.


Levy Expiration

Funds that you don’t use will expire 24 months after they enter your account. Whenever a payment for training is taken from your account, the service always uses the funds that entered your account first. Your apprenticeship service account will let you know when funds are due to expire.


What if I do not qualify to pay the levy?

If you do not have a pay bill over £3 million, you won’t need to use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until at least 2018.  The Government will ask you to make a 10% contribution to the cost of the apprenticeship training and the government will pay the rest (90%), up to the maximum amount of government funding available for that apprenticeship. The Government asks you to pay this directly to the BIoR Business School before commencing the apprenticeship.


Who can apply for an Apprenticeship?

You can apply for an apprenticeship if you are:

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


Employers are automatically awarded the IOR’s Excellence in Developing People Award

This award is issued annually to companies that take on apprentices and keep them on program to its full completion.

It denotes that you are professionally supporting the development of your staff and currently have a staff member on an apprenticeship programme or IOR recognised training course.  In addition to the certificate, you will also receive a prestigious logo for your website and email signature, and be featured on the IOR’s roll of honour on its website.


Support we provide for apprentices including identification of their needs 

All apprentices will become individual members of The British Institute of Recruiters (BIoR) earning the letters mBIoR Cert PRP (for example) after their name upon competition of the apprenticeship.

Apprentices also get access to StudyCourse, the BIoR’s online learning platform, where they can access learning materials to fill their skills gaps and interact with tutors and mentors from within the recruitment industry, all working with the BIoR.

Apprentices will also receive free invites to industry events, ask the expert services and general support on all recruitment matters via the BIoR’s member helpline.  Apprentices receive a free subscription to the Recruiting Times Magazine, weekly and full of helpful articles and information about recruitment.

Apprentices also receive access to free tutorials running on StudyCourse which they can access along with peer to peer forums online.


BIoR Business School is a Key Provider to employers

The BIoR Business School can become the key provider and support the management of other apprenticeship providers if the employer wants to engage a variety of providers for other apprenticeships such as social media, finance etc. For more information on Apprenticeships contact the BIoR on:

0161 232 0991 or email support@ior.org