Employer FAQs

Nurturing Apprentices, Shaping Futures

Employer FAQs

What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes for people 16+ that utilise a blend of on and off-the-job training to give your workforce all the key knowledge, skills and behaviours they need, accompanied with a nationally recognised qualification.

Apprenticeships aren’t only for your new members of staff to develop, they can range from entry-level to degree-level and are an effective way to upskill your experienced staff while causing minimal disruption to your business.

Apprenticeships can be tailored to your business needs; upon the start of the apprenticeship, we will discuss the training programme with you and complete an organisation needs analysis; we also offer a free recruitment service where we will advertise your vacancies to assist you in finding the best Apprentice for your organisation.

How can an apprenticeship help my business?

Apprenticeships help your business in numerous ways:


Developing your workforce – Apprenticeships are an amazing way to develop your workforce and increase their skillset to reduce skill gaps in your business.

Increased Productivity/Profitability – A result of utilising apprenticeships to develop your workforce is increased productivity and profitability due to having a more qualified team.

Funding & Grants – Due to apprenticeships being a point of interest for the Government we can help you access the various funding & grants available to you for employing an apprentice.

Reduced Training Costs – Apprenticeships are a cost-efficient way to develop your workforce and save on training costs.

Staff Retention – Apprenticeships can lead to an increase in staff retention due to the opportunities for career development within your business.

What Funding Incentives are there for employers?

The funding opportunities depend on whether you pay the Apprenticeship Levy. You must pay the Apprenticeship Levy if the annual salary of your business is over £3 million; you will pay 0.5% of your salary, excluding a £15,000 allowance, into your levy fund.

If you don’t pay the Apprenticeship Levy

If you don’t pay the Apprenticeship Levy you pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice and the government will pay the other 95% (up to the funding band maximum).

If you pay the Apprenticeship Levy

If you pay the Apprenticeship Levy the funds you pay will go into your apprenticeship service account, where you can spend the funds on training and assessing apprentices. Additionally, the government will apply a 10% top up to the funds you have in your account.

Additional Help

You can get up to £1,000 to support your apprentice in the workplace if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Are 16-18 years old
  • Are 19-24 years old with an education, health and care plan
  • Are 19-24 years old and were in care.

If your apprentice is eligible we (your training provider) will give you the payment in 2 instalments of £500, the first after 90 days and the second after a year.

For further information visit our Funding page or get in touch with a member of our Apprenticeship team at 0121 515 4229.

How much do I have to pay an apprentice?

You must pay your Apprentices at least the National Apprentice Minimum Wage, some employers pay normal working wages but it is up to the employer to decide.

*Table accurate as of June 2024

Age & Apprenticeship Stage Minimum Wage (per hour)
Under 18 £6.40
Aged 19 or over and in their first year £6.40
Aged 18-20 £8.60
Aged 21 and over £11.44

What are the levels of an apprenticeship?

Name Level Education Equivalent
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C or 9 to 4 in the new grading system
Advanced 3 2 A level passes
Higher 4,5,6,7 From Foundation Degree to a Master’s Degree

Is there a maximum age for an apprentice?

No, there isn’t an age limit for apprenticeships; anyone over the age of 16 can become an apprentice.

Can a graduate do an apprenticeship?

Yes, graduates are eligible to do an apprenticeship as long as they are learning new skills, a level 6 apprenticeship is equivalent to a degree so a degree graduate can do a Level 7 apprenticeship or alternatively do a lower-level apprenticeship in a different field; for example an english graduate would be eligible to do a level 3 apprenticeship in accounting but an accounting graduate would not be able to do so.

Can people I currently employ do an apprenticeship?

Yes, people that you already employ can do an apprenticeship within your business, acting as a cost-effective way to upskill your staff or teach them skills for a new role.

How does 'off-the-job' training work?

Apprentices must have 20% of a 30-hour work week allocated to their ‘off-the-job’ training, this can come in the form of self-learning or a session with their tutor.

How many hours a week does an apprentice need to work?

The government guidelines state that an apprentice should work a minimum of 30 hours or they would be classed as a ‘part-time apprentice’ which would require them to complete their Apprenticeship over a longer period.

These hours would include the time spent training and should be set out within the apprentices contract.

Why employ an apprentice?

Employing an apprentice is an affordable way to instigate growth within your business by gaining fresh talent with a new perspective on things as well as helping you fill any skill gaps within your business.

Employing an existing member of your team as an apprentice is also a great way to upskill your team and develop them further leading to increased productivity and staff retention.

As an Employer what are my responsibilities?

As an employer of an apprentice, you must ensure that the job available is genuine with a contract of employment long enough for them to complete their Apprenticeship.

Furthermore, you must pay the apprentice within the apprenticeship guidelines and the job role in which they are carrying out must help them in gaining all the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to achieve their apprenticeship. You must also ensure that your apprentice spends at least 20% of their time carrying out ‘off-the-job’ training and be present for assessor visits and progress reviews.

What happens at the end of an apprenticeship?

At the end of the apprenticeship, you can decide to employ the apprentice full-time, but it is not mandatory for you to offer a full-time position or for the apprentice to accept the offer.

This doesn’t have to be the end of the apprentice’s journey either, you can keep the apprentice on and have them complete another higher-level apprenticeship than the one they have done previously.

Keep up to date with us

Let us keep you updated with the latest Nishkam Apprenticeship news and exciting opportunities.

Working together to harness the infinite potential of individuals and organisations.

Visit Us

Nishkam Centre

6 Soho Rd, Handsworth

Birmingham B21 9BH

Contact us

+44 (0) 121 515 4229


Available Hours

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Sat: Closed

Sun: Closed