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For Employers

What employers need to know

Employer’s Handbook

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying skills development programme.

Apprentices on programmes are supported to achieve the criteria set out in each apprenticeship ‘standard’.

Apprenticeship standards have been written by employers for the benefit of other employers and high quality apprenticeships ensure that the agreed knowledge skills and behaviours needed for occupational competency are taught and developed throughout the duration of the programme.

Apprenticeships are a great way for individuals to earn while they learn, gaining both valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role.

The apprentice gains this through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment.

Apprenticeships have many benefits for employers and individuals, and proven to boost both the hard and soft skills of the workforce help to improve overall effectiveness and outcomes for all.

How do they work?

Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their time on ‘off-the-job training.’ This means developing new knowledge, skills and behaviours – it does not mean they need to spend one day per week ‘off the job’.

It is up to the employer and training provider to decide how the off-the-job training is delivered. With Ebor Academy Trust as your Training Provider, apprentices will need one half day per week off the job in order to attend ‘live’ workshops, complete directed learning activities and build a portfolio of evidence.

We then ask that apprentices have flexible opportunities provided throughout each week/their programme to further develop and both trial and apply new knowledge and skills.

Apprentices completing mandatory training as well accessing in school CPD opportunities ensures the minimum 20% requirement for ‘off the job’ is more than met.

We will work with you and your setting to plan off the job training that works for all.

Ideally Apprentices will already have the required L2 qualifications in both English and Maths. If not support can be provided, but additional time during working hours may need to be allocated for this.

Work on-the-job, (often referred to as on-the-job training) ensures an apprentice develops both the hard and soft sector specific skills for the workplace.

Once an apprentice reaches the end of their apprenticeship they will be able to demonstrate that they can perform tasks confidently and competently to the standard +required and they will be assessed against the set criteria by an independent ‘end point’ assessment organisation.

The Apprenticeship Service

The apprenticeship service on GOV.UK provides employers with further information and tools to plan, manage and control apprenticeships and account funds.

The apprenticeship service is made up of the following:

  • ‘Estimate My Apprenticeship Funding’ – this allows employers to calculate whether they will pay the apprenticeship levy or not, and how much they will have available to spend on apprenticeships. It also shows all employers how much the government will contribute towards the cost of training.
  • Find Apprenticeship Training – which gives employers easy-to-digest information on the choices available to them. Employers can easily search for and find a standard and training provider, and compare one provider with another.
  • Recruit an Apprentice is a new platform through which training providers can post vacancies and manage applications for apprenticeships and traineeships. This will be opened up to employers at a later date.
  • Find an Apprenticeship and Find a Traineeship are the recruitment sites that enable employers to advertise their vacancies for free and find candidates who match their criteria.
  • Manage Apprenticeships allows registered levy-paying employers to view their account balance, manage their apprentices and approve funds to pay for their apprenticeship training.

Employer responsibilities

There must be a genuine job available with a contract of employment long enough for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship and end point assessment.

Employers must pay an apprentice’s wages and the role must help them gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to achieve the apprenticeship and the level occupational competence required.

Employers can select a training provider from the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (Ebor Academy Trust is an approved Training Provider). The cost of apprenticeship training and assessment is paid through the apprenticeship levy for the vast majority of employers.

This cost includes that of the end-point assessment organisation who independently assess learners at the end of the programme.

What employers have to do:

  • Sign a written agreement which acts as a contract for the services we provide and the release and use of levy funds.
  • Sign an Apprenticeship Agreement with their apprentice, in which the duration of the apprenticeship including end point assessment and time learning on programme is agreed.
  • Sign an individualised Training Plan, agreed between employer, apprentice and training provider which sets out the training and development plan, duration and cost of the programme.

Levy paying employers will also need to set up and register learners on the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) (support will be provided).

The role of the employer

If you decide to employ an Apprentice or upskill an existing member of staff through apprenticeship training, it means you have committed to investing in an individual’s professional development for the benefit of them, but also that of your school or setting as well as the children they serve.

This commitment involves you providing a combination of both practical on the job learning opportunities with off the job learning/development/study time.

As an apprentice, learners will spend the majority of their time ‘on the job,’ gaining valuable skills and knowledge in your workplace.

It is essential that employers understand their role in apprenticeship delivery and work in partnership with training providers to ensure an apprentice can:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • be given time for development and study related to their role (this is called ‘off the job training)’ and should be equivalent to 20% of an apprentices contracted hours)
  • be allocated a work based mentor to support them in their role.

The benefits of both on the job learning and off the job training/development time are crucial to the success of the apprenticeship and to successful outcomes for both apprentices and employers.

‘Off the job learning’ explained

Off-the-job training involves and includes any learning relevant to the apprenticeship standards, but it must take place within the apprentice’s contracted working hours.

It can include:

  • Teaching of theory – attending Training Provider workshops
  • Research
  • Time spent evaluating and reflecting on practice
  • In school training eg. School based CPD, staff meetings or other development opportunities, including learning how to use new equipment or technologies
  • Shadowing/working alongside others gaining new knowledge, skills and behaviours
  • Being coached/mentored
  • Professional discussions
  • Simulated exercises and role play
  • Practical training eg. working with an expert
  • Online learning, eg. webinars, masterclasses
  • Visiting other schools or settings, including internal departments to observe practice/learn.

Apprenticeships are about upskilling an individual, and reaching occupational competency takes time. Whilst managing off the job learning can sometimes present some challenges, many employers and apprentices praise the positive effect off-the-job training has on long term productivity, motivation, engagement and outcomes.

We are happy to work with employers where necessary to identify off the job learning arrangements that best suit you, your apprentice and your setting.


Our apprenticeship programme was awarded “Good” in all areas by Ofsted in Autumn 2022. Inspectors said Ebor programmes helped apprentices “develop significant and relevant new skills, knowledge and behaviours” and that they feel valued and listened to and grow in confidence and resilience to carry out their roles.

“Trainers, who are well qualified and highly experienced in the sector deliver lessons that are interesting and thought provoking,” they said.

Ofsted noted that over half of the apprentices who completed their programme with Ebor achieved a distinction grade in their end-point assessment.

To get things moving: email Sue Hinchcliffe

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