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For Employers

What employers need to know

What is an apprenticeship?

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

Apprentices on programme are supported to achieve the criteria set out in each apprenticeship standard. Apprenticeship standards have been written by employers for employers and quality apprenticeship programmes ensure that the knowledge skills and behaviours needed for occupational competency are taught and developed.

Apprenticeships are a 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 benefit employers and individuals, and by boosting both the hard and soft skills of the workforce help to improve overall effectiveness and outcomes.

How do they work?

Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their time on ‘off-the-job training,’ however, this 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 to attend up to 16 organised training days or workshops over an 18-month duration.

We also ask that our apprentices receive dedicated time to complete directed activities, but as long as apprentices are receiving these and opportunities to develop new knowledge skills and behaviours directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard, this can be within the workplace and delivered flexibly. We will work with you and your setting to plan off the job training that works for all.

If an apprentice needs training and qualifications in English and Maths they will need additional time allocated for this.

Work on-the-job, (often referred to as on-the-job training) ensures an apprentice develops the specific skills for the workplace and provides opportunities for the apprentice to practice and apply new knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Once an apprentice reaches the end of their apprenticeship they should be able to demonstrate that they can perform tasks confidently and competently to the standard and 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 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 gives employers easy-to-digest information on the choices available to them. They 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. 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 occupational competence.

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 services we provide and the use of levy funds.
  • Sign an Apprenticeship Agreement with their apprentice, in which the duration of the apprenticeship and learning on programme is agreed.
  • Sign a Commitment Statement, between employer, apprentice and training provider, (committing to the individual learners plan for development).

Levy paying employers will also need to set up and register learners on the digital Apprenticeship Service (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 an apprentice, learners will spend the majority of their time ‘on the job,’ gaining valuable skills and knowledge in your workplace.

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

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/workshops
  • Distance Learning
  • Research
  • Time spent writing assessments/assignments
  • 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 mentored
  • Simulated exercises and role play
  • Practical training eg. working with an expert
  • Some online learning, eg. webinars or blended learning
  • Visiting other schools/settings to observe practice/learning.

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

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 fast growing apprenticeship programme has been awarded Ofsted’s maximum ‘Significant Progress’ in all three judgement areas in its spring 2021 monitoring inspection – a rare achievement only shared by between five and ten per cent of training providers across the country.

Get things moving: email Sue Hinchcliffe

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