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Apprenticeships explained

Offer someone a genuine apprenticeship and you'll enjoy support every step of the way.

What is an apprenticeship?

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

It is a way for individuals to earn while they learn, gaining valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role.


Why hire an apprentice?

Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way for you to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

Recent government reforms to the way apprenticeships are delivered and funded have created a wider range of high quality apprenticeships, more aligned to employers’ needs.


If your pay bill tops £3 million

If you’re an employer with a pay bill of over £3 million a year, you automatically pay the apprenticeship levy. Levy funds receive a monthly 10% government top up and cover the costs of your apprenticeship training.


Non-levy paying employers with 50 employees or more

If your pay bill is less than £3 million a year and you employ 50 or more people, the government will pay 95% of the training costs for any new apprentices you take on. 


If you have 49 employees or fewer

If your pay bill is less than £3 million a year and you employ 49 or fewer people, the government will pay:

  • 100% of the training costs for new 16-18 year-old apprentices 
  • 100% of the training costs for new 19-24 year-old apprentices who are Care Leavers or have an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • 95% of the training costs for all other new apprentices 

Also, you don’t need to pay National Insurance Contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 earning below the higher tax rate of £962 a week (£4,167 a month).


Creating a GOV.UK account to manage apprenticeship funding

To get funding to pay for apprenticeship training you must first create an apprenticeship account at GOV.UK.

You’ll use your account to:

  • Get apprenticeship funding
  • Find and save apprenticeships
  • Find, save and manage training providers
  • Add and manage apprenticeships
  • Apply for your incentive payment
Helping you create an account

Watch our guide to creating an account

Go to the GOV.UK account creation page


Supporting smaller employers to use the apprenticeship service

As detailed in the ESFA update, this summer, many smaller employers (annual pay bill of less than £3 million) will be using the apprenticeship service for the first time.

Please find below useful information to help you get started and benefit from a summer peak in interest from school and college leavers.

  • Create an apprenticeship service account. The time needed to set up an account varies depending on each employer’s situation. A support video is available to guide you here.
  • Reserve apprenticeship funds. It is essential that employers reserve funds through the apprenticeship service before training begins. Again, a support video provides a step-by-step guide. 
  • Advertise apprenticeship opportunities. A support video provides a step-by-step guide for recruiting an apprentice using the apprenticeship service and can be found here.


Why choose B&FC?

At B&FC our mission is simple: to support business growth and prosperity through high-quality apprenticeships. 

We benefit from a wealth of experience in this area and our expert apprenticeship advisers will work with you to identify and fulfil all your training needs. 

We do the hard work for you – matching the right apprentice to the right role.

Other great reasons to choose B&FC:

  • Responsiveness – we offer flexible delivery at a time and place to suit
  • Dual professional staff – our experienced tutors and assessors regularly spend time in industry to keep their expertise up-to-date 
  • Tailor-made – we customise course content to deliver the exact skills your organisation needs
  • High quality – we’re a Centre of Excellence for Project Management and our Degree qualifications are awarded by UK top 20 Lancaster University
  • Variety – access a wide range of apprenticeships, from entry to degree level
  • Industry-standard – training is to the best sector standard in cutting edge facilities 


Higher and degree apprenticeships

Now could be the perfect time to upskill – either for you or for members of your team.

At B&FC for Business, our wide range of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships assist with career progression by combining skilled on-the-job training with study towards a degree-level qualification.

Go straight to list of apprenticeships at B&FC.


Why choose a higher or degree apprenticeship?

  • provides a route into senior technical and professional employment 
  • co-created with industry to develop a highly relevant skillset 
  • available to anyone aged 18 to 80 
  • Apprenticeship Levy funding means no or little cost for your employer


How businesses benefit

  • Immediate impact on your bottom line 
    Higher and degree apprenticeships are built around the needs of your business to ensure your employees develop the skills to make an instant contribution 
  • Additional resource
    Since higher and degree apprentices are fully employed from day one, they can contribute to the productivity and performance of existing as well as new projects
  • Tailored to your individual needs
    We involve you in the curriculum design, which ensures that work undertaken during the apprenticeship will align with your individual business needs 
  • Improved staff retention
    The offer of employment leading to higher level qualifications will attract and retain good quality employees with the potential to progress within your business
  • Increased productivity
    Higher apprentices bring a fresh perspective and up-to-date knowledge and skills, all of which contribute to increased productivity.


What we offer

Choose from a wide range of higher and degree apprenticeships, including the highly popular Associate Project Manager – Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship and Project Management – Degree Apprenticeship.

We also offer the prestigious Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (with pathways in Digital Marketing, Financial Management, Human Resource Management and Leadership).


Traineeships: don’t forget about these too!

Traineeships offer young people the chance to gain employability skills via a 100-hour work placement.

Traineeships can be tailored to suit your company’s individual needs, providing extra support where it’s needed.

You will be supporting young people onto the career ladder while tapping into the fresh ideas and enthusiasm of a new generation. 

All traineeship costs are met by government funding and for every 16-18 year-old trainee you take on, you will receive a £1,000 government incentive payment.

If you decide to offer your trainee an apprenticeship, you will be eligible for the new government apprenticeship incentives (outlined above) as well.

For more information, read our Traineeships page.

Apprenticeship FAQs for Business

Want more information on the ins and outs of apprenticeships, just click on the link below to access answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.