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What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes for new or current employees aged 16 or over. They combine working with studying for a work-based qualification (from GCSEs or equivalent up to degree level) and can last 1 – 4 years depending on the qualification level.

They deliver real benefits to businesses including:

  • increased profitability
  • a more talented and diverse workforce
  • cost effective recruitment and induction

Apprentices work for at least 30 paid hours (16 hours minimum) which includes working with experienced staff and studying for a work-based qualification at a college or training organisation.

They are paid at least the minimum wage during their placement with Grants or funding available for those employed in England. They also get the same benefits as other members of staff e.g. holiday, sick pay, pension etc.

Apprentices cannot normally be made redundant simply because you have a contract to train them. Legal advice should be taken if you have to make an apprentice redundant or want to end the apprenticeship early for another reason.

Traineeships are aimed at preparing 16-24 year-olds for an apprenticeship. They comprise of English, Maths, work preparation skills and 100 hours of work placement with all training costs met by government funding.