Employers and Apprenticeships

Grow Your Business with an Apprentice

Organisations across the country are discovering the benefits of the relationship between employers and apprenticeships. Whether you’re looking to upskill your existing staff, or recruit a new member of staff as an apprentice, we are able to help.

Apprenticeships allow you to develop a motivated, qualified and dedicated workforce. With a variety of programmes to choose from, we work with employers to decide which programmes will work best for you and your staff.

Apprenticeships aren’t just for school and college leavers, we work with lots of employers who use apprenticeships as a means to upskill their current workforce.


  • Tackle a skills shortage in your workforce
  • New ideas and ways of looking at things
  • Staff retention
  • Low cost
  • Increased productivity
  • Incentive payments
  • Training adapted for your organisation
  • Expand and upskill your workforce


WBTC offers a range of apprenticeships including:

  • Office – accounts and finance, business administration, customer service
  • Management – team leading/supervisor, operations and departmental management
  • Construction – carpentry, electrical installation, gas fitting, plumbing
  • Engineering – manufacturing, electrical, maintenance
  • IT and Telecoms
  • Logistics – warehousing and storage
  • Educationteaching assistant

Apprenticeships are available at a number of different levels, making them suitable for school leavers and university students alike. The flexibility of the programme levels allows organisations to ensure they can recruit an apprentice at the right level for their organisation.

  • Intermediate – equivalent to five good GCSE passes
  • Advanced – equivalent to two A-level passes
  • Higher – equivalent to the first stages of higher education, such as a foundation degree
  • Degree – comparable to a Bachelors or Masters degree

Watch our short video that explains the levy – https://youtu.be/wYraYdbV65s

Since it was introduced in 2017, the levy has helped over 475,000 people start their apprenticeship journey.

Some employers find the levy system a little confusing so we’re here to try and simplify it for you.

The levy is a tax that all businesses with a pay bill of over £3million pounds have had to pay since April 2018. These employers pay 0.5% of their total annual pay bill through the PAYE system.

If you’re part of a group or related to another organisation through your PAYE system there are different rules which can be found on the gov.uk website.

This tax then goes into the ‘levy pot’. This pot of money is then available for all employers to help support apprenticeship training.

Levy paying businesses can then register for an account on the gov.uk website to access their funds. In your account you will find the tax you have paid in that year plus a 10% contribution from the government. These funds will be available to you for 24 months and you can use them towards apprenticeship training and assessment costs (not wages and expenses).

This could be for newly employed apprentices or existing members of staff starting an apprenticeship…of any age.

If you’re not a levy-paying business, you won’t be paying the levy tax (as you have a pay bill of less than £3million). The government will fund 95% of the training and assessment costs for your apprentices and you will pay the remaining 5% (this is a minimum figure).

There are lots of useful resources on the apprenticeship website and gov.uk that can help with the next level of understanding.

If you are a non-levy paying organisation (with a pay bill of less than £3million), you will have to pay 5% (minimum) of the training costs for an apprentice. If you have less than 50 staff, the government will pay 100% of the cost. Find out more information here.

If you are a levy paying organisation, you will be paying towards a pot of money that will go towards your apprenticeship training costs. Find out more here.

Paying an apprentice

You are responsible for paying your apprentice for their normal working hours and any training they do as part of the apprenticeship.

You must pay them at least the National Minimum Wage depending on their age and the year of apprenticeship training they’re in.

The rates from April 2020 are:

Apprentice Under 19 19 to 20 21 to 24 25 and over
In 1st year £4.15 £4.15 £4.15 £4.15
Have completed 1st year £4.15 £6.45 £8.20 £8.72

These are a minimum and some employers choose to pay more.

The Apprenticeship Service is the government portal for employers to find, fund, and manage apprenticeship programmes.

It allows employers to:

  • Access apprenticeship levy funds and account balance
  • Find and manage training providers (such as WBTC)
  • Manage their apprenticeships
  • Manage apprentice recruitment

Find out more – https://www.wbtc-uk.com/using-the-apprenticeship-service/

Whether you’re looking to recruit a new member of staff, or would like to put an existing member of your team on an apprenticeship, the WBTC team are on-hand to help.

Watch our Q&A session that explains the apprenticeship recruitment process – https://youtu.be/yUCMTxB1pzI

Recruiting a new apprentice 

We will work with you to decide the best programme and level for your role. Once this is decided we use the gov.uk site to advertise vacancies, as well as our own website, social media, email marketing and more. We also actively promote apprenticeships to schools in the local areas and so often have a talent pool to select candidates from. Following the closing date for the role we review CVs and work with potential candidates on interview skills. The candidates that are passed to you for interview have been fully vetted by our team.

Putting an existing member of staff on an apprenticeship

If you are using an apprenticeship as a means to upskill an existing member of staff, the WBTC will support with the onboarding process to make sure they are on the right course and level for them and your organisation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government outlined plans to support organisations with the recruitment of new apprentices with cash incentives.

Find out more here and on the government website here.

Many people’s perceptions of apprenticeships are that they spend four days onsite in the office/workshop/warehouse ‘doing their job’ and one day at college on ‘day release’.

This is still true of some apprenticeships and training providers, however many of the programmes we deliver are more flexible than this.



During the apprenticeship, your apprentice will have the support of a Training Consultant from WBTC. We also require the apprentice to have a mentor inside your organisation to support their training journey.

There are quarterly reviews that you and your apprentice will attend with a member of the training team from WBTC. We use this as an opportunity to touch base and see how the apprenticeship is going for everyone. If there are any issues, we will be in contact as and when they arise.

The team at WBTC are always on-hand to answer any questions you might have during the advertising, recruitment, interview, on-boarding and training phases.


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