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Information for Employers - Apprenticeships
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For employers apprenticeships allow you to bring new talent through the ranks and train your existing workforce with the skills they need to help your business succeed. Apprenticeships can also play a key role in the retention of employees as they are more likely to remain employed with the employer who invests in them.


What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships mix on-the-job training with classroom learning. An apprenticeship allows trainees to earn while they learn, as well as gaining a nationally recognised qualification.

Apprentices can be new starters, graduates, school or college leavers, or existing members of staff. Most of the training is on-the-job, and your apprentice will be supported by a training provider to undertake training that’s relevant and required to achieve the outcomes of the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships last between one to five years, depending on the level and type of role offered. 


What are the benefits to your organisation?

  • Better qualified staff
  • Improved motivation and loyalty leading to better customer outcomes
  • Higher skilled workforce with better technical skills
  • Support talent attraction/retention strategies
  • Reduce costs associated with recruitment
  • Improve productivity
  • Maximise your Apprenticeship Levy investment


How are apprenticeships funded?

From April 2017, businesses with an annual pay bill of £3m+ have to pay 0.5% of their wage bill (for their England based employees only)to the government through PAYE for an apprenticeship levy, regardless of whether they employ apprentices or not. Only employers with a pay bill in excess of £3m will pay.

The amount will be placed in a digital account to be spent on apprenticeships in England. (see below for details of where to find out about apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland)

In return, employers will be provided with an allowance of £15,000 to offset against levy payments.

As payments are calculated and paid on a monthly basis in line with your actual pay bill – so may vary throughout the year.

Funds are available on a 24 month rolling period, if you don't spend it you lose it after that time period.

Non-levy paying organisations will have to pay 5% of the total cost of the apprenticeship – the remaining 95% (up to the maximum funding band assigned to the apprenticeship) will be paid by government.

If you have fewer than 50 employees and are recruiting a 16-18 year old, you will receive 100% of the funding.

Apprenticeship and Educational Level
Apprenticeship standard
Time Taken to Complete Apprenticeship
Cost (funded through the Apprenticeship Levy)
      Cost of Qualification and Apprenticeship Cost for Levy Payer (annual paybill above £3 million - 100% is government funded up to maximum for the qualification band) Cost for Non- Levy Payer (annual paybill below £3 million - 95% is government funded up to maximum for the qualification band)  


(equivalent to A Levels)

 International Freight Forwarding specialist 18-24 Months £9,000 Maximum No Cost  £450

 4 and 5

(Foundation Degree, International Trade)

Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship
4 years £27,000 over 4 years
Up to maximum funding for this qualification band
Up to 95% of maximum funding for this qualification band


(BSc - Bachelor's Honours Degree)


(MsC Degree)

*Note only applicable for employer cohorts exceeding 10 learners

Senior Leader Apprenticeship - MsC Supply Chain and Logistics 3 years £20,000 over 3 years (£18,000 is funded through the apprenticeship levy) £2,000 £2,900

What are the new Apprenticeship Standards?

Employer groups, known as ‘trailblazers’, have been developing the new Apprenticeship Standards, which are replacing the old Apprenticeships Frameworks.

The Apprenticeship Standards describe the role, and the level of skill, knowledge and training required. The aim of the new standards is to put employers in control of designing apprenticeships, so people are equipped with the skills that meet the needs of their organisation. 


Can the Institute help with Apprenticeship training?

Working in conjunction with employers and Universities, the Institute has access to qualifications which are available now and funded through the apprenticeship levy, these apply for professional and degree qualifications, including Bachelors and Masters Degrees.

For further information see:

These qualifications comprise core disciplines covering areas such as exporting, importing, supply chain, logistics, customs procedures and trade compliance. 

These qualifications also allow smaller businesses, who are not paying the levy, to access funding of up to 95% of the cost of the qualifications, only having to pay 5% of the cost of the qualification themselves.

To find out more about Apprenticeships in International Trade please telephone the Institute on 01733 404400 or email


Where can I get more information?

Find out about the levy 

Changes to the apprenticeship funding system

Apprenticeship standards

Find apprenticeship training

If you’re an employer with operations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you may also want to take a look at the information with your apprenticeship authority as they are administered in a different way.

Skills Development Scotland

Business Wales