Here we’ve put together a selection of frequently asked questions. If you don’t find your answer below, get in touch via our contact form.
An apprenticeship is work-based training. Becoming an apprentice means having a job that will include gaining recognised qualifications and essential skills whilst working, learning, and earning a monthly wage.
As an apprentice, you’ll:
Anyone in England aged 16 years old and above, whether employed, unemployed or leaving school. There is no age limit. There are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship. However, some employers may ask for GCSEs (A-C) in English, Maths and Science.
The Government sets national minimum wage rates, and information can be found by visiting the gov.uk website.
The majority of your practical period of teaching and learning is carried whilst you are in the workplace, although you may need to take exams in maths and English depending on your entry level.
There is also an end point assessment at the end of your practical period – during this time you will be independently assessed by an organisation separate to Smart Training & Recruitment, and they will award you a grade.
The length of your apprenticeship will depend on your chosen qualification and the work hours you are contracted to undertake.
A typical apprenticeship can take 1 to 5 years to complete, depending on the level of apprenticeship and the industry sector. As a baseline, a level 2 apprentice working full-time hours each week typically takes between 12 to 15 months to complete, whereas a level 3 will take around 15 to 24 months.
For the latest Government information regarding Apprenticeships, please visit https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk
Most apprentices work full-time hours, between 30 and 40 per week.
Apprenticeships are available to individuals working less than 30 hours, although your planned time to complete will be extended to account for your reduced hours.
All of our apprentices work at least 16 hours per week.
Apprentices are like any other employee – you would pay their wages and provide on-the-job training.
A training provider would usually deliver off-the-job training, and you should ensure they have a minimum of 6 hours per week allocated to completing coursework, as set by their tutor.
As is the case of all employees over 16, apprentices must still pay tax and National Insurance on their income.
Like most other employees, apprentices must be given at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year and bank holiday entitlement. Annual leave should be agreed upon when an employee starts work.
The levy is paid by large employers with a pay bill of over £3 million (they pay 0.5% of their total annual pay bill).
Levy paying employers access their funds through the online apprenticeship service portal (known as DAS or AS). The funds in their accounts are available to spend on apprenticeship training in England.
The levy is there to fund apprenticeship training for all employers, smaller employers (who do not pay the apprenticeship levy, i.e. those with a total annual pay bill of less than £3million) pay just 5% of the cost of their apprenticeship training and the Government pays the balance.
A levy-paying employer can enrol as many apprentices as they need.
The Employer will be responsible for giving the Apprentice an induction into their role as they provide on-the-job training, the same as with any employee.
A non-levy paying employer can enrol up to 10 apprentices per financial year. The government sets this cap.
If you’re working for an employer under a contract of service (even if you’ve only just started and you have done some work), you’re entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if the following apply:
What happens if you can’t get SSP?
If you cannot get SSP or SSP has ended, your employer must fill in form SSP1 and give this to you. On the form, your employer must say why SSP has not been paid, why it is ending, and the last payment date. Form SSP1 supports a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Your employer must give this form to you as soon as possible. Without the information on the form, a decision on your entitlement to ESA cannot be made, which may delay payment.
PAY Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get
SMP usually starts when you take your maternity leave. It starts automatically if you’re off work for a pregnancy-related illness in the four weeks before the week (Sunday to Saturday) that your baby is due.
You qualify for Statutory Maternity leave if:
If you are not eligible for SMP, your employer must give you form SMP1 explaining why within seven days of making their decision. For more information and support, please go to: www.gov.uk
The laws around night work and night workers are very complicated. Generally speaking, young workers can’t work between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am (but you can agree to change this from 11.00 pm to 7.00 am). However, there are a few exceptions if you work in: hospitals, agriculture, retail, hotels or catering and post or newspaper delivery. You can work into the night if it’s crucial to your job, but only if you need to either: maintain continuity of service or production and respond to an increase in demand for service or product and there is no adult available to perform the task your employer makes sure that your training needs do not suffer you are allowed to take a rest period the same length as the time you worked later in the day.
A young worker cannot usually be made to work more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. These hours cannot be averaged over a more extended period, and you’re not allowed to ignore these restrictions. You’ll only be able to work longer hours if you either need to: keep the continuity of service or production respond to a surge in demand for a service or product, and provided that: there is no adult available to do the work your training needs are not negatively affected the apprentice hours of work if you are older than this is 48, but that can be averaged over 17 weeks.
Young Workers who need to work more than four and a half hours will get a rest break of 30 minutes. If you work for more than one employer, the time you work for each one should be added to see if you can have a rest break.
Rest breaks must be: taken in one block somewhere in the middle of your work period, not at the end spent away from where you work if you want them to be taken when your employer says you can, as long as it meets these conditions.
Daily rest: young workers get 12 uninterrupted hours of rest in each 24-hour period in which they work. These 12 hours may be interrupted if your work periods are split over the day or do not last long.
Weekly rest: young workers must take two days off each week. This cannot be averaged over two weeks (meaning you can’t work an extra day one week and take more days off the following one, even if you are trying to earn a little extra cash). These two days’ rest should also be taken together without working between them.