Here are some examples of the most frequently asked questions from employers about hiring an apprentice. If you have any questions regarding apprenticeships then contact us on 0114 229 6182 or email info@skillsmadeeasy.org.uk

What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship gives trainees the chance to learn new skills, develop existing skills and to earn a wage whilst doing so. Read more about apprenticeships.
Are there any costs?
The cost of the training is set by Government and the amount you contribute toward the apprenticeship training depends on your company size and age of the learner, Skills Made Easy will happily discuss your specific circumstances with you to help understand both cost and the level of funding available to you. Apprentices have to be paid at least the National Minimum Apprentice Wage for a minimum of twelve months. After your apprentice reaches his or her nineteenth birthday, or have been employed by your business for twelve months, they will receive the National Minimum Wage. All apprentices must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours work each week. Skills Made Easy will help your business to secure funding for the training costs of your apprentice and may also be able to help you obtain wage subsidies or grants towards the costs of employing your apprentice.
Is there a certain age limit?
The minimum age to start an apprenticeship is 16. There is no upper age limit for an apprenticeship, although it is worth remembering that apprentices over the age of 24 are not always entitled to receive funding for their training. For apprentices aged over the age of 24, funding may be available depending on the previous qualifications of the candidate: Skills Made Easy will help you to secure the best possible training package to suit both the needs of your business and the needs of your apprentice.
How long do Apprenticeships take?
Apprenticeships typically last between 12 and 18 months, and depending on the level of qualification, they can take between one and four years to be completed.
How will an apprentice help my business?
By hiring an apprentice you are introducing new skills, knowledge and talent into your business. Apprentices can enable existing members of staff to concentrate on other areas, helping to free up additional time, staff and resources within your company.
What types of apprenticeships are there?
There are a wide variety of apprenticeships available in almost every type of profession. In all cases an employer needs to provide 20% of the apprentices waged time to be 'off the job' training and as such paying the apprentice to achieve the qualification.
  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeships – equivalent to GCSE’s
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships – equivalent to A levels
  • Higher Apprenticeships – equivalent to a degree
Can I employ more than one apprentice?
Yes! You can hire as many apprentices as you and your business need as long as their is suitable line management/mentoring in place to support each apprentice.
Are apprentices entitled to holidays?
Yes. Like employees, all apprentices are entitled to 20 days paid holiday a year and bank holidays
Can an existing member of staff undertake an apprenticeship?
Yes! Skills Made Easy can help you with this. In addition to apprenticeships through our workforce development services, we can help existing members of staff to secure qualifications and help you to secure funding to cover the costs of training.
I’ve tried recruiting an apprentice for my business previously but it didn’t work out, how can Skills Made Easy ensure it doesn’t happen again?
Skills Made Easy is designed to help businesses find suitable candidates to fill vacancies. We spend time understanding the specific needs of your business, which means you will only receive the CV’s of potential apprentices who have shown a genuine interest in your area of work and who are eager to build a career in your industry.
We receive sales calls every week from people trying to sell us apprenticeships and training, what makes Skills Made Easy different?
Skills Made Easy is part of the Sheffield City Council Employment and Skills Service. This means that when you work with Skills Made Easy you will receive completely free help and advice from people whose primary aim is grounded in the creation of employment opportunities for local people and supporting companies within our economy grow. 
Are there any grants available to cover the costs of training/ apprenticeships?
There is funding available that your business may be able to access to help cover the costs of training and, in some cases, wage subsidies for your apprentice. Your account manager will discuss the different types of schemes which your business may be entitled to access.
Where are the training sessions held?
This depends on the programme. Every apprenticeship and workforce development programme offered through Skills Made Easy is tailored specifically to suit the needs of your business. You will receive a number of different options to choose from including work-based learning, or training with day release. Your account manager will discuss the different options available to your business.
What happens if I have a problem with my apprentice?
Contact your account manager as soon as possible. Skills Made Easy is there to offer support and assistance throughout the apprenticeship.