FAQ's

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?
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 24 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.
Are there any grants available to cover the costs of training/ apprenticeships?
Yes! There are a number of different types of grants and funding schemes that your business may be able to access which help to 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.
What types of apprenticeships are there?
There are a wide variety of apprenticeships available in almost every type of profession. In most cases apprenticeships can be accessed via a work-based route which can be completed at three different levels:
  • 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.
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 heard Government funding for apprenticeships is changing, how will this impact on my business?
The Government is currently reviewing its provisions for apprenticeship funding, however, changes are unlikely to come into effect before 2017. Should the current provisions change your account manager will keep you informed of any new Government-funded schemes as and when they become available to your business.
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 the only organisation that is backed by both the Government and the Local Enterprise Partnership. This means that when you work with Skills Made Easy you will receive completely free and impartial advice – helping you to make the right choices for your business. We do not prefer one type of apprenticeship programme or training provider over another, meaning that you can be assured of receiving the best possible advice for your business.
Are there any grants available to cover the costs of training/ apprenticeships?
Yes! There are a number of different types of grants and funding schemes that your business may be able to access which help to 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 at an education provider of your choice. Your account manager will discuss the different options available to your business.
What are NVQs?
NVQ stands for National Vocational Qualification and is awarded once training has been completed. NVQs can be attained in three levels, equivalent to GCSE’s, A levels or degree level qualifications.
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.