On this page, we’ve tried to answer the most common questions we get about apprenticeships. However, if you can’t find the answer to your question on this page, please email us at businesstrainingsolutions@walsallcollege.ac.uk or give us a call on 01922 651129.

Frequently Asked Questions

An apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study - working alongside experienced staff and gaining job-specific skills. An apprentice earns a wage and is paid holiday pay and gets time for study related to their role (usually one day a week).

There is no maximum age for an apprentice. An apprentice must be 16 or over by the end of the school summer holidays, living in England and not in full-time education.

No, apprenticeships are for new and existing employees and offer a structured and tailored way to train, upskill and invest in your staff.
Apprenticeships take between 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.

There are three levels of apprenticeship available across a range of disciplines
Intermediate Level 2 (GCSE equivalent)
Advanced Level 3 (A Level equivalent)
Higher Level 4 – 7 (HNC, HND, Degree or Masters)

Apprentices should be paid National Minimum Wage (NMW). There are different levels of NMW, depending on age and whether you are an apprentice. The current rates* are:

  • £3.90 - for apprentices under 19, or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
  • £6.15 - aged 18-20
  • £7.70 - aged 21-24
  • £8.21 - aged 25 and over

Please note that these are minimum wage rates. An organisation can however choose to pay an apprentice above the minimum wage. By offering a competitive salary you are more likely to get the right person for your business.
*National Living and National Minimum Wage rates are changed every April, those listed above are current from 1st April 2019. Please refer to www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates for up to date rates.

As an employer, you are required to pay a contribution towards apprenticeship training. This depends on how many employees you have, and your total payroll bill.
a. If you are an employer with a payroll bill over £3 million each year, you are already paying any training costs through the Apprenticeship Levy, so there will be no additional costs for apprentice training.
b. If you are an employer who doesn’t pay the Apprenticeship Levy, you pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice, directly to your chosen training provider. The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum. They will pay the funds directly to the training provider.
c. If you are an employer with fewer than 50 people working for you will not have to pay the 5% contribution for an apprentice who is aged between:
• 16-18 years old
• 19-24 years old and who has previously been in care or who has an Education, Health and Care plan provided by their local authority
The government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals.
For more information see The Apprenticeship Levy and You

Yes, there are currently two funding options available to businesses: a) All employers will receive £1,000 if, at the start of the apprenticeship, if the apprentice is aged between:
  • 16-18 years old
  • 19-24 years old and who has previously been in care or who has an Education, Health and Care plan provided by their local authority
b) Walsall Works A substantial payment of up to £6,000 to recruit a young person as an apprentice is available for employers through Walsall Works – a multi-million pound investment by Walsall Council, who have a growing focus on sustainable employment and growth amongst Walsall-based businesses. Employers can receive the following incentive:
  • £3,000 maximum for employers taking on a young person aged 16 or 17 at a rate of £4.20 ph.
  • £4,500 maximum for employers taking on a young person aged between 18 and 20 at a rate of £5.90 ph.
  • £6,000 maximum for employers taking on a young person aged between 21 and 24 at a rate of £7.38 ph.
For further information about the Walsall Works investment, please call 01922 654353 or email walsallworks@walsall.gov.uk

Apprentices are expected to work normal* hours within your industry (minimum 30, maximum 40). This must include attendance at college and these hours should form part of standard working hours. Apprentices must not be obliged to work prior to 6.00am or after 10.00pm. In cases where the apprentice is required to work outside of these hours, agreement should be with the apprentice and parent/guardian and means of transport should be made available at no additional cost to the apprentice or his/her parents/guardian.

Care should be taken to ensure that the hours of attendance comply with the provision of any relevant statutes or local bylaws on employment of young people, including the working time directive.

*People with caring responsibilities or people with a disability may work reduced weekly hours. Where this is the case, the duration of the apprenticeship will be extended to take account of this.

The time spent on off-the-job training should be at least 20% of their working hours and should be included as part of working hours. As the employer, you must allow time to complete the training within the working hours and if support is needed with English and Maths, this should also be within the working hours.

Off The Job Training Flow Chart

Apprenticeships are now an excellent alternative to traditional workplace training, enabling you to help develop the skills and knowledge of your existing workforce. For large employers, with the apprenticeship levy to spend, it is the ideal time to review your internal training needs.

Contact our dedicated Business Training Solutions Team on 01922 651129
Email businesstrainingsolutions@walsallcollege.ac.uk to see how an apprenticeship programme could benefit a wide range of staff in your organisation.

Our recruitment and selection process aims to attract and select apprentices from a wide range of backgrounds, who are suited to the work and training you can offer. Having discussed your particular needs, we will match your requirements with the skills and experience of our applicants, shortlisting those we feel would be most suited to the position you are offering. Alternatively, you may wish to undertake your own recruitment activities.

Call our dedicated Business Solutions Team on 01922 651129 or email businesstrainingsolutions@walsallcollege.ac.uk and we’ll guide you through the process and help you to recruit the right apprentice for your business.

Apprentices are paid an agreed salary by the employer and have the same terms and conditions as all other employees, including any sickness and holiday entitlements.
As employees, apprentices should be issued with a contract of employment. This should detail as a minimum:
• The names of both apprentice and employer
• Date of commencement of employment
• Remuneration and the intervals at which it is to be paid
• Hours of work and Holiday entitlement
• Sick leave procedure including provision for sick pay
• Pensions and pension schemes
• Entitlement of employer and Apprentice to notice of termination of employment
• Job title and where appropriate a brief job description
• Employment status i.e. fixed term, permanent
• Place of work, including requirements for work in more than one location and full employer address

If an apprentice decides to leave your business before completing their apprenticeship, contact the Business Training Solutions team and we will work with you and the apprentice and manage any necessary financial reconciliation.

01922 651129 or email businesstrainingsolutions@walsallcollege.ac.uk

We don’t offer trial periods as part of our apprenticeship programme. We have a robust and rigorous recruitment and selection process to ensure that trial periods are unnecessary. If you are undecided between two potential candidates however, you can trial the prospective apprentices for one day to help better inform your decision.
If an apprentice isn’t working out in your business, you must follow your company’s grievance procedure, in line with the contract of employment. You should also discuss the situation with your trainer assessors/college tutors to discuss intervention options.
Apprentices have the same terms and conditions as all other employees, including any sickness and holiday entitlements. As employees, apprentices should be issued with a contract of employment. The contract of employment should clearly set out details of the probationary period and grievance procedures.
Have any questions?
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  • Walsall
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