Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who can do an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are available to anyone in England over the age of 16 (or 15 if you have just finished high school) and there is no upper age limit. You can apply for an apprenticeship regardless of whether you are employed, unemployed or have just left school. Entry requirements differ dependent on the level of apprenticeship, industry and the employer.
2. What qualification will I gain?
You will work towards a nationally recognised apprenticeship standard. This is accredited by the relevant regulatory bodies and dependent on the type of apprenticeship you may also receive a formal qualification.
3. How long does an apprenticeship last?
The duration of an apprenticeship depends on the individual's ability and the type of apprenticeship being completed. Below is an average duration according to the level of apprenticeships. They can always change dependent on prior knowledge etc.
Level 2: 12-18 months
Level 3: 15-18 months
Level 4: 18-24 months
Leve 5: Up to 30 months
4. What can I do afterwards?
The choice is up to you. You may choose to stay at the same place and continue in that field of work or you may wish to progress to the next level of apprenticeship. Alternatively, you may wish to find a new job or apply for university.
5. How is training delivered?
The apprenticeship is a work-based qualification so all the training and assessment of the apprenticeship will be done on site. You will need to build an apprenticeship portfolio of evidence with your learning partner. You will receive training and support every month from your learning partner for a minimum of 2 hours either face to face or remotely.
1. Is there a limit to how many apprentices I can take on?
No- you can take on as many apprentices as you can support.
2. What support do I need to provide to an apprentice?
The apprentice should be 'on-boarded' as any employee is and will be subject to all company HR policies and procedures as normal. They are required to receive the equivalent of one day per week for their training to enable them to achieve their 'off the job' learning hours. This should be allocated during their normal paid working hours.
3. How do I know if the Apprenticeship Levy applies to my business?
The Levy applies to all employers with an annual wage bill of over £3million and over 50 staff. Find out more about Levy/Non-Levy Paying Employers on our 'Employers' page under 'Apprenticeships'.
4. What do I do if an apprentice goes on maternity leave or long-term sick leave?
The apprenticeship funding rules (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apprenticeship-funding-rules) contains any information regarding action the employer must take when the apprentice is on a break due to long-term illness, maternity leave or personal reasons.
5. Do apprentices have to be employed full-time?
The minimum duration of the apprenticeship is based on the apprentice working at least 30 hours per week, including any off the job training. If the apprentice works fewer than 30 hours per week or on a part-time basis, you must agree with the training provider (NEMA) to extend the apprenticeship duration accordingly.
6. Do I have to pay national insurance contributions for an apprentice?
Since April 2016, employers do not need to pay employer national insurance contributions for apprentices under 25 on any earnings up to the upper earning limit.
1. I don't feel comfortable going into work during the pandemic, what are my options?
If your workplace is still open, you can travel to work if you cannot easily work from home. Speak to your employer if you have concerns. They should take steps to protect everyone and work from home where possible. You may be able to take time off as holiday or unpaid leave, but you MUST consult your employer as they may not approve this. If you refuse to attend work without a valid reason, this could result in disciplinary action. Follow government guidelines if you are living with someone high risk.
2. Can my apprenticeship training continue whilst I am furloughed?
Yes- the latest guidance from HMRC confirms that you can continue your training whilst furloughed and you will be furloughed in the same way as other employees. Contact us directly if you wish to discuss your training.
3. I'm not able to complete my apprenticeship due to the pandemic, can I complete it at a later date?
Depending on your apprenticeship, you may be able to complete your learning online. Please contact us to see if this is an option for you. If this is not possible for you, your learning will continue when you are back in the workplace.
4. If I need to self-isolate, will I still get paid?
You will receive Statutory Sick Pay if you need to self-isolate for the following reasons:
- You have Covid-19
- You have symptoms e.g. persistent cough and a fever
- Someone in your household has symptoms
- You or someone in your household have been told to isolate by a doctor or track and trace.
1. I'm an apprentice and I've been made redundant- what do I do?
If you are made redundant, please notify your training provider (NEMA) as soon as possible so we can put support in place and implement redundancy processes. We can also assist in searching for a new employer.
2. I'm feeling stressed or anxious, where can I find support?
3. I think I have been discriminated against by my employer, what can I do?
Speak to NEMA's designated safe-guarding officer (DSO) Jane Simpson. You can find our safeguarding approach on our 'Safeguarding' page as well as an incident form and contact information for our DSO. If you need more information and guidance, visit https://www.acas.org.uk/ for free advice.
Still not answered your question? Ask us yourself and we'll be happy to get back to you as soon as possible!