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Training your apprentice

During their apprenticeship, your apprentice will receive two different types of training.

‘On-the-job’ training will be delivered by you, as the employer. You’ll need to give your apprentice training and supervision to help them perform the job you’ve hired them to do.

This will include skills and knowledge that fall outside of the apprenticeship, but which are needed for the job role.

As well as providing ‘on-the-job’ training for your apprentice, it is important that you are supporting your apprentice in additional ways to ensure their success.

‘Off-the-job’ training is delivered during your apprentice’s normal working hours.

Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their working hours completing ‘off-the-job’ training. This is protected time and is a legal requirement for apprenticeship delivery.

This training will teach your apprentice the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship standard so they can achieve occupational competence.

Minimum Wage

You must pay apprentices at least the National Minimum Wage.

There’s different rates of pay for apprentices depending on their age and what year of their apprenticeship they’ve completed.

You can read more about pay and conditions for apprentices.

'Off-the-job' training

‘Off-the-job’ training can be flexible and doesn’t have to mean 1 day out of the workplace every week. You can watch our webinar to learn more about 'off-the-job' training.

For example, training can take place:

  • at the apprentice’s place of work
  • at a college or university or with a training provid
  • online (apprenticeship training must not be delivered solely by self-directed distance learning)

Or it could be a combination of these options.

The frequency can vary, for example:

  • 1 day a week
  • part of a working day
  • blocks of time

For instance, some apprenticeships begin with a block of training to get the apprentice work ready.

‘Off-the-job’ training must deliver new skills that are directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard.

It includes:

  • teaching of theory
  • practical training
  • learning support and time for writing assignments

It doesn’t include:

  • time spent on initial assessment and onboarding
  • maths and English training up to and including Level 2
  • training to acquire knowledge, skills and behaviours that are not required by the apprenticeship standard
  • progress reviews
  • training which takes place outside the apprentice’s normal working hours unless paid or given as time off in lieu

Find out more in our ‘off-the-job’ training guide.

English & maths

Your apprentice may also need to study for English and maths qualifications as part of their apprenticeship if they have not yet met the level 2 minimum requirements.

You must allow your apprentice time to study for this within their normal working hours.

Studying for English and maths is not counted as part of the 20% minimum ‘off-the-job’ training.

Apprenticeships are designed on the basis that the apprentice already has the required level of English and maths, and so not all apprentices require this training.

You can read more about English and maths requirements in apprenticeship standards at level 2 and above.

Prior learning

Correctly recognising prior learning helps you to establish the right starting point and means providers can deliver appropriately tailored content.

This creates engagement for apprentices and leads to higher retention and achievement rates.

Prior learning can include:

  • prior education, training, or associated qualifications in a related area
  • previous apprenticeships
  • relevant work experience

You can find out more about how to recognise prior learning.

Negotiate your funding

It may be possible for you to negotiate the final price of the funding with your training provider.

Reductions in funding could be made where:

  • you have multiple apprentices
  • the apprenticeship is mostly online

A reduction in funding must be applied if the apprentice has relevant prior learning.

You can find out more about apprenticeship funding rules.

Apprentice Agreement

An apprenticeship agreement is used to confirm individual employment arrangements between you and your apprentice.

You and your apprentice must sign an apprenticeship agreement. The apprenticeship won’t be funded without a valid apprenticeship agreement in place.

It includes:

  • how long you’ll employ them for
  • the training they’ll receive
  • their working conditions
  • the qualifications they are working towards

You can write your own or download an apprenticeship agreement template.

You must also sign a training plan with your apprentice and the training provider.

The training plan sets out the commitment of the provider, employer, and apprentice and records key details.

It must include:

  • the planned content and schedule for training
  • what is expected and offered by the employer, the training provider and the apprentice
  • how to resolve queries and complaints

You can use the apprenticeship training plan template.

Find out more about training plans in the apprenticeship funding rules.


You must make reasonable adjustments to make sure apprentices with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions, are not disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

This could include:

  • changing the recruitment process
  • making physical changes to the workplace
  • changing their equipment

You can get advice on access to work, reasonable adjustments, and the Disability Confident employer scheme.


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