FAQ - Employer

Frequently Asked Questions

What levels of Apprenticeship are there?
There are various levels of apprenticeship to apply for depending on current skills and qualifications.  Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

Name Level Equivalent Educational Level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passed at grade A* – C or 9 – 4
Advanced 3 2 A Level Passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 HND Level and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree


All apprenticeships include elements of on the job and off the job training leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships will require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice`s ability and competence in their job role.

Where does the delivery of an Apprenticeship take place and how do we support this?
New Apprenticeship guidelines stipulate that Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their time on ‘off the job training’. Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-today working environment and leads towards the achievement of an Apprenticeship. As part of their working hours Apprentices need to be released one day a week from work to attend College-based training or as negotiated between employer and Preston’s College.

Do I have to pay for Apprenticeship training?
Information about the Apprenticeship Levy and the subsequent costs associated with Apprenticeship can be found in our Apprenticeship Levy section.

Do I have to pay my apprentices when they are released for training?
Yes.  The laws states that they have a right to paid time off for training.  It is also in your interest to give employees on Apprenticeship programmes, reasonable paid time off for any training that benefits your business.

Do I have to employ an Apprentice?
Yes. All apprentices must be employed, working a minimum of 30 hours a week before we can offer them a training programme.  The Employer, Learner and College will be required to sign an Apprenticeship Training Contract that legally must be in place before the training begins and payment of the Apprenticeship wage can commence.

How much should I pay an Apprentice?
The apprentice minimum wage is £3.70 per hour.  This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and apprentices aged 19* or over.  *but only in the first year of their Apprenticeship, it will then need to increase to the National Minimum Wage for their relative age group.

Can anyone over the age of 16 undertake an Apprenticeship?
Yes, as long as they are not currently in full time education.  New guidelines state that individuals with a Degree or higher level qualification can now undertake an Apprenticeship as long as the Standard/Framework is significantly different to their qualification achieved. All individuals wishing to undertake an Apprenticeship must be assessed in English and maths
How is the Apprentice assessed in the workplace?
All we ask is for employers to give as much support as possible in this process. Once the programme starts, work-based assessments involve assessors observing and providing guidance to your staff while they are doing their normal job. Progress reviews will be completed every 12 weeks between the assessor, employee and a supervisor/mentor from the organisation.

How can I keep track of my employees training?
Preston’s College uses OneFile to deliver Apprenticeships, which allows candidates and employers easy access to submit work and monitor progress. OneFile is a piece of software which allows electronic monitoring of the training. You can access it anywhere via the internet and see live reports, work submitted (e-portfolio) and track your employees progress.

Can I put my current staff onto an Apprenticeship?
Of course. Thousands of full-time staff across Lancashire currently study on an Apprenticeship programme to help upskill in their chosen field. An Apprenticeship can help companies train staff in managerial positions or simply to give them added skills, knowledge and confidence in the workplace

What does Preston’s College contribute?
We will provide a dedicated Business Relationship Manager to offer support and guidance. Each representative works closely with employers to:

– help them decide which Apprenticeship is right for them
– explain the way that Apprenticeships might work for them and if funding is available
– agree a training plan with the apprentice
– help recruit an apprentice or support existing staff into apprenticeships
– manage the training and evaluation to nationally recognised quality standards