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Employers’ Guide to Apprenticeships

An Apprenticeship is created through partnership, on-the-job training with an employer and technical training with a training provider. These two elements come together to provide an Apprenticeship for someone who will gain real practical experience and technical knowledge required for their job and future career.   Apprentices are aged 16 or over, they will combine studying with working at a real job to achieve a work-based qualification, these qualifications are from GCSE level or equivalent up to Degree-level and usually take between 12-30 months to complete.

Apprenticeships can help businesses across all sectors by offering a route to harness fresh new talent. They ensure that your workforce has the practical skills and qualifications your organisation needs now and in the future. The mixture of on and off the job learning ensures they learn the skills that work best for your business. Over 240,000 companies offer apprentice places because they understand the benefits that apprentices bring to their business – increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent work force.

For the latest government incentives (effective 1 April 2021) please read Askham Bryan College Apprenticeships Covid Incentives Leaflets.

Why choose Askham Bryan College for your apprenticeship?

• The College can connect you with potential apprentices
• Experienced lectures
• Tailored courses to your business requirements
• Knowledgeable and supportive Apprenticeship Managers
• Fantastic facilities
• Reputable training provider

Who can apply?

Employer: an apprentice can be a new or current employee. As the employer you must:
• Ensure that at their place of work they learn job-specific skills
• Work alongside experienced staff and provide suitable supervision
• Be paid in line with National Minimum Wage legislation
• Employment  for at least 30 hours per week
• Ensure the apprentice is enrolled on a recognised Apprenticeship programme

Employee: no specific qualifications are required, although the apprentice must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
• Be 16 or over
• Living in England
• Not in full-time education
• Be able to demonstrate enthusiasm and a strong determination to succeed in their chosen career
• Demonstrate their ability to be able to achieve their chosen Apprenticeship programme

A wide range of choices

Askham Bryan College offers an array of Apprenticeships in land-based industries at various levels:

• Agriculture
• Environmental Conservation
• Equine Industry
• Game and Wildlife Management
• Horticulture (Amenity/Landscaping, Nursery Stock, Production)
• Sportsturf (Greenkeeper/ Groundsperson)
• Land-Based Service Engineering
• Plant Maintenance
• Trees and Timber
• Veterinary Nursing

Course Level Equivalent educational level  Length of course
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C 24-30 months
Advanced 3 2 A level passes  12-24 months
Higher 4 and 5 Foundation Degree and above  12- 24 months

Please visit our apprenticeship course section for a full list of levels available for each subject type.

What will they be doing on the study programme?

The programme will provide the apprentice with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, understanding and skills within their chosen industry which they will then be able to take into their place of work and embed these new skills in a real work context. Each learner’s programme will be tailored to meet their individual needs and those of their employer, giving apprentices real advantage in the workplace. Our experienced lectures will support the apprentice with timetabled practical’s and theory/ knowledge training.

An apprenticeship is made up of  distinct elements which will provide employees with all the training they need. This may include: a Technical Certificate (VRQ) providing the skills and knowledge essential to gain successful employment in a business; a Work-based Diploma demonstrates that these skills can be put in to practice; and a group of qualifications that develop vital employability skills including Functional Skills in English and Maths, Employment Rights and Responsibilities as well as Personal Learning and Thinking Skills.


Most of the training is delivered in the workplace; the apprentice will learn the skills they require to do the job competently to the standard set by the industry. The rest of the training will be given by Askham Bryan College.

Whether your business is large or small, an apprenticeship offers a practical hands-on solution to filling skills gaps while offering an attractive incentive for recruiting keen and motivated staff. Askham Bryan College can help you to develop apprenticeship schemes that will provide you with fully trained and highly knowledgeable employees.

The employer must give their apprentice(s) an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training, and is also responsible for paying their wages. Training quality is key to apprenticeships, the employer will need to provide high quality training that benefits both the apprentice and the business.

Employer benefits

Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that has invested in them. The apprentice is with an employer because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn ‘on the job’ and a commitment to a specific career. Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs and help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, with employers reporting that Apprenticeships helped them to improve productivity and helped them to be more competitive. Employers have noted that training apprentices is much more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs and providing them with skilled workers that their business needs for growth and success.


Depending on your location, there are schemes available to support the employer financially to recruit an apprentice.

Contact the National Apprenticeship Service to find out the latest funding information and check you’re eligible to apply.

Hiring your apprentice

There are several steps to taking on an apprentice.
1. Check you’re eligible for a grant and apply.
2. Discuss your specific needs with the Apprenticeship Course Manager
3. Confirm the number of employees who will start an Apprenticeship Scheme.
4. Start the recruitment process. Advertise your apprenticeship -  Askham Bryan can do this for you through apprenticeship vacancies. You can then track your vacancies by registering as an employer.
5. Select your apprentice and after a suitable work trial, make an apprenticeship agreement with them.
6. Employee(s) start their Apprenticeship after completing a college induction.

Visit The National Apprenticeship Service for the latest guidance and information on taking on an apprentice.

Facts about apprenticeship employers

Did you know…
• The government invested 1.5bn in apprenticeships in 2013 to 2014
• Businesses report an average increase in productivity by £214 a week when they hire apprentices
• From April 2016, employers will no longer be required to pay employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 on earnings up to the upper earnings limit
• Almost 9 in 10 of every employer that takes on an apprentice report benefits to their business
• Apprenticeship reforms are putting employers in the driving seat
• Employers think that apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications
90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship (includes 2% self-employed)
• 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer
• 82% said their apprenticeship had improved their ability to do the job and
79% said that their career prospects had improved

Sources: National Apprenticeship Service; SFA data; National Audit Office; Ancestry; the Centre for Economics and Business Research. 

Please see further links for more information about apprenticeships:

General information about apprenticeships

Key Facts about apprenticeships

Apprenticeship standards

Employing an apprentice

Health and Safety information

About employment Contracts

National Minimum Wage information



How to contact us:
T: 01904 772277

Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277