Apprenticeships

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is on the job training leading to a national qualification, available for both new and existing staff. There are different levels of apprenticeships, from intermediate and advanced to higher and degree levels. Apprenticeships must last for at least a year. They can last up to 5 years depending on the level the apprentice is studying.


How do apprenticeships work?

Apprentices must spend a minimum of 20% of their time on off-the-job training, which must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework/standard. This can be delivered at the apprentice’s normal place or work, but it must not be part of their normal working duties. Employers can offer apprenticeships to new entrants or use them to grow talent from among current employees.


Who can do an apprenticeship?

The apprentice must:

  • be aged 16 years or over
  • have employer’s support to undertake the course
  • have Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English e.g GCSE at Grade C/4 and above or equivalent
  • spend at least 20% of their time off-job-training
  • be paid for time spent in training or studying for relevant qualification
  • learn job-specific skills

What are the benefits to employers?

Apprenticeships are a productive way for businesses to grow talent, developing a skilled, motivated and qualified workforce. They are cost-effective, as employers get between 95%-100% of course fees paid through the apprenticeship levy. Learning can be applied immediately in the workplace, delivering meaningful impact to the organisation and driving performance and productivity. Investing in staff professional development through an apprenticeship increases employee satisfaction and can boost retention.


What apprenticeships are available in primary care?

There are a wide range of apprenticeships appropriate for all level of roles within primary care, both clinical and non-clinical. The apprenticeships currently supported by the South Yorkshire Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub are:

  • Level 3 Aspiring Practice Manager
  • Level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker
  • Level 7 Advanced Clinical Practitioner

We work closely with our colleagues at SYREC (South Yorkshire Region Education & Careers) who have a dedicated Apprenticeship Hub full of informative resources and guidance for apprentices, employers, and those thinking about starting an apprenticeship. The Apprenticeship Hub can provide information on additional apprenticeships for primary care and signpost to apprenticeship providers in the South Yorkshire area.


How does Apprenticeship funding work?

Apprentices are funded through the Apprenticeships levy. Employers with a wage bill over £3 million per year must pay the levy and use this to fund apprenticeships. For non-levy paying organisations there are two methods of funding apprentices:

1) Government Co-investment

The employer pays 5% of the training costs to the training provider, the government pays 95%. Employers also need to cover their apprentice’s salary.

2) Levy Transfer

Large levy-paying employers may transfer some of their unused annual levy, these transfers cover 100% of training costs direct to the training provider. Employers still need to cover the apprentice’s salary. Levy transfer requests can be made through the Digital Account Service (DAS.)


How do I reserve Apprenticeship funding?

If your business has not had apprentices before, you must register for the Apprenticeship Digital Account Service (DAS.) You will need to set up as a user, complete a security check, add your PAYE details and read & sign the ESFA employer agreement to use your account.

Once your DAS account is set up, you can add your apprentice’s details/ course information – you will be able to reserve funding six months prior to their start date. Employers can make and use up to 10 funding reservations at any one time.


What support is available for apprenticeships in primary care?

The South Yorkshire Primary Care Workforce & Training Hub are available to support primary care employers in the region through the following ways:

  • Advising on additional funding that can be gained for specific apprenticeships/ government incentives
  • Signposting to SYREC Apprenticeship Hub
  • Signposting to Apprenticeship resources
  • Signposting to Apprenticeship providers in the local area

Useful Resources

HEE have a useful guide to Healthcare Apprenticeships which can be downloaded below: