Employ an Apprentice

Why hire an apprentice?

Now more than ever, it is time to plan for the future, and there are many reasons why apprentices are good for your business. Apprentices are motivated individuals that can make a real contribution to your business as valued members of staff from day one. By training an apprentice you can fill any skills gaps with a workforce having direct relevance to your business.

Apprentices will gain valuable knowledge working alongside your staff for most of the week whilst attending College for one day. College based training is FREE for apprentices aged 16-18 if your business employs less than 50 staff. You will need to pay your apprentice the national minimum apprenticeship wage. This means an apprenticeship is a very cost-effective way of training.


How the new apprenticeship funding works


Employer You pay Government pays Incentive payments
Apprenticeship Levy paying employer The cost of training from your digital account and 5% of any amount over this, plus any fees over the funding band maximum. 95% of any fees your digital account will not cover, up to the funding band maximum. £1,000 for each 16–18 year old apprentice or 19–24 year old with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
Non Apprenticeship Levy paying employer (50+ employees) 5% of any apprenticeship training fees, plus any fees over the funding band maximum. 95% of any apprenticeship training fees, up to the funding band maximum. £1,000 for each 16–18 year old apprentice or 19–24 year old with an EHC plan.
Non Apprenticeship Levy paying employer (fewer than 50) 0% of any apprenticeship training fees for 16–18 year olds or 19–24 year old with an Education, Health Care plan. 5% for other apprentices. Additionally, you will pay any fees over the funding band maximum. 100% of any apprenticeship training fees for 16–18 year olds or 19–24 year old with an Education, Health Care plan. 95% for other apprentices, up to the funding band maximum. £1,000 for each 16–18 year old apprentice or 19–24 year old with an EHC plan.


Employer Handbook & Safeguarding Guides

We are always looking for new ways to support our employers to ensure they are equipped to support their apprentices as well as keep them safe.

We have created a dedicated Employer Handbook and Apprenticeship Safeguarding Guide which we hope you find helpful.

Click on the documents below to read. 

If you would like a paper copy, please let us know by emailing apprenticeships@chigroup.ac.uk

A new roadmap to support employers

The road to a quality apprenticeship has been published to help employers understand the steps involved in delivering high quality, successful apprenticeships in their businesses.

A practical guide to aid employers of any size, the road to a quality apprenticeship provides links to information that you can use to help achieve a quality experience for your apprentices while maximising the benefits for your business.

Together with the provider guide to delivering high-quality apprenticeships, they demonstrate the collaborative approach involved in delivering apprenticeships.

  • Why should I hire an apprentice?

    The employers we talk to overwhelmingly view their apprentices as greatly valued assets.

    All apprenticeships are designed by employers and are inherently flexible and adaptable. Through a combination of work-based learning and excellent education, an apprentice can have an immediate, positive and transformative impact on your business.

    Apprenticeships boost:

    • Skills gaps: In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, businesses need to adapt faster and more creatively than ever, and apprentices are an ideal way to fill your skills gaps.
    • Talent: Employing an apprentice from within your workforce develops in-house talent.
    • Competitiveness: Now more than ever, companies need to maintain and increase market share. Apprentices can be trained in skills to meet current and future needs and can therefore be a key factor in providing your business with a competitive edge.
    • Staff loyalty/retention: Invest in an apprentice and watch your investment grow. The time you invest in an apprentice is a great motivator and naturally instills loyalty.
    • Your ‘bottom line’: As a form of training, apprenticeships are a cost-effective route to building a skilled workforce. Government funding covers the majority of training costs without the need to go through an expensive recruitment process.
    • Your local community: Most businesses aim to be community focused in order to build and enhance employee and customer loyalty. The provision of ‘equal opportunity’ apprenticeships will help cement a business’s place at the heart of its community.

    Future benefits: Apprenticeships consolidate and increase the knowledge of staff conducting training.

  • How much will it cost me to hire an apprentice?

    Apprenticeship funding

    The government will help you to pay for an apprentice. The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not.

    Apprenticeships are funded through one of two routes – via the apprenticeship levy or via co-investment.

    Apprenticeship levy

    All UK employers with a wage-roll bill exceeding £3m will have 0.5% of their total wage-roll automatically deducted on a monthly basis to fund new apprenticeships. The government will contribute an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment.

    Employers in all sectors will be affected. In England, control of apprenticeship funding will be put in the hands of employers through the Digital Apprenticeship Service.


    If your business is not required to pay the Apprenticeship Levy, you'll pay 5% towards the cost of the apprenticeship. The government will pay the remaining 95%, up to the funding band maximum. You may be eligible to receive full funding to cover the cost of apprenticeship training - and additional support. 

    Additional support for small employers

    If you employ fewer than 50 people, you will not have to pay the 5% contribution for an apprentice who is:

    • Age 16-18
    • Age 19-24 and has previously been in care, or has an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) provided by their local authority

    The government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals, up to the funding band maximum.

    Apprenticeship funding can be confusing. Our Specialist Skills Advisors (SSAs) are here to offer clarity, guidance and advice on funding and all aspects of employing an apprentice. To contact one of our SSAs for a chat please email business.solutions@gbmc.ac.uk

  • How do I recruit an apprentice?

    The first step is to complete a vacancy template. On receipt, our apprenticeship enrolment team will advertise your job on Brighton MET and Northbrook College, and other local and national websites. Your dedicated enrolment adviser will handle all aspects of the recruitment process, including interviews and initial assessments. You will be sent applicants’ CVs and, if suitable, our team will arrange their interviews with you at a mutually convenient time.

  • How can Brighton MET or Northbrook College help?

    Brighton MET and Northbrook College have a history of delivering excellent apprenticeships and being able to adapt to meet the evolving needs of employers.

    If you are looking to employ an apprentice please contact our apprenticeship team to discuss your requirements and review what apprenticeship programs we run that match employment needs.

    Contact us: If you have any questions about employing an apprentice, please email business.solutions@gbmc.ac.uk

  • What have previous employers said?


    James Nunweek
    Arun Estates
    "The investment we make into the individual careers of our accountancy staff is repaid tenfold by the loyalty and work ethic that we receive from the resultant team of professionals. Our strategy to increase the professional knowledge of our staff provides a solid base for any succession planning and apprenticeships with Northbrook College remain a cost effective mechanism for coping with growth and expansion."

    Barbara Robinson
    Caffyns PLC
    "We have found the programmes to be current, relevant and delivered to a high standard. It is an efficient and cost effective solution for training our employees of the future assisting in the Caffyns principle of growing our own talent."

    Damovo "There really are opportunities for everyone to develop and gain recognised qualifications, and such a learning culture makes for highly motivated staff and an exciting work environment."

    Sabina Surrey
    Eurotech Search
    "Our experience working with Northbrook College has been exceptional from the outset. Their apprenticeship team went above and beyond to enrol our Finance Assistant onto the Accountancy Apprenticeship at very late notice, just two weeks before the course began. In these two weeks, we were provided with all the information needed to ensure our employee was equipped to begin her studies. This strong communication has continued throughout the year, and we have been kept well informed and updated of our employee’s progress and attendance, without being inundated with unnecessary marketing emails/calls.

    Our employee's experience of studying at Northbrook has been overwhelmingly positive, and she has been successful in all her examinations to date. She speaks positively of her tutor, and feels part of a community within the group. The skills and knowledge gained by our employee since attending Northbrook College have had a direct and visible impact on the running of our business. Our Finance Assistant is now confident in completing a wider variety of tasks, has an increased interest in the nature of financial administration and is more driven to undertake additional tasks for her own development. Due to this positive experience, our employee is keen to continue studying at Northbrook next year, despite incurring a one hour commute each way in order to do so.

    In short, we would highly recommend Northbrook College to other employers looking to develop the skills and maximise the potential of their staff."

    Alan Busby
    Fireco Ltd
    "The experience and willingness of all of the staff at Northbrook College that we came into contact with has made our decision to employ an IT Apprentice one of the best we’ve ever made."

    Tracie Pacy
    GB Electronics (UK) Ltd
    "Northbrook is a very professional and approachable college, with very professional teams in their specialised areas. We would wholeheartedly recommend Northbrook and especially the Business Development Centre for any training requirements."

    Molokini Marketing Ltd "When it comes to finding and hiring an apprentice, there are lots of organisations that talk a good game and we've tried a few, but Northbrook College makes it happen. They have supplied us with really great apprentices, some of whom have gone on to join us full-time following the completion of their course. In addition, the team at Northbrook are always very friendly, helpful and professional throughout the entire recruitment process and duration of the apprenticeship. We highly recommend them."

     David Gayler
    St Barnabas House
    "The service from Northbrook is very good. I would highly recommend businesses’ to consider taking on apprentices, as the whole process is both uplifting and potentially rewarding."

    Peter Brooks
    Tinius Olsen Ltd
    "From the first initial enquiries and enrolment through to the training in the workshop you have been there constantly exceeding our expectations. You have provided such an exceptional level of support and communication that has allowed highly productive levels of achievement in our objectives for development."

    Emma Downie
    Whistle Stop Plastics Ltd
    "The talent pool that is out there is amazing and it is a great opportunity to give something back and to receive the reward of training someone in the way your company work."


Employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged Under 25 years have been abolished

  • It is now better value for employers to take on young apprentices
  • Employers look to save around £1,000 a year when employing an apprentice earning £16,000
  • Apprenticeships give young people the chance to learn while earning

Employers of young apprentices are set to save thousands of pounds after the government abolished employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices under 25 years of age. 

The change, which came into effect on 6 April 2016, will make hiring an apprentice even better value for employers across the country. 

This exemption will apply to both existing employers with apprentices and those taking on a new apprentice. 

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: 

"We’re making it even better value for businesses to take on a young apprentice. Businesses will no longer need to pay National Insurance contributions for apprentices under 25. 

Apprenticeships make sense for young people and for business. If you’re an employer not already reaping the benefits, now is the time to act."

Employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged Under 25 years have been abolished
Employ an Apprentice