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How to choose the right apprenticeship training

From air traffic controller to engineer to vet technician, there are hundreds of apprenticeships to choose from. They offer flexible, but structured, training that meets your needs as an employer.

Apprenticeships are designed by groups of employers, so they reflect the knowledge, skills and behaviours an apprentice needs for a specific occupation within a sector.

Each occupation has its own set of standards. You can search for apprenticeship standards by occupation.

You can also find out what type of apprenticeships you can expect in your sector.

Apprentices can be a new or existing employee and they must:

  • be 16 or over
  • combine work with study to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job
  • spend at least 20% of their working hours on ‘off-the-job’ training

What should I look for?

Apprenticeships are being developed and approved all the time, so you can choose the right apprenticeship training for your business.

When looking for an apprenticeship, make sure you:

  • select the right training to suit your business
  • think about the level and duration of the training
  • discuss your expectations with the training provider
  • ensure your agreed training plan is flexible and can be changed to meet the needs of your business and the apprentice

Don’t accept training because it’s the only apprenticeship available at the time.

To choose a training provider, use the find apprenticeship training service.

Flexible training

‘Off-the-job’ training can be flexible and doesn’t have to mean 1 day out of the workplace every week.

For example, training can take place:

  • at the apprentice's place of work
  • at a college or university or with a training provider
  • 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.

You can find out more about flexible training in our training your apprentice guidance.

Flexi-Job Apprenticeships

If you work in a sector with short-term contracts or other non-standard employment models, you can still access the benefits of apprenticeships through Flexi-Job Apprenticeships.

You can use a Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agency. The agency directly employs the apprentice but arranges placements with host businesses. You can see the full list of the agencies on the Register of Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agencies.

Alternatively, the apprentice can secure multiple short-term contracts directly with businesses that support the requirements of the apprenticeship.


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