About apprenticeships

About apprenticeships

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training. It's a way for individuals to earn while they learn, gaining valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role.

An apprenticeship scheme gives an apprentice the opportunity to gain:

  • Technical knowledge
  • Practical experience
  • Wider skills 

The apprentice will have a contract of employment with the contracting authority and the contract will be long enough for them to complete the apprenticeship standard.

The wages for the apprentice will be met by the employer, the provider may be required to support the contracting authority to determine the appropriate salary. 

An apprenticeship can be studied by any individual over the age of 16, and the provider will be required to support the contracting authority in ensuring they can meet the needs and requirements of a variety of ages.

The YPO framework can be used to recruit new apprentices into an organisation or a contracting authority may utilise the framework to develop current employees.


How do apprenticeships work?

A training organisation will work with a contracting authority to deliver an apprenticeship standard. The majority of the training is on-the-job working, with a mentor to guide the apprentice through job specific skills in the workplace.

Off-the-job training will then depend on the occupational area, the provider and the requirements and wishes of the contracting authority.

An apprenticeship will vary in length depending on the standard. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, an end-point assessment organisation will then be required to assess the apprentice.

An apprenticeship should be employed by the contracting authority for a minimum of 30 hours a week, alternatively part time and flexible working options may be provided.


Changes to the funding of apprenticeship funding

In April 2017 the apprenticeship funding changed and we saw the implementation of the apprenticeship levy. The apprenticeship levy is payable by all employers with a pay bill of over £3m. The apprenticeship levy is then held centrally by central government in an online account (apprenticeship service) and can be spent on apprenticeship training only. Organisations that don’t spend the money within two years will see the funds reduce in their online account.

Due to the changes with the apprenticeship levy, the public sector has seen a drastic increase in the funding available to spend on apprenticeships. All public sector organisations are naturally wanting to spend their money to develop a successful apprenticeships programme.

Details in relation to all apprenticeship changes and funding can be found here.  


What is the register of apprenticeship training providers?

Providers will be required to be listed on the register of apprenticeship training providers to deliver apprenticeship training and/or registered on the register of apprentice assessment organisations, to deliver end point assessment. All providers will be audited and contracted with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to be on the register. The ESFA will carry out audits on registered providers and all providers are required to advise YPO and relevant contracting authorities about the outcome of any audits. If a provider is removed from the approved registers by the ESFA, they will no longer be able to provide through the YPO framework and will be removed from the framework.

All requirements that are requested by the ESFA must be met to deliver through the YPO framework, this will result in approval onto the RoATP register. Any organisation that does not meet these requirements will not be awarded onto the YPO framework.

The application process for the RoATP covers:

  • Ofsted ratings
  • UKPRN reference number
  • Registered with the Information Commissioner’s office for the processing of personal data for education and training
  • Safeguarding processes
  • Equality and diversity processes
  • Expertise or experience of delivering apprenticeships
  • Financial assessment

Please note: This is an indicative list only.

More details are available on apprenticeships in the YPO specification. The specification is available to download from our framework page under the framework documents tab. Click here to view the framework page.

The YPO framework was created in-line with the information on the institute of apprenticeships framework. This was to ensure the focus was on the delivery of apprenticeships and in-line with the correct guidance.


For information about the institute of apprenticeships please visit: www.instituteforapprenticeships.org

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Apprenticeship framework

YPO has created a framework that gives contracting authorities access to both regional and national providers.

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Frequently asked questions

Find out what an apprenticeship is, why you need to procure apprentices through a contract or framework and more.