Apprentices and apprenticeships

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Quick Facts

23rd June 2023

  • Apprenticeships are often perceived as a way into employment for younger people, apprentices are open to all who are aged over 16.

  • The Government encourages organisations to use apprentices as a method of creating a skilled workforce.

  • In England, funding of apprenticeships has been amended in recent years, with the apprenticeship levy introduced for large employers and co-investment introduced for smaller employers.

  • The Institute for Apprenticeship was launched in 2017 as a non-department public body who aim to create and develop quality apprenticeships.

Summary

Apprenticeships are a method of training individuals, usually within a skilled profession, whilst they undertake work at the same time.

In Practice

Apprenticeships in England and Wales

The Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 governs apprenticeships in England and Wales.

The Act provides that apprentices are to be engaged on apprenticeship agreements.

Apprenticeships in Scotland

There is no statutory apprenticeship scheme that operates in Scotland. Instead, apprentices are governed by common law and are employed on a common law contract of apprenticeship.

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Apprentices and apprenticeships: Resources

Downloads

Policy on the use of internships

This policy describes the purpose of internships, defines what the relationship between the employer and the intern is, and sets out two alternative forms of internships: short term work shadowing and longer term internships. It includes a company statement of intent towards interns.

Apprenticeship commitment statement

This commitment statement can be used between an apprentice, employer and main apprenticeship provider to set out each parties' commitment towards the provision, studying and undertaking of the apprenticeship.

Approved apprenticeship agreement (England) (31 July 2023 or earlier)

This agreement is a statement of the terms and conditions for an apprentice in England in a sector/occupation for which there is an approved apprenticeship standard. See the government website (www.gov.uk) for a current list of approved apprenticeships and details of the associated standards.

This document should be used for apprenticeships entered into on 31 July 2023 and earlier, which were subject to the apprenticeship funding rules for 2022/2023. 

For apprenticeships that began on 1 August 2023 and later, please use Approved apprenticeship agreement (England) (For apprenticeships entered into on or after 1 August 2023).

Approved apprenticeship agreement (England) (For apprenticeships entered into on or after 1 August 2023)

This agreement is a statement of the terms and conditions for an apprentice in England in a sector/occupation for which there is an approved apprenticeship standard. See the government website (www.gov.uk) for a current list of approved apprenticeships and details of the associated standards.

This document should be used for apprenticeships entered into on 1 August 2023 and later, which are subject to the apprenticeship funding rules for 2023/2024.

For apprenticeships that began on 31 July 2023 and earlier, please use Approved apprenticeship agreement (England) (31 July 2023 or earlier).

Apprenticeship contract (Scotland)

This agreement is a statement of the terms and conditions for an apprentice in Scotland.

Apprenticeship agreement (Wales)

This agreement is a statement of the terms and conditions for an apprentice in Wales, under a framework agreement. See www.gov.uk for a current list of approved apprenticeships.

Contract addendum for upskilling existing employees using Apprenticeship Levy

This letter can be used as an addendum to contract to confirm that an existing employee will undertake an apprenticeship using apprenticeship levy funds.

Letter inviting employee to formal meeting to discuss conclusion of apprenticeship

This document is to be used by an organisation to invite an apprentice to a formal meeting to discuss the conclusion of their apprenticeship.

Letter confirming some other substantial reason (SOSR) dismissal on conclusion of apprenticeship

This document is to be used by organisations to confirm to an employee that a termination for some other substantial reason (SOSR) has occurred due to the conclusion of an apprenticeship.

Letter advising of pay increase of the national minimum / living wage rate due to apprentice age or progress to their second year

This letter can be used to inform an apprentice that their pay rate has increased due to either their 19th birthday or their passage from the first to the second year of their apprenticeship, when they will change to the National Minimum/Living Wage rate applicable to their age. 

Reviewed 13 February 2024

Case Reports

McGrouther v Express Joinery Products - Apprenticeship: early termination

The employment tribunal (ET) has ruled that dismissing an apprentice prior to the completion of their apprenticeship was in breach of contract.

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North East Coast Shiprepairers v Secretary of State for Employment — Contract of apprenticeship

Contract of apprenticeship is a one-off contract.

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Chassis and Cab Specialists v Lee - Minimum wage: apprentices

Claimant was an apprentice so national minimum wage did not apply.

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Flett v Matheson - Apprenticeship agreement

Modern apprenticeship agreement can amount to a contract of apprenticeship.

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