Apprenticeship Standards & Frameworks

The UK has different apprenticeship standards and frameworks, depending on the country where your business is based. Although this means four different systems, they have a lot in common.

To find out more about which standards and frameworks apply to you, and the funding available, click on the country below.

Funding information

All UK employers with annual pay bills of more than £3 million now pay an apprenticeship levy. In England, you can have a digital levy account, but this isn’t available in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. If you operate across all four nations, you will pay a contribution based on your total number of UK employees.

As Apprenticeships policy is a devolved matter there are four different systems operating across the United Kingdom, although with many common themes. The levy will be paid by employers across the UK. So employers who operate across the devolved nations will pay their contribution based on their total number of UK employees.

Find your country below to see specific programmes

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why take on an apprentice?

    Apprenticeships benefit both you and your apprentice. An apprentice is likely to be in the early stages of their career, and their enthusiasm and willingness to develop in your workplace make them a great addition to your team. In turn, they’ll learn valuable professional and technical skills they can’t get from a degree – all while earning.

  • What is an apprenticeship programme?

    • Apprenticeships are training programmes for employees aged 16 and over, helping them gain and develop skills and knowledge relevant to their career aspirations and the needs of their employer.
    • They have time limits (minimum of 12 months) and are based on skills, and will often include qualifications. New apprenticeships have an assessment at the end, which measures the capability of an apprentice.
    • The Institute for Apprenticeships oversees all apprenticeships, looking at the suitability of the training suggested for each job role and ensuring multiple apprenticeship options aren’t developed for the same job.
    • All apprenticeships are designed to develop skills within a job role. Many also contain professional qualifications to help build knowledge and understanding of specific sectors.
  • What is 20% off-the-job training?

    The requirement for 20% ‘off-the-job training’ is not as onerous as you might think, and does not necessarily mean you will have to release your apprentice one day a week to sit in a classroom. Training is an essential part of an apprenticeship and must take place during employed time. Employers may find that what they offer as part of their existing learning and development delivery counts towards the 20%. For example, revision towards CII exams, use of insurance/Broker/Financial Assess and attendance at Local Institute events.