Did you know that businesses report an average increase in productivity of £214 a week when they hire apprentices?

Are you new to Apprenticeships?

If yes, our guide will give you all the tools and information you need!

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are real jobs with real responsibilities. The apprentice gains valuable on-the-job experience whilst also completing a technical qualification.
There are various levels of qualification that can be achieved via the apprenticeship pathway. On average, an Intermediate Apprenticeship will take approximately 12 months to complete, an Advanced Apprenticeship 12-18 months and a Higher Apprenticeship can take up to 2 years.

Below are the different levels that are accessible to your potential apprentices along with the average timescales for completion. The completion times could vary depending on your apprentice, the contracted hours, chosen standard/framework and provider.



Equivalent Education Level




GCSE (A* - E)

12 months



A Level (A – C)

12 to 18 months


4, 5, 6 and 7

Foundation Degree and above

24 months


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree

36 to 60 months




36 to 60 months

By creating an apprenticeship Tameside Council can offer certain benefits.


The Apprenticeship Levy

The Government has set a target of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. In order to achieve this target, they have introduced the Apprenticeship Levy. Under the new guidelines there will be no restrictions for new and existing employees with higher or degree level qualifications.

Contributing to this new levy is compulsory for businesses with a wage bill over £3 million. If the wage bill exceeds £3 million per year then the Levy will be set at 0.5% of that wage bill. The Levy allows employers to ensure people of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to access further education and get onto the employment ladder.

Get a sense of the cost and available funds with the Apprenticeship Levy Calculator.

As an employer looking to offer an apprenticeship opportunity, there are some key things you may wish to consider:

For further facts on apprenticeships you could visit the Gov.UK website 

You can find more on the funding bands here


Non-Levy Paying Businesses

If you are a business who does not pay towards the Levy, you will still be able to take advantage of the funding pot to meet workforce development needs. Employers that aren’t paying into the Levy (as well as Levy-paying employers that have used up all their funds) will still be able to procure training under a co-investment scheme. This means your business will have to pay 10% towards the cost of training, with the government taking on the other 90%. However, if you’re taking on 16 to 18-year-olds, or 19 to 24-year olds that have a local authority education and health care plan, the government will contribute 100% of the costs associated with your apprenticeships, as well as an additional £1,000 contribution (made at three and 12 month milestones). Training providers will also receive a one-off £1,000 payment to support apprentices who meet the above criteria.