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What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are learning on the job programmes for new and existing staff.  Apprenticeships are an excellent way to upskill existing staff or to support the newly recruited and provided a levy transfer is organised, it is at no cost to the employing organisation. 

Anyone undertaking an apprenticeship must be in work and the apprenticeship must be relevant to their current role.  

As an apprentice you will:

  • be an employee earning a wage and getting holiday pay

  • work alongside experienced staff

  • gain job-specific skills

  • get time for training and study related to your role (at least 20% of your normal working hours)

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.

Typical eligibility criteria for apprenticeships include*:

  • evidence of Maths and English GCSEs (grade 9 to 4, grade A to C) or Functional Skills Level 2 - find out how to gain Functional Skills

  • be aged 16+ at the time of enrolment (for health care based apprenticeships there's often a requirement of 18+ as minimum age)

  • not already be in full-time education at the point of enrolment.

  • be one of the following:

    • a citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) (including other countries determined within the EEA or those with bilateral agreements), or have the right of abode in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the EEA (including other countries determined within the EEA or those with bilateral agreements), for at least the previous three years on the first day of learning;

    • a non-EEA citizen with permission from the UK government to live in the UK, (not for educational purposes) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of learning.

* Please check eligibility criteria for each individual apprenticeship programme you're considering.

Maths and English functional skills are a key component of any apprenticeship programme.  

Apprenticeships are available from entry level 2 up to a masters at level 7 and are available in many different areas: business administration, healthcare, management and leadership, project management, teaching, coaching, quality improvement, customer service etc. 

All available standards can be seen on the government website:

Funding is available to contribute towards the cost of apprenticeships. The funding is different depending on whether you’re a non-levy payer or a levy payer. Most employers in Primary Care will not be paying the Levy Fee but can apply for a levy fee transfer.


If you’re a UK employer with an annual payroll of more than £3m, you must pay a levy which can only be used for the training and assessment of apprentices in your organisation. 

You’ll fund your apprenticeship through a digital levy account to which Government adds 10%. If the cost exceeds the credit in your account, the Government will contribute 95% of these extra costs. If you don't choose to use your levy or donate it the government will reclaim it after 24 months. 

Non-levy payers

You will pay for 5% of the cost of the apprenticeship, up to the Government funding rate, and the Government will pay the rest of the cost to the learning provider. However, levy-paying organisation can transfer some of their levy to you to mitigate this cost.  

Non-levy payers can now access the government’s digital Apprenticeship Service. Find out more information on the benefits and how to access this on Education and Skills Funding Agency website. 

Levy Fund Transfers

A levy-paying employer can choose to donate up to 25% of their apprenticeship levy fund to any other employer who can then use it to fund learning and assessment of their apprentices. See full government guidance on transferring unused apprenticeship funds.  

Watch The Education and Skills Funding Agency video to find out about the apprenticeship levy transfer, providing information for organisations wanting to transfer their levy or organisations looking to receive transferred levy funds.  

If you are an organisation hoping to benefit from a levy transfer please read the 'Apprenticeship funding rules for employers'. 

Advertising your apprenticeship vacancies

If you wish to advertise your apprenticeship vacancies, attracting a wide pool of external candidates, you may wish to use the Hire an apprentice (

Register your interest for further information on apprenticeships

Whether you are an employer interested in developing existing employees or externally recruited candidates, or someone who is interested in starting an apprenticeship - please complete the expression of interest so we can reach out with further information on opportunities in North Central London.

If you have further questions please get in touch with the Primary Care Anchor Networks & Apprenticeship Project Manager - Losarina Kelly.