Employing an apprentice

More than 100,000 employers in over 160,000 workplaces, currently utilise apprenticeships to attract new talent, re-skill existing staff and tackle skills shortages. Apprenticeships are available to organisations of all sizes. Employment is a fundamental part of an apprenticeship as an apprentice must be employed in a job role with a productive purpose.

Myth busting

"My apprentice will spend a lot of time away from the workplace" -

Off-the-Job training must teach new knowledge, skills, and behaviour relevant to the specific apprenticeship.  However, it can be delivered flexibly, e.g., as part of each day, one day per week, one week out of five or block release.  There may be existing training programmes or materials the organisation can use to deliver elements of this.


"Off-the-job training must be delivered by a provider in a classroom, at an external location" -

This is not true.  Providers have developed a range of delivery styles to suit employer and apprentice needs. Employers work with providers to decide where and when this should take place.


"English and maths counts towards the minimum 6 hours requirement for off-the-job training" -

This is not true: English and maths (at level 2 or below) does not count towards the minimum requirement of 6 hours off-the-job training.  Apprenticeships are about developing occupational competency and they are designed on the basis that the apprentice already has the required level (level 2) of English and maths. Training for English and maths must be on top of the minimum requirement of 6 hours off-the-job training requirement.


"Off-the-job training can be done in the apprentice's own time" -

An apprenticeship is a work-based programme so all off-the-job training must take place within the apprentice's normal working hours*.  If planned off-the-job training is unable to take place, it must be rearranged. Apprentices may choose to spend additional time training outside paid hours, but this must not be required to complete the apprenticeship.

Off the Job Training Guide (updated November 2023)

Off the Job Training Guide (updated November 2023)


Different types of apprenticeships

Examples of different types of Apprenticeships are included in the document below.

Once you have decided what 'Apprenticeship' you wish to look at, please follow this link: to The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) website and enter either the title of the Apprenticeship or the Standard Reference Number, e.g. ST0310 and you will find out more about this particular Standard.

If you are unsure of relevant apprenticeships for the role, then this website is really useful to identify relevant occupational group: Occupational Maps / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Are there different levels of apprenticeships?

Yes. There are many levels of Apprenticeship available and are available for candidates aged 16 and over.


The apprenticeship levy was introduced in 2017 and paid by large employers with a pay bill of over £3 million (they pay 0.5% of their total annual pay bill).   Currently, only 2% of employers pay the apprenticeship levy, but this funding has helped directly support almost 50% of all apprenticeships in 2017/18.  Levy paying employers access their funds through the online apprenticeship service. The levy is there to fund apprenticeship training for all employers.  Any unspent levy funds are used to support existing apprentices to complete their training and to pay for apprenticeship training for smaller employers.

How can I access funding for apprenticeships?

There are three ways to access funding to pay for apprenticeship training, this funding does not cover salary costs - you will have to fund the apprentice's salary.

BSW Levy transfer application process

BSW Levy transfer application process


Levy transfer - SLA and structure V7.0 (Updated February 2024)

Levy transfer - SLA and structure V7.0 Updated February 2024)


Levy Transfer Application form (Updated February 2024)

Levy Transfer Application form (Updated Oct 2022)


Levy Transfer Q&A (updated February 2024

Levy Transfer Q&A (updated February 2024)


BSW Levy transfer flow chart & DAS account set up process (February 2024)

Next steps

Where can I find out more?

You can download a Primary and Social Care Information pack full of useful hints and tips to support you on your apprenticeship journey here.

Please email the BSW Academy Team

Or the BSW Training Hub*

Or you can contact individual partner organisations, within our local apprenticeship network.

Please also follow the links below to local and national websites.

Extra support, information, advice, and guidance within BSW:

The BSW Apprenticeship Network

The membership of this group includes Health, Social Care, Primary Care, Local Authorities and Charity Organisations, and local Hospices.

This is a collaborative network, formed to work across the footprint of BSW and avoid duplication of tasks, recognising necessaries economies of scale.

This ensures the availability of apprenticeships, using BSW wide contracts where appropriate, especially where they are barriers to uptake

The network offers a joint procurement platform for all network members, offering greater negotiation power, when designing bespoke BSW specific apprenticeships. Working with a network of training providers, this informs quality assurance across programmes within our area.

The network supports system wide workforce development through the levy transfer process

The aim is to expand the number and breadth of apprenticeships offered, therefore developing apprenticeship pathways at all levels to provide career progression opportunities across BSW.

The network meets on the third Tuesday of every month.

For details of the next meeting dates, please contact the BSW Academy Team on bswicb.bswacademy@nhs.net


The BSW Nurse Associate Steering Group

This is a separate group for organisations who either currently employ or who wish to employ a Nursing Associate.

The membership of this group includes Health, Social Care, Primary Care, Local Authorities and Charity Organisations, including local Hospices.

In addition to similar objectives, to the apprenticeship network:

The purpose of this group is to support and encourage collaborative working and shared learning among network members

To develop the placement capacity across employers and the creation of learning placement opportunities to support contrasting placements.

The network meets bimonthly on the morning of the second Tuesday every other month.

For details of the next meeting dates, please contact the BSW Academy Team on bswicb.bswacademy@nhs.net



BSW Trainee Nursing Associate checklist:

BSW TNA checklist with links (V3 July 2023)


BSW Honorary Contract (February 2024) V3 BSW Honorary contract (February 2024) V3 (FINAL)

Further information