What do I need to do to employ an apprentice?


You must pay your apprentice via the PAYE system, cash in hand is not sufficient.

Contract of employment

You must have a contract of employment with a minimum of 30 hours per week. If you don’t already have contracts in place then we can help you with this.

Advertise your apprenticeship

We can help with this.  We will discuss with you your requirements and can  advertise this though the apprenticeship service and our extended employment network.

Select your apprentice

We can help with the interviewing and support you in choosing the right apprentice for you and your business.   We interview many hundreds of candidates per year and can assist and advise you in this process

Digital Account

You will need to set up an apprenticeship account via gov.uk website.  Again, we have extensive experience in this and can help you navigate your way through this process.

For more information you can visit the ‘Employing an apprentice’ section of the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/employing-an-apprentice or contact one of our Training Officers for a chat!

What range of work do I need to offer an apprentice?

In order to support an apprentice to develop a long and successful career in their chosen trade On Site Bristol will check with you that there is a suitable range of work prior to the start.

This means we can ensure that there is sufficient opportunity for the apprentice to tackle the different aspects of their chosen trade over the length of their apprenticeship. If there is a specific area where this may be a challenge, then we can organise for a learner to complete these with another employer.

What's in it for me?

Benefit of training to your needs

By training your own apprentice you can train them to your standards and the effort you put into their training programme is personally very rewarding.

An apprenticeship programme delivers the required skills designed around your business requirements and provides the trained workers you need for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career.

Cheap to start

To recognise the value of the training that you can provide to a new apprentice the national minimum wage is lower for apprentices. In addition to this the cost for training an apprentice is usually fully or partially funded by the government:

16-18yr old apprentice – 100% funded

19+ employers are required to make a 5% contribution to the costs of training

Finally, the support from On Site Bristol which includes a dedicated training officer, additional training and a basic tools/PPE kit is supported through local and national funding.

Incentive payments

The Government has increased and extended its incentive payments to support employers who hire new apprentices.  From 1st April 2021 to 1st September 2021 employers can receive an incentive of £3000 for employing an apprentice.

The payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice who is

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 with an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

You can claim support for up to 5 apprentices.

  • Please note this is only available if you recruit an apprentice who was not working for you prior to the 1st April 2021.

For the latest information on Government grants please click here

Construction Skills Grant

If you are ‘in scope’ for a CITB Construction Skills grant you may attract additional funding of up to £10,250 across the apprenticeship. This is best discussed with the team.

What do I need to pay


As mentioned above if your organization has less than 50 employees and you employ an apprentice aged between 16-18, the costs of the training are covered 100%


An apprentice MUST be paid the minimum national wage for apprentices which is currently £4.15 per hour (this will rise to £4.30 from 1st April 2021) . This must be paid via PAYE.

The apprentice rate is applied if they are:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

An apprentice aged 22 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £4.15 (or £4.30 post 1st April 2021)

In their second year an apprentice 19 or over will get paid the minimum wage for their age category.



To protect yourself and your staff you must have employers and public liability or combined liability. Your insurance must also cover young people. This is often already part of the insurance you have in place but you should check this to ensure you are covered as it is typically very low cost to add to your policy. Your Training Officer can advise you further.


Employers must provide a workplace pension for eligible staff. This is called ‘automatic enrolment’.

You must enrol and make an employer’s contribution for all staff who:

  • are aged between 22 and the State Pension age
  • earn at least £10,000 a year

Clearly this will not necessarily effect employers taking on apprentices. If in doubt please call our main office number 01173521960 for advice

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Apprenticeships have a minimum duration dependent on the nature of the work involved. Also, for apprenticeships that our offered at Level 2 we discuss with employers and apprentices if they wish to progress to Level 3 and tackle more advanced skills.

Bricklaying, Carpentry & Bench Joinery, Plastering, Painting & Decorating

Minimum of 2 years (3 years if progressing to advanced level)


Minimum of 2 years


Electrical Installation is only delivered at an advanced level and takes a minimum of 4 years to complete.