Frequently Asked Questions

Are apprentices eligible for maternity leave?

Yes. Like all employees, Apprentices are entitled to statutory maternity leave of 52 weeks with statutory maternity pay for up to 39 weeks.


Do apprentices take exams?

Most assessments are carried out in the workplace but there may be a requirement to take some tests.


Do I have to give my apprentice holidays?

Like most other employees, Apprentices must be given at least 20 days paid holiday per year as well as Bank Holidays.


How are apprenticeships frameworks developed?

An Apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications called a ‘framework’. These are developed by Sector Skills Councils. Sector Skills Councils are licensed by Government to work with employers to develop National Occupational Standards and design Apprenticeship frameworks for the industries they represent.


How long does an apprenticeship take?

The length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on prior skill levels of the Apprentice, the qualification being obtained and industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between 1 and 4 years to complete.


What is the difference between apprenticeships and modern apprenticeships?

Modern apprenticeships were re-branded in 2004 to ‘Apprenticeships’, they are the same thing.


How often do apprentices attend college or training sessions?

This varies from programme to programme. Some Apprenticeships can be completely delivered in the workplace, while some require day release at college a week or a block release.


I have an employee keen to do an apprenticeship. Can I still take them on as an apprentice?

Yes. If you have an employee who is keen to do an Apprenticeship then you can still take them on as an Apprentice.


Why would I want to take on an apprentice?

Because it is good for business. Skills shortages are still one of the biggest threats to UK business. Apprenticeships can help businesses across all industries by offering a route to harness fresh talent. If you have trained staff with the right skills for the job they can do a wider range of tasks and take on new responsibilities - this can help to reduce skill shortages, minimise staff turnover and workplace accidents, and increase productivity.

Taking on an Apprentice is cost-effective because your people can learn while they’re on the job and the Government contributes to the costs of learning.


Is there a limit to the number of apprentices that an employer can take on?

No, they can take on as many as they need – and often in more than one framework. The employer will be responsible for giving the Apprentice an induction into their role as they provide on-the-job training.


Is there an upper age limit for apprenticeships?

No, there is no upper age limit for Apprenticeships. The only age limit is that the Apprentice must be over 16 years of age.


My business is struggling to make ends meet. How is taking on an apprentice going to help?

Even in difficult times like these, Apprenticeships are a vital way of improving the skills of staff and generating a committed and valuable workforce. When times are tough, competition for contracts is even tougher. That’s when a well-trained, extra pair of hands could make a real difference to your chances of success.

Apprentices can also help you prepare your businesses for when the economy comes out of recession. By offering a flexible resource that can help your business grow, Apprentices can also give you a competitive advantage to exploit new business growth opportunities.


So what support can I expect from the National Apprenticeship Service?

The National Apprenticeship Service covers the training costs of Apprentices depending on their age. 


What are my responsibilities as the employer?

You must give your Apprentice an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training. As with all employees, you are also responsible for the wages of your Apprentice.


What are transferable skills?

Many different industry sectors share the same skill sets. These core skills are transferable across sectors and are built into the Apprenticeship to maximise flexibility and choice for employers and Apprentices. They include:

  • Communication (mandatory)
  • Application of numbers (mandatory) 
  • ICT 
  • Working with others 
  • Improving own learning and performance 
  • Problem solving.


What if I can't find an apprenticeship for my sector?

So far, there are more than 250 different types of Apprenticeships available offering over 1,400 job roles – and more are being developed. They have all been developed with employers and Sector Skills Councils to ensure they meet the needs of employers.

Apprenticeships are also available for a number of business support functions including business administration and finance. 


What is a framework?

There are a number of elements to each Apprenticeship and this is called the Framework. This means you will get a range of qualifications as you progress through your training and education. Each Apprenticeship framework has three main strands:

  • A competence based element 
  • A technical element 
  • A skills element 

The three strands are sometimes accompanied by additional qualifications to give the most relevant skills and knowledge required for the job that you are employed in.


What types of apprenticeships are there?

Please see ‘Browse Subjects’ page to find out about the Apprenticeships Swindon College offers.


Which apprenticeships are most in demand?

Some of the most popular Apprenticeships at present are: Engineering, Business Administration, Construction and Hospitality.


Contact us

Contact the Apprenticeship Team:  Tel: (01793) 498208  Email: