Apprenticeships are crucial in responding to economic growth, addressing skills shortages and building long-term careers.

As of April 2017, the way apprenticeships are funded will change with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and the move to new apprenticeship standards is already underway. The South East LEP and partners wish to help facilitate a significant increase in apprenticeship numbers, particularly in growth sectors, already supported through Skills Capital investments and skills European Social fund contracts.


To kick start a career, an individual normally requires a combination of experience and qualifications. An apprenticeship combines on the job training with study (usually one day a week), which provides learning while earning opportunities, with some apprenticeships the qualification can even go up to degree level.

It usually takes between one and four years to complete an apprenticeship, depending on the level of the qualification. Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industries and company types.

The minimum wage for apprentices aged 16-18 is £3.40 per hour. The same applies for aged 19 and over in the first year of the apprenticeship, after that it rises to the National Minimum Wage. However many employers pay more than this. Pay is dependent on the industry location and type of apprenticeship, higher level apprenticeships offering degree level qualifications can pay up to £500 a week.

To find out about apprenticeship opportunities click here

This website provides a function to search through lots of apprenticeship opportunities and to submit an application, there is also lots of information about what employers are looking for and support in the process.


With an apprenticeship, employers can enhance their workforce and introduce a fresh perspective to a business.

Apprenticeships are for ambitious people of all ages who want to earn while they learn, gaining real skills and knowledge to help them get on and progress their career. By offering an apprenticeship, an employer can strengthen and diversify their workforce and provide a future talent pipeline tailored to business needs.

An apprenticeship is first and foremost a job, and comes with substantial training and development of transferable skills, which is beneficial to an employer and an employee. Most training is on the job, with an identified mentor, to learn job specific skills in the workplace. Off-the-Job training is dependent on the occupational area, the training organisation and requirements of the employer.

Apprentices bring enthusiasm and a fresh perspective, with the expansion of higher and degree level apprenticeships businesses can access the higher-technical skills vital to business performance and growth. Apprenticeships attract new talent, offer progression routes and can help reduce recruitment costs.

Apprenticeships are available in 1500 occupations across 170 industries to businesses of all sizes.

To find out more about how an apprentice could help your business click here

SELEP’s ambition for apprenticeships

The SELEP area needs to see a significant increase in apprenticeship numbers as part of its commitment to the government 3 million national target to 2020.

In 2015/16 there were 32,240 apprenticeship starts and the forthcoming LEP Skills Strategy in 2017will set targets for our area. Our ESF contracts will support 15-24 year olds into apprenticeships with a focus on LEP growth sectors. The LEP Skills Capital investment will support an additional 7,300 new apprentices to 2021 through over 22,000m2 new and improved learning and training space.

Apprenticeship levy

In spring 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.

Government introduced the apprenticeship levy on 6 April 2017. The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships.

There is guidance available on how the apprenticeship levy works. It also explains the principles that apprenticeship funding will operate on from 1 May 2017, whether you pay the levy or not. For further information visit these Government pages.

You can find out more about the benefits apprenticeships can bring to your organisation and about the ways apprenticeships are being reformed, in Government’s ‘vision for apprenticeships’. The reforms include giving employers the opportunity to add to the new apprenticeship standards already available by developing standards that meet their precise needs.

Apprenticeship videos

If you are interested in finding our more about what its like doing an apprenticeship or what apprenticeships can bring to your business please watch our short video below or view our full set of apprenticeship videos on a our YouTube Channel.