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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Employer FAQs
  • Learner FAQs
What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

From April 2017, employers in all sectors with an annual paybill in excess of £3 million will automatically pay 0.5% of their annual paybill through their Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system alongside income tax and National Insurance. More information about the Apprenticeship Levy can be found on our website here

Is there help recruiting apprentices?

VSS offer a FREE Recruitment Service to our employers where we will recruit as many apprentices as you want. Just like a recruitment agency, we search for, screen and select suitable apprentices ready for interview.

Is funding available for existing staff?

Yes, the vast majority of learners undergoing training with VSS are existing employees. Apprentices are a great addition to your business, but your current staff could also be eligible for fully funded level 2 to level 5 qualifications. This is a great way to upskill and nurture the talent within your workforce. More information about upskilling your workforce can be found on our website here

Do I have to employ my apprentice?

Yes. As the employer, you must induct your apprentice into their role and provide on the job training. You are responsible for paying your apprentice’s wages and issuing their Contract of Employment. They must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

What about part-time apprentices?

Apprentices can be part-time (no less than 16 hours) but the time it takes to complete an Apprenticeship is extended proportionately so that the total amount of training time is not reduced.

What happens if my apprentice leaves before the end of the Apprenticeship?

We’ll help the apprentice to complete their Apprenticeship elsewhere and find you a replacement.

What happens if I become so busy that I cannot train someone for a while?

We’ll work with you to re-profile the apprentice’s training programme to reflect your work pressures.

What if I can’t find anyone suitable for my Apprenticeship?

We’ll advise on how to attract more people to your Apprenticeship vacancy.

Is there a lot of paperwork?

Apprenticeships don’t require much paperwork from the employer, unless you’re delivering the training yourself. We’ll help you with all the relevant documents throughout the time of the programme.

What happens at the end of the Apprenticeship?

This is a great achievement by you both and should be celebrated. After a year or more of training, most young people are hungry for more and need to continue to develop. They have the potential to go further with your guidance and support.

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and developing workplace experience. As an employed apprentice, you can earn as you learn – growing practical skills and knowledge from within the workplace. 

How long does an Apprenticeship last?

Normally Apprenticeships are completed over 12 months and advanced apprenticeships between 12 and 24 months depending on learner progression. 

Who can do an apprenticeship?

Anyone in England aged 16 years old and above, whether employed, unemployed or leaving school. There is no upper age limit. There are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship however some employers may ask for GCSEs (A-C) in English, Maths and Science.

How much will I earn?

If you are under 19 you must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage of £3.50 an hour, however many of our employers pay more than this and the average weekly wage is £200.


If you are 19 after completing the first year of your apprenticeship, you must be paid at least the full National Minimum Wage.


All apprentices are employed, and have a contract of employment. You are counted as a regular employee so get all the benefits such as holidays and statutory rights.

What qualification will I gain?

During your apprenticeship you will work towards a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). This is a well recognised qualification that will help you in your career. You may also have the chance to work on professional qualifications such as City and Guilds.

How is training delivered?

The apprenticeship is a work-based qualification, which means that all of the training and assessment for the apprenticeship will be completed on-site. You will need to build an apprenticeship portfolio of evidence using an e-portfolio system (OneFile). Your assessor will observe you in the workplace and will guide you along the way.

What types of apprenticeship are available?

VSS offer four levels of Apprenticeship:

·         Level 2: Intermediate Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to five A* GCSEs)

·         Level 3: Advanced Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to two A-Levels)

·         Level 4: Higher Apprenticeship (HNC Foundation degree level)

·         Level 5: Higher Apprenticeship (HND Foundation degree level)

How do I apply?

Applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for a job so you will have to go through an application process. Please contact a member of the team on 0161 478 4040 to find out what apprenticeship opportunities are available in your area.

What Do I Do When I’ve Finished?

It is up to you what you do when you have finished your apprenticeship. There may be an opportunity to progress to the next level of apprenticeship or you may want to look for a new job.