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Apprenticeships Employer Information


At Buxton & Leek College we offer a ‘grow your own’ approach to developing staff in your organisation and apprenticeships offer a great opportunity to recruit the next generation of your workforce as well as upskilling existing employees. If you’re looking to attract motivated new talent to develop new skills, creativity and enterprise into your organisation then BLC can support the specific needs of your business. We will work closely with you to develop a programme that meets your business needs.

Buxton & Leek College is part of the University of Derby, therefore we are in a unique position to be able to offer some of our Apprenticeships at both College and University/Degree level.

Your questions answered: 

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a work-based training and education programme that allows employees to earn as they learn. Apprentices are given in work opportunities alongside off-the-job training to achieve a Nationally recognised qualification, more information about off-the-job training can be found below.

There are 2 different types of apprenticeship available:

  • apprenticeship standards – each standard covers a specific occupation and sets out the core skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need; standards have been developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers’
  • apprenticeship frameworks – a series of work-related vocational and professional qualifications with workplace and classroom-based training. This type of apprenticeship is being phased out being replaced by standards as they are approved for delivery.

Why choose an apprenticeship with BLC?

  • A cost-effective way to train, develop or upskill a workforce
  • A way to motivate staff and improve job satisfaction
  • A way to improve staff retention rates

All of our programmes are designed to help apprentices link academic theory to their employment setting, enabling them to apply their developing skills and knowledge within their job role. Apprentices are encouraged to use real work problems and issues to inform and enhance their knowledge, and provide evidence of this learning for assessment purposes. Apprentices will be given work-related activities to undertake, which can be designed in consultation with employers to ensure your organisation receives a real benefit. This type of activity can be scheduled to suit the apprentice reinforcing time and workload management skills.

How do I find an apprentice?

We can assist you to recruit suitable apprentices or you can choose to retrain/upskill your existing employees through an apprenticeship, anyone over the age of 16 can become an apprentice subject to meeting minimum entry requirements and completing a college assessment. We advertise all of our vacancies on our designated web page and through various social media platforms.

Throughout the apprenticeship we are here to assist with all aspects of recruiting and employing an apprentice including the completion of paperwork.

What is ‘off-the-job’ training?

All apprentice’s must complete a minimum of 20% off-the-job training hours, the actual amount of hours depends on the length of the apprenticeship and how many hours the apprentice is employed for, you will be advised on how many actual hours the off-the-job training will be at the commencement of the apprenticeship.

There are different types of off the job training, these are;

  • Theory teaching such as lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning and industry specific training
  • Practical training such as shadowing, mentoring and industry visits
  • Apprentice lead learning such as using online resources and time spent working on assignments.

Off-the-job training can be provided by both the college and the employer.

It does not include:

  • Training undertaken in English or maths
  • Progress reviews completed by the college assessor with input from the apprentice’s mentor, supervisor and/or line manager
  • End point assessments
  • Any training which takes place outside of the apprentice’s paid working hours

Time spent completing off-the-job training is recorded on an ePortfolio platform, Smart Assessor, employers will be given access to the system in order to track their apprentices progress.

What is expected of an employer during an apprenticeship ? 

Employers must provide apprentices with employment in a real position within its organisation and must issue an employment contract, giving the apprentice a minimum of 30 hours per week and paying them a wage or salary that meets minimum requirements. There is a national minimum wage for apprentices, which is £4.15 per hour from 1st April 2020, we encourage employers to pay higher than this or to offer increments as skills develop however, we understand not all employers are able to do this. Apprentices 20% off-the-job training should be included within their working hours and is paid time.

What is an apprenticeship standard ?

Previously all apprentices would study an apprenticeship framework, this was a course made up of qualification elements; NVQ, Technical Certificate, employee rights & responsibilities, personal learning & thinking skills, and, when required, Maths, English and ICT. This qualification lead approach often fell short of industry expectations and resulted  in knowledge, skills or required behaviour gaps within learning.  The new employer designed Apprenticeship Standards aim to close these gaps and have a programme of learning that meets industry needs and gives a better platform for apprentices to succeed in their occupation. Buxton & Leek College and the University of Derby have had the privilege to be part of some employer trailblazer groups developing apprenticeship standards. To find out more visit the Institute for Apprenticeship or contact us.

We are currently offering a number Apprenticeship Standards and are seeking to increase our offer as new standards are approved by the Education & Skills Funding Agency.


At Buxton & Leek College we are committed to helping you get the most out of our apprenticeship programme, our expert approach has been developed meticulously into a range of apprenticeships that have been recognised for their excellence.

We offer Apprenticeships in a wide range of areas – please click here to find out more information. More information for your employees about becoming an Apprentice can be found here.

Furthermore Buxton & Leek College and University of Derby are pleased to have been accepted onto the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) for both levy-paying and non-levy paying employers. This means that we are in a unique position of being able to provide Traineeships, Intermediate Apprenticeships, Advanced Apprenticeships and Higher/Degree Apprenticeships, within one institution.

Information on Apprenticeship Levy & Government funding for your apprenticeship:

Introduced by the government in 2017, the levy is designed to encourage employers to invest in high quality apprenticeships. It’s a ‘payroll tax’. We’ve outlined below who pays into the levy and your business could benefit.

  • If you have less than 50 employees and a total pay bill of less than £3 million the training for 16-18 year old apprentices is fully funded, for apprentices 19 or over there would be contribution of 5% of the apprenticeship course fees, this is known as co-funding as the government funds the remaining 95%.
  • If you have more than 50 employees and a total pay bill of less than £3 million you will need to pay a 5% contribution for all apprentices irrespective of age, this is known as co-funding as the government funds the remaining 95%.
  • If you have a total pay bill of more than £3 million you will contribute 0.5% of the annual total bill into the apprenticeship levy. The government will add 10% of the value of your levy fund to spend on apprenticeship training. Your apprenticeship levy fund is accessed through the digital account service (DAS) to pay your apprenticeship training provider.

All employers will receive, subject to a successful claim, a £1,000 apprenticeship grant provided one of the following statements apply at the commencement of the apprenticeship;

  • The apprentice is aged 16-18 years old.
  • The apprentice is aged 19-24 years old and has previously been in care or who has an Education, Health and Care plan provided by their local authority.

The grant is paid via the college in two instalments of £500.

Staffordshire & Derbyshire county councils levy transfer programs:

We are working with both of these councils as part of their levy transfer initiative to offer eligible businesses within their respective geographical areas to recover the cost of the 5% co-funding contribution. For more information about this opportunity please contact our apprenticeships team.

For more information please call 0800 074 0099, email or complete our form to request for our Apprenticeship team to contact you.

Useful information about the Apprenticeship Levy:

Government News – Apprenticeship funding to transform investment in skills 

Apprenticeship funding for employers: how will it work?

Online calculator – understand how much levy employers will pay and how funds can be used to pay for training employees

Online apprenticeship service to enable levy paying employers to manage apprenticeship funds, estimate spend and recruit apprentices