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What are the benefits of apprenticeships?

Posted by: Rachel Martin
What are the benefits of apprenticeships?  supporting image

NOCN talk the introduction of new standards, the apprenticeship levy and reforms

Many employers already know the benefits of taking on an apprentice and with the introduction of new standards, more companies are getting on board every day, because these apprenticeships are employer-designed and employer-managed.


Looking for some advice on successful apprenticeships? Well, the expert and knowledgeable team at NOCN have you covered with these top tips...


Focus on quality not price

A higher price doesn’t necessarily mean a better service. It’s important to make sure your chosen assessment organisation is fully quality assured, experienced in your chosen sector and above all shares the same ethos and values as yourself.


Start with the end in mind

Choose your end point assessment partner at the start and work with them to ensure your apprenticeship programme covers all the aspects which will be tested at the end.


Embrace diversity

Businesses benefit from a diverse workforce as new ideas and perspectives bring opportunities for growth. A fair and inclusive apprenticeship programme is a good way to attract new talent to revitalise your organisation.



As a nation, we urgently need more professionals – engineers, designers, digital wizards – and the new apprenticeship levy has thrown a lifeline to companies scrabbling for talent.


With fees and debt making higher education far less attractive, schools and universities just aren’t turning out enough young people with the right skills to plug gaps in some sectors, say leading graduate employers, and in a bid to redress this, the government has committed to creating three million new apprenticeships by 2020, paid for in part by the employer.


But, how does the apprenticeship levy work?


• UK employers with wage bills of over £30million pay 0.5 per cent of their payroll into a central apprenticeships fund.


• Levy payments become vouchers that larger public and private sector companies can use to fund apprenticeships.

• Companies with a wage bill of less than £3million pay ten per cent of training costs directly to the provider and the government the remaining 90 per cent – up to a funding band maximum.


• The government provides all the funding for training 16 to 18 year old apprentices if a company has less than 50 employees.


However, according to a recent BBC article, the number of apprentices starting new programmes in England has dropped. It further states that there were 114,400 apprenticeship starts in England from August to October 2017, which was 49,800 less than a year earlier.


Although the overall number of apprentices starting new programmes has seen a drop, more are starting advanced or higher level programmes. Higher apprentices can work towards qualifications such as a foundation degree or the equivalent of bachelor’s degree – without paying fees.  


The Department of Education states that between 2016-2017 54 per cent of apprenticeship starts were women compared with 46 per cent of men. However, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, male apprentices are earning more.


In 2016-17, 277,800 people completed an apprenticeship in England, which was the highest number since comparable records began in 2002 states the Department of Education. This means that more and more apprentices are finishing their courses.



Five things you need to know about apprenticeship reforms:


• The levy can only be spent on training apprentices


• By 2020 all existing apprenticeship frameworks will be replace by employer led standards


• All standards will have an end point assessment


• Standards will be overseen by a new Institute of Apprenticeships


• There’s a new digital apprenticeship service website for finding out about and selecting your Apprenticeship Training Provider (ATP) and End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO)



NOCN is a national Awarding Organisation and leading independent apprentice EPAO, it has been making learning matter by creating opportunities for 30 years. NOCN Group now includes CSkills Awards, offering a wide ranging of Construction qualifications and apprenticeships.


For more information on the services NOCN can provide give them a call on 0114 227 0500 or visit



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