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Your guide to hiring apprentices

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Want to employ an apprentice but don’t know where to start?

APM’s guide for employers is what you need to help you navigate the different options on offer whether you are a small business or multinational organisation. We also have a dedicated Apprenticeship Unit to help you with any queries about the levy or apprenticeships in general.

What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes graded from levels 1 to 8, lasting at least 12 months. They allow apprentices to combine employment and training – earning and learning – providing both on and off-the-job (20 per cent) training. In addition to delivering functional skills in English and maths, apprenticeships lead to full competency and capability in an occupation, demonstrated by achievement of an apprenticeship standard.

Also, there is no upper age limit for apprenticeships, so the scheme can be used to develop new or existing staff.

Why offer apprenticeships?

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (March 2016) found that demand for highly skilled workers is continuing to rise across the UK and is particularly strong in sectors critical to the rebalancing of the economy such as engineering, science and high-tech, and construction.

Apprenticeships have a vital role to play in addressing this skills challenge. They have something to offer those entering the labour market as well as those already in the labour market.

What project management apprenticeships are available?

There are two project management apprenticeships currently available. The Associate Project Manager; Trailblazer Apprenticeship at level 4 is available in England, and the Higher Apprenticeship Framework at level 4 is available in Scotland and Wales.

Apprentices who are training to be Associate Project Managers study for an APM qualification known as PMQ which is widely recognised by project management recruiters, both in the UK and internationally.

How do I pay for apprenticeships?

Since 6 April 2017, employers in all parts of the UK have to pay an apprenticeship levy of 0.5 per cent if their annual pay bill exceeds £3m. Businesses can use the levy funds in their apprenticeships service account to train new and existing employees.

Apprenticeships can be a valuable new source of talent for smaller businesses as well. Research shows that not only do you get the opportunity to train apprentices in your way of working, they are often loyal to your company and more likely to stay so creating a long term talent pool for your business. There are financial incentives for employers taking part.

How much do I have to pay my apprentices?

The minimum wage for apprentices is £95 per week but employers may increase this as the apprentice develop their skills so the average is around £170 per week.

Where do I find training providers?

If you are interested in offering a project management apprenticeship then get in touch with our Apprenticeship Unit who can advise on training providers in your area. The National Apprenticeship Service can provide details about all the different apprenticeships available and which would best suit your company.

Who can I contact for more information?

APM has a dedicated Apprenticeship Unit to assist employers with their queries both on the levy and apprenticeships in general – as well as  the Associate Project Manager; Trailblazer Apprenticeship.  Contact the Unit either by telephone on 0845 458 1944 or via email at

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