How to take on an apprentice (Wales)

apprenticeship competition

In Apprenticeships, Education

We’ve covered how to take on an apprentice in England and Scotland, so now it is the turn of Wales. So, if you are living in the land of the dragon and are looking to take on an apprentice, take a look at our handy little guide.

Who can be an apprentice?

Anyone living in Wales, who is 16+ years old and not in full time education can apply for an apprenticeship. Apprentices can be new or current employees.

How do you hire an apprentice?

1) First you can register your interest to take on an apprentice online via the Business Wales website. The Business Wales Skills Gateway team should then be in touch to let you know your options.

2) Next you need to choose an apprenticeships framework or standard for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level. You can find priority sectors and frameworks here.

3) Next you need to find a training organisation that offers apprenticeships for the framework or standard you’ve chosen.

4) Check what funding is available.

5) Then you’ll need to advertise your apprenticeship, but don’t worry the training organisation you have chosen can help through the Apprenticeship Matching Service.

6) You may have a number of applicants. Once you have decided upon your ideal apprentice, you’ll need to make an ‘apprenticeship agreement’ with them.

What are your obligations as an employer?

Your apprentice must:

  • Work with experienced staff
  • Learn job-specific skills
  • Study during their working week (for example, at a college or training organisation)


As an employer, you are responsible for arranging their contract of employment and paying their wages. Apprentices also have rights just like any other worker. This includes:

  • Employing the apprentice in a real job that works towards an approved apprenticeship standard or framework. The role must give them the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge to pass their assessments.
  • Paying the apprentice for all the time spent training and studying, including any time at college.
  • And apprentices are entitled to:
  • Paid holidays
  • Sick pay
  • Benefits you offer other employees such as childcare voucher schemes
  • Support you offer such as coaching or mentoring
  • Apprentices have the same employment rights as your other employees when it comes to redundancy too.

If you want to end the apprenticeship early for any other reason than redundancy it would be prudent to gain legal advice.

What do you have to pay your apprentice?

Apprentices are paid at least the minimum wage. Check out the minimum wage rates here.

How long does the apprenticeship last for?

It is dependent on the NVQ level taken. NVQ Level 2 (the entry level qualification) usually lasts two years full time. NVQ Level 3 is the industry recommended qualification and takes an additional year full time, taking the total apprenticeship to three years.

What funding is available?

In Wales the Apprenticeship Small Business Employer Incentive Programme is available. Designed to support SMEs to recruit apprentices aged 16-19 and help provide individuals and employers with the skills needed over the long-term, the incentive’s main aim is to prevent skills shortages.


  • The incentive is only available to SMEs who are new to apprenticeships or have not recruited an apprentice in the last 30 months
  • Support will be offered to a maximum of three apprentices per employer
  • Support will be available irrespective of the level of the apprenticeship
  • To offer a payment of £3,500 (per learner) for apprentices recruited during the periods of July-September or January - March, and a payment of £2,500 (per learner) for apprentices recruited at all other times of the year
  • The full payment will be made after the apprentice has been employed for 8 months.

(Source: Business Wales)

If the above doesn’t apply to you then don’t worry. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund, though you may have to pay some costs towards training.

Where can I get more information?

Business Wales
Telephone: 03000 603000