An apprenticeship is a work-based training programme, most of the training is 'on-the-job' with you as the employer. This is usually four days a week. You are required to pay your apprentice National Minimum Wage. The rest of the training is provided 'off-the-job', one day a week. This training is provided by a training provider. For apprentices aged 16-24, the off-the-job training is fully funded by the Department for the Economy. For apprentices over 25, 50% of the training costs are covered.
- be the minimum school leaving age in Northern Ireland
- be about to take up paid employment as an apprentice with a Northern Ireland based company, or be an existing employee in a Northern Ireland based company who is about to undertake a new role that requires significant training and development
- employed by national companies that have operations in Northern Ireland who are employed at least 50 per cent of their time in Northern Ireland and completing their director training in Northern Ireland with an approved training contractor
- be permanently contracted to work a minimum of 21 hours per week (which includes time for 'off-the-job' training)
- meet the entry requirements of their chosen occupation; some apprenticeships require, for example, General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs)
The ApprenticeshipsNI programme offers two frameworks, a level 2 apprenticeship and a level 3 apprenticeship. The framework level your apprentice will undertake depends on a range of factors including their previous experience, their current level of skills, previous qualifications they have achieved, and of course the level of development they require to competently fulfil their new role in your business.
Level 2 frameworks
Level 3 frameworks
Higher Level Apprenticeships
Higher Level Apprenticeships currently offer qualifications from Level 4 up to Level 7. The majority are at Level 5 (Foundation Degree) with some offering Level 6 (Honours Degree) and Level 7 (Masters Degree). There are currently over 40 Higher Level Apprenticeships to choose from, ranging from computer science, motor vehicle, mechanical engineering, life sciences and accountancy.
Higher Level frameworks
Employer Incentive Payments
Under the ApprenticeshipsNI programme an Employer Incentive Payment is available for employers whose apprentice successfully completes their full Level 2 or Level 3 apprenticeships framework. This incentive ranges from £250 to £1,500, depending on the complexity and level of the apprenticeship undertaken and the age of the apprentice on joining the programme. You will receive the payment upon the successful completion of your employee’s apprenticeship framework.