What are the conditions for employing someone on a Higher Apprenticeship?

The Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship (PSHA) is open to anyone living in England, with good literacy and mathematical skills and not in full-time education. There are no mandatory entry requirements specified, and no minimum academic entry conditions except where an employer chooses to set their own.

However, the following indicates the levels employers may choose to set their entry criteria to maximise apprentices chances of success. As an example, you might state apprentices are required to have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) including Maths and English;
  • demonstrate skills that are relevant to the work place e.g. team working, planning, organising and IT literacy;
  • a desire to develop a career in Tax or related Professional Services sector; and
  • demonstrated a commitment to continued learning.

Does a Higher Apprenticeship require an Apprenticeship Agreement as well as an employment contract?

Yes, Higher Apprentices must have an Apprenticeship Agreement with their employer. This can be part of the usual contract of employment, or an additional separate document, and must include a statement of the skill, trade or occupation for which the apprentice is being trained under the qualifying Apprenticeship framework.

The Funding Rules also include information on the requirements, stating ‘An Apprenticeship Agreement is needed at the start of the Apprenticeship for all new apprentices who start their programme, and must be in place for the entire length of the Apprenticeship’.

Can I hire more than one new apprentice?

Yes. You can hire as many new employees on the Higher Apprenticeship initiative as you require.

Can I offer a Higher Apprenticeship to an existing employee?

Although Government wants to encourage the creation of new jobs you can offer existing employees a Higher Apprenticeship if you wish, as long as:

  • they are based in England; and
  • are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Is Government funding available to all employers?

No. Your organisation must be based in England to be eligible for Government funding.

What Government support is available?

Please visit the Skills Funding Agency website for up to date information of funding available.

Could funding levels change?

Funding rates may change as costs of training change. The government funding is however committed for the Apprenticeship.

As an employer, how do I access this funding?

Tuition providers, colleges and Higher Education establishments who are part of this initiative are responsible for processing Government funding for employers. Colleges and tuition providers will have been approved by the Skills Funding Agency.

How do I take on a training provider to supply the formal training for the Apprenticeship?

You can search for a provider in your area by sector or Apprenticeship framework on The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) website. Alternatively, you may already have a preferred training provider who you work with to deliver other aspects of training in your organisation.

How do I advertise my Higher Apprenticeship vacancies?

Employers can use their own recruitment and marketing methods to promote their vacancies to suitable candidates. The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) provides a free online vacancy portal, 'Apprenticeship vacancies' which provides a valuable vacancy matching service. Your selected training provider will manage the vacancy process.

Once the employer has provided the job description, the training provider will upload the vacancy onto the NAS website and monitor the applications and sifting process. Alternatively, once the vacancy has been loaded onto the NAS website apprentices can simply be signposted through to the employers website if the employer prefers to manage the recruitment process.

What support would ATT provide to my apprentice?

On the Tax pathway, ATT will administer the examination process including setting the exams, exam marking and results.

ATT will provide free support and resources to the apprentices. This includes examination guidance, past exam papers and suggested answers, an online student community and a student support helpline.

How is the progress of my apprentice assessed?

As part of the commitment of the training provider they (or a nominated assessor) will sit down with you and your apprentice to help create a plan for the length of the Higher Apprenticeship. There will be regular meetings throughout with the assessor at least every 10-12 weeks to ensure support and guidance is being provided.

You will also be able to gauge how your apprentice(s) is progressing through their success at the exam modules and evidence they will be gathering to demonstrate levels of competencies and skills gained.

Should apprentices replace graduates?

No. Graduates provide a hugely important pool of talent for businesses and will continue to do so. This new Professional Services Higher Apprenticeship offers employers the opportunity to tap into a broader and more diverse talent pool bringing different people and perspectives into the professions, opening up access to young people who may not otherwise set out to pursue a career in the professions.

Won’t apprentices be too young and inexperienced to put in front of clients?

Many organisations already employ apprentices and deploy them in client-facing roles. There are lots of job roles in this sector that will give apprentices real, challenging work to do in a safe learning environment.