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What are Apprenticeships?

Finding the right apprentice for your company can be a daunting task, here at the Windsor Forest Colleges group, we help smooth the path and ensure that you employ motivated, work-ready apprentices that will enhance your business.

We have extensive links with a wide range of businesses and industries and our lecturers bring ‘shop floor’ expertise to their teaching.

Hiring an apprentice can help you grow your own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Apprenticeships are available to businesses of all sizes and sectors in the UK and can last anything from 12 months to four years.

As an employer, you will be involved at every stage of the recruitment, planning and delivery of the training programme and many apprenticeship programmes can be adapted to suit the individual needs of your business.

Apprenticeships Available

Business and Accounting

Accounts Assistant
Customer Service Adviser
Team Leader 
Business Administrator


Engineering Operative
Engineering Fitter 

Computing and IT

Digital Marketer 
Infrastructure Technician
Network Engineer
Junior Content Producer

Hair and Beauty

Beauty Therapist
Hair and Beauty Therapy
Advanced and Creative Hairdressing 


Painter and Decorator
Property Maintenance 
Carpentry and Joinery
Gas Engineer
Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician

Motor Vehicle

Autocare Technician
Motor Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician (Light)
Motor Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician (Heavy)

How is the apprenticeship funded?

For employers, there are two ways of accessing apprenticeship funding, dependant on the size of company:

  • Levy Payers (with a payroll in excess of £3m) via HMRC
  • SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) (with a payroll less than £3m) Micro SME (with fewer than 50 employees)
  • Employer incentives are available for recruiting from disadvantaged groups.

In order to be eligible for apprenticeship funding (paid to provider), apprentices must be employed on a normal contract of employment and employers must agree to 20% off the job training. Employees with contracts of more than 16 hours up to 30 hours are still eligible but the length of apprenticeship will vary dependant on the level and contracted hours.

New - Government Initiatives

The government has launched a number of initiatives to help employers respond to the effects of Covid-19 and to further strengthen and upskill their businesses.

Apprentice Bonus 

Hire a new apprentice over the next six months and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will pay your business a bonus. You can earn £2000 for any new 16 to 24 year old apprentices and £1500 for any new apprentices aged over 25.  Grow your own talent and train them to meet the specific needs of your business. This bonus is available for all new apprentices hired between August 2020 to January 2021.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is another initiative from the government aimed at supporting 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit. For six months the government will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, in addition to the associated employer NI contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. 

Find out more about government funding options, click here

For the latest information on what funding and grants may be available to you, please call our Business Services team on 01753 443855.

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

In April 2017 the Government changed the way Apprenticeships in England are funded. A new Apprenticeship Levy was implemented as a Payroll tax on UK employers, designed to support the creation and funding of three million Apprenticeships by 2020.

The first levy payments were taken in April 2017 and are paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

  • The rate for the levy is set at 0.5% of an employer’s entire salary pay bill paid to HMRC
  • Employers receive an allowance of £15,000 per tax year to offset against levy liability
  • Companies who pay the levy need to use the funds from their digital account within 24 months or they will lose the digital ‘training vouchers’ irrespective of paying the tax.

Employers with a salary bill less than £3 million per year (98% of employers nationally) won’t pay the levy but can still employ Apprentices or train existing staff on an Apprenticeship programme.

You can read more about the Apprenticeship Levy here.

For more detailed information on the Apprenticeship Levy, please contact the college at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01753 443855.

Why work with us?

The Windsor Forest Colleges Group support the employer as well as the apprentice, to help businesses maximise the benefits of their apprenticeship scheme. We have over 40 years of experience in delivering high quality training to SMEs and multi-nationals in a wide range of industries, and even help organisations access funding and recruit apprentices. Our free apprentice matching service will ensure you find the right individual for your business.

We offer:

  • industry-experienced trainers
  • help accessing funding
  • a free apprentice matching service
  • training tailored to meet your needs
  • a dedicated account manager
  • sector-specific expertise
  • a dedicated Business Services team to support employers
  • high quality training – Ofsted has graded our apprenticeship provision as 'Good'

Covid-19 Update

All apprentices are now being taught the college part of their programme remotely, which is proving to be successful. They will have been contacted by their assessor or one of our reviewers this week and they all have been set work to complete from home. However, if your apprentice is unsure then please ask them to contact their assessor or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. asap.

As a college we are committed to delivering successful training and learning for our apprentices and have been sending regular updates via email and also with information on our website.

We have produced a guide to support apprentices with remote learning. Apprentices can also access information about homeworking here.

We are aware many companies are not operational following the announcement this week from the government regarding restrictions in trading and the rules for social distancing. We will however, continue to work with your apprentice to ensure their skills and knowledge continue to progress.

If you require any further information or would like to discuss your current situation with the college then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you require further information to help support your businesses during this period, please refer to the government website.

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