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Apprenticeships and skills

Apprenticeships are a way of learning while working. An apprentice is employed and paid but will work with a tutor or on an accredited course to gain the skills and knowledge to achieve a nationally recognised qualification.

The Government has a target of 3 million apprenticeships and has introduced a levy on employers to fund it. Government want apprenticeships to raise skills and tackle youth unemployment, but also view them as a key method of training and upskilling, and as a important component of business growth.

Apprenticeship levy

On 6 April 2017 the Government introduced the apprenticeship levy. The levy requires all employers in the UK with a pay bill over £3 million each year to pay a percentage of their pay bill to an apprenticeship fund.

This levy only affects a small number of companies. Companies with a pay bill below this figure are encouraged to recruit apprenticeships with Government paying 90% of the cost towards the training and in certain cases 100%.

Accessing training and skills

Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal

Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP) gives students, employers and residents access to all the resources they need to make informed career decisions and build a future talent pipeline.


Whether you are a businesses or apprentice, finding the right course is important. Each apprenticeship is set by a standard and has a set cost. The Government has a Register of Apprenticeship training providers and has an easy search tool to find the course and provider which meets your needs.

GOV.UK has more information on apprenticeships here.


Currently there are a number of funded skills programmes operating in North Hertfordshire designed to help get people back into work or provide people with the skills to improve their opportunities of work.

  • DWP Workroutes (Reed in Partnership) – supporting unemployed back into work by developing employability skills
  • SFA Skills for the unemployed (LearnDirect) – supporting unemployed back into work by developing vocational skills
  • Enhanced information advice and guidance (LearnDirect) – provision for enhanced IAG support with a focus on NEETs
  • Removing barriers to employment (Hertfordshire County Council) – supporting those furthest away from the labour market (eg ESA benefits) to secure sustainable employment contact: or 01992 556183
  • Financial confidence (Hertfordshire County Council) - providing financial advice to those furthest way from the labour market contact: or 01992 556183
  • Support for young people (Hertfordshire County Council) - Targeting young people who are NEET or at risk of becoming NEET, contact or 01992 556183
  • SFA Skills for growth (SEETEC) – Support to upskill employed individuals with a focus on those with current skill level below 2
  • Skill support for SMEs (University of Hertfordshire) – Skills advisor to support SMEs to help develop their staff.