How apprenticeships work

An apprenticeship programme must:

  • run for a minimum of 12 months
  • provide an opportunity to learn whilst at work and time to learn away from work (within paid working time)
  • be independently assessed at the end (end-point assessment).


All apprentices must spend 20% of their time taking part in off-the-job training. This time away from their normal working duties allows them to gain the knowledge and develop the skills needed for their new role. The Department for Education has published some supportive materials to help everyone understand this important requirement.

Access further guidance on off-the-job training


Each apprentice is assessed at the end of their apprenticeship, by an independent organisation and given a final grade. Your learning provider will help you source and End-point Assessment Organisation EPAO.

For more information on commissioning your own EPAO.


Functional Skills are qualifications that have been developed by the UK Government as part of an initiative to improve England’s literacy, numeracy and ICT skills.

Functional skills qualifications were reviewed and updated, and were last updated in November 2019. For more information - See more information.

Health Education England announce funding to support functional skills study for all care workers

In April 2021, Health Education England (HEE) announced that funding is now available for social care providers to support study in functional skills. Prior to this announcement, the funding was only available for social care employers who delivered NHS-commissioned services. However, the funding is now available for all.

The software is called Basic Key Skills Builder, bksb for short. It can help people to improve their own skills in maths (numeracy), English (literacy) and IT (digital skills).

Please note, Skills for Care is sharing this information on behalf of HEE and we have no association with any partner organisations, the software or the funding itself. Any questions should be directed to

Find out more



All employers should work with a learning provider who delivers the apprenticeship programme for them and who must be on the Government Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP). 

You can also search for Skills for Care endorsed providers in our search directory. Skills for Care Endorsement is the bespoke quality mark for learning providers within the adult social care sector.

You may wish to deliver all or some of the programme yourself. There are three routes for employers to become training providers. -  find out more


You can advertise your apprenticeship through the find an apprenticeship service – your learning provider might do this on your behalf. Or you can use apprenticeships for career progression for existing staff. Your learning provider will help you ensure that they’re eligible.

Click here to access Government advice and rules on employing an apprentice.


A new manual, co-authored by employers, providers within the sector and Government, has been published to set out how flexibilities in apprenticeships can be used and delivered in health and social care to meet the needs of employers and apprentices.

The ‘Flexible Apprenticeships in Health and Social Care’ manual sets out:

  • how the delivery of apprenticeship training can be flexed to meet employer needs
  • how the length of an apprenticeship can be reduced where an individual has existing relevant knowledge or skills.

Some employers are already making use of apprenticeship flexibilities and are seeing the benefits of this, in workforce satisfaction, productivity, and improved value for money. This includes employers and providers who co-authored the manual alongside Government.

Download the manual


If you want any specific support on apprenticeships please get in touch.