The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Contract of apprenticeship
  • Modern apprenticeship
  • Apprenticeship agreements—ASCLA 2009
  • Institute for Apprenticeships
  • Apprenticeship agreements (old scheme)
  • Approved English apprenticeship agreements (new scheme)
  • ASCLA 2009—Transitional provisions
  • English apprenticeships (old scheme)—saved provisions of the ASCLA 2009
  • Termination of an apprenticeship agreement
  • more

A traditional contract of apprenticeship is a contract under which the apprentice is bound to the employer in order to learn a trade, and the employer agrees to teach and instruct him. The essential feature of an apprenticeship is that the apprentice contracts to be taught a trade or calling.

For further information, see Contract of apprenticeship, below.

In an attempt to improve training for employment, the Government first introduced a system of 'modern apprenticeship pacts' in 1994 (see Modern apprenticeship, below).

A more fundamental, statutory scheme of apprenticeship agreements was brought into force in 2011 under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (ASCLA 2009). A simplified scheme was introduced from 26 May 2015, but the old scheme continues to operate under transitional provisions.

Although a traditional contract of apprenticeship is not a contract of service, it is a contract of employment under the ERA 1996, and therefore an apprentice who enters into such a contract will be an employee. An apprenticeship agreement (provided it meets the requirements under the ASCLA 2009) is to be treated as a contract of service, and not a contract of apprenticeship.

For further information, see:

  1. Apprenticeship agreements—ASCLA 2009

  2. Apprenticeship agreements (old scheme)

  3. Approved English apprenticeship agreements (new scheme), and

  4. ASCLA 2009—Transitional provisions

Since 6 April 2017, certain employers have been obliged to pay the apprenticeship levy which is intended