Ellie the apprentice smiling

An Apprenticeship is a combination of on and off the job learning and development.

We have practical tools to help you develop an Apprenticeship programme for your organisation. 

If you’re thinking of doing an Apprenticeship have a look at our Think Care Careers website for more information.


What is an apprentice?

Apprentices work as employees with experienced staff to gain job-specific skills, whilst working towards a number of qualifications and gaining experience. All whilst getting paid.  

The learning and development lets apprentices get relevant care skills. They might work directly with people who need care and support as a care worker, or team leader. apprentices may also work in a non-direct social care role in catering or administration.

Apprenticeships have lots of benefits.

88% of employers who hire apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce (source: National Apprenticeship Service). 

You can create and manage tailored Apprenticeship programmes to meet the needs of your business.

They are a cost effective and low risk way for you to grow your workforce and help improve the recruitment and retention of staff.   

For apprentices, it gives them a chance to gain work experience, achieve nationally recognised qualifications and earn a wage.

Download the report we did looking at the return on investment of adult social care Apprenticeships.

Take a look at these real life case studies.

We design the Apprenticeship framework for those working in social care.

There are currently three levels of Apprenticeships available.

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care - level 2
  • Advanced Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care - level 3
  • Higher Apprenticeship in Care Leadership and Management - level 5

The system of Apprenticeships is changing in England and new standards are being introduced. 


Funding for Apprenticeships is available to learning providers from the Skills Funding Agency.

How much is available depends on several factors, including the level of Apprenticeship programme you are running and the age of your apprentices.

Find out more about what funding is available to learning providers.

Our Workforce Development Fund (WDF) can be used by employers to help fund the delivery of Apprenticeships in adult social care.


Zero hour contracts

Zero hour contracts will be accepted for Apprenticeships.

Find out more on funding and the conditions on zero hours contracts (see paragraph 279 on page 69).


We issue framework certificates through the Apprentice Certificates England (ACE) system.

This is on behalf of Skills for Care and Development (ACE certification body).

We certificate for the:

  • Higher Apprenticeship in Care Leadership and Management (level 5)
  • social care pathway at intermediate and advanced level of the joint health and social care (England) framework
  • the children and young people’s workforce (England) framework.

A Traineeship is designed to provide young people with the skills and work experience they need to find employment in the care sector or to progress onto an Apprenticeship.

They provide an education and training programme which focuses on the needs of the employer.  

They are targeted at 16 – 23 year olds who are unemployed. Young people up to the age of 25 with learning difficulties in academic assessments can also complete a Traineeship

We’ve produced guidance to support you understand the structure of Traineeships and the benefits.



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