How to approach your employer about an apprenticeship

Discover the best ways to initiate the conversation and kickstart your apprenticeship adventure. Navigating this path has never been easier. Your apprenticeship dreams are just a conversation away!


Finding opportunities for further training within your current employment can be challenging, but did you know that pursuing an apprenticeship while working for your current employer is a viable option?

This is particularly pertinent in the childcare and healthcare industry where continuous learning is essential for career progression. Convincing your employer to support your apprenticeship journey may seem daunting, but the benefits for both you and the organisation are immense. Here are some tips on how to approach the topic and make a compelling case for your apprenticeship:

Before initiating the conversation, equip yourself with as much information as possible:

  • Apprenticeship Standard: Identify an apprenticeship standard that aligns with your role and development requirements. View our website to see which apprenticeship suits you and your role.
  • Skills Development: Understand the specific skills you'll acquire through the apprenticeship.
  • Positive Impact: Think about how these skills will positively influence your work, team, manager, and the overall business.


If you're comfortable having a formal conversation with your employer, consider scheduling a meeting. This could be during your annual review, a regular 1:1, or a specially arranged session. Present your case as a business proposition – explain how the apprenticeship will enhance your skills and, consequently, benefit the organisation. Be prepared to answer questions about how this investment aligns with their goals.



If a formal session feels too direct, subtly introduce the topic in casual conversations. Share success stories from other organisations that have thrived through apprenticeship programs. You can also approach the learning and development or HR department for guidance on existing apprenticeship training opportunities within the company.

Convey to your employer how supporting your apprenticeship benefits them and the business:

  • Talent Retention: Emphasise that investing in your skills development reduces the need to hire externally, fostering talent retention.
  • Expert Guidance: Highlight that apprenticeships come with expert tutors and development coaches, ensuring minimal disruption to daily operations.
  • Off-the-Job Training: Assure them that off-the-job training doesn't equate to unproductive time; it's an investment in a more skilled and experienced workforce.

    (It’s a rule of apprenticeships that a minimum of 6 hours per week of the role must be dedicated to off-the-job training.  However, this doesn't imply the apprentice is completely disengaged from their duties. The employer only needs to demonstrate that the employee is actively learning during their apprenticeship period. This could encompass activities such as shadowing colleagues, undertaking challenging projects, or receiving mentorship from a senior colleague—each contributing to the allocated 6 hours per week).

Regardless of the company's size, apprenticeships receive fantastic funding options. Educate your employer about potential funding avenues:

  • Apprenticeship Levy: If your organisation annual turnover is £3million or more, they are more than likely already paying into the Apprenticeship Levy, utilize these funds to support your training.


Large employers contribute to a central fund through the levy, supporting apprenticeships across the nation. Leveraging the levy implies that your employer incurs no additional costs for learning - no extra funds are deducted from the payroll.


  • Non-Levy Employers: If you work for a smaller business where the annual turnover is less than £3 million, then only 5% of the program cost needs to be covered, with the government subsidizing the remaining 95%.

Step 5 - Address Concerns:

Assure your employer that apprenticeships are a valuable investment and address common concerns:

  • Misconceptions: Dispel myths around apprenticeships being solely for new hires and the perceived administrative burden.


  • Funding Accessibility: Explain the financial benefits, especially if your organisation is already contributing to the apprenticeship levy.


Approaching your employer for an apprenticeship requires strategic planning and effective communication. With a well-prepared case, highlighting the benefits for both parties, and a clear understanding of funding options, you can confidently present your proposal. Remember, investing in your development is an investment in the future success of both you and the organisation.
For more information on apprenticeships or for more advice, please email

Helpful Resources

Different ways to apply for an apprenticeship

How to make the most of your apprenticeship

What is your next career move?