Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes which lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships include a mixture of on-the-job and off-the-job training and can be used to train both new members of staff and existing employees.

Getting Started

Advertise for an Apprentice

If you would like to advertise for an apprentice, please download and complete our Apprenticeship Vacancy Form and email to

For more information on how it works, the funding available, and how Sussex Downs can help you in recruiting an Apprentice, please see below.

How do Apprenticeships work?

At Sussex Downs College, we work collaboratively with employers in delivering the job training and qualifications that Apprentices need to complete their Apprenticeship Framework.

Grow-Your-Own-infographicApprenticeships are available in a wide range of industry sectors, with employers ranging from large national companies to small local businesses, and all Apprenticeship training programmes are designed by the Sector Skills Councils, who work with business representatives from the relevant industry sector to develop the course content.

Apprentices must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week unless there are exceptional circumstances, and an Apprentice’s time is divided between working with their employer and undertaking training with the College. For example, some apprentices spend four days a week with their employer and one day a week at Sussex Downs College, while others undertake all their training in the workplace, with the College coming to the employer for their part of the programme.

Apprenticeship programmes are made up of a framework of qualifications, with four main components of learning and development:

1) Technical Certificate: A taught qualification, designed to develop the essential skills and knowledge needed to be competent at the job role.

2) Main Aim: An assessed qualification, designed to judge the application of skills and knowledge to a competent level.

3) Functional Skills: The application of essential communication and numeracy skills in the job role including personal learning and thinking skills.

4) Employer Rights and Responsibilities: Knowledge of what is needed to comply with essential employment legislation to ensure fairness, equality, and health and safety in the workplace.


All Apprenticeships are different as they have been developed specifically for the relevant sector and job role, however they usually take anything between one year and four years to complete.

Please call us on 030 300 39474 for more specific information.


Apprenticeships are an effective and affordable way to provide training for your staff. Our apprenticeship partnership will provide your Apprentices with all the training they need and is free of charge to those under 19 years old at the start of their programme.

As the employer, you are responsible for paying the Apprentice’s wages, to cover their time spent working and also their time spent training as a part of the Apprenticeship programme.

From 1 October 2015, the hourly National Minimum Wage is £3.30 for 16-18 year olds, and for 19yrs or over it is £3.30 for the first year of training, rising to £5.30 (19-20yrs) and £6.70 (21yrs or over).

AGE 16-24 grant


In 2012, the government introduced the AGE 16-24 grant for eligible employers who are recruiting a young apprentice for the first time. The National Apprenticeship Service will provide wage grants to employers with up to 50 employees who are recruiting an Apprentice aged 16-24. The £1500 grant is paid directly to employers when the Apprentice has completed 13 weeks of their Apprenticeship programme.


AGE 16-24 Grant Employer Fact Sheet (PDF)

Information on C-Skills Grants

If you are registered with CITB ConstructionSkills, or would like to register with them, you may be entitled to grants of up to £5000 to support you in training an apprentice.

Paying employer NI contributions for apprentices under 25

From 6 April 2016, if you employ an apprentice you may not need to pay employer Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) on their earnings below £827 a week (£43,000 a year). Read more on

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