A Guide to Apprenticeships in the UK

The following interactive guide has been created by SQA to help you better understand the differences in apprenticeship policy across the four home nations. The guide provides an overview on apprenticeships in each country and provides useful links to find further information, if required.

Get in touch

  Scotland England Wales Northern Ireland
Who approves Apprenticeships? Modern Apprenticeship Group Institute for Apprenticeships Gov.Wales Dept for the Economy
Who is the qualifications regulator? SQA – Accreditation Ofqual Qualification Wales CCEA
What is the Apprenticeship target? 30,000 new starts by 2020 3,000,000 new starts by 2020 100,000 starts during the current Administration None confirmed. Approx 6000 starts 2015/16
Does the Levy apply? Yes – 0.5% levy on total staff payroll over £3m. Read More. Yes – 0.5% levy on total staff payroll over £3m. Read More. Yes – 0.5% levy on total staff payroll over £3m. Read More. Yes – 0.5% levy on total staff payroll over £3m. Read More.
What will the levy fund? How is it administered? Apprenticeships, workforce development & pre-employment programmes. Funding allocated by SDS through formal procurement Apprenticeships only – Digital account for Levy payers/ Funding allocation for non-levy (interim) Apprenticeship Service Policy under development Policy under consultation
What Levels of Apprenticeships are available? Modern, Foundation, Graduate, (technical / professional) Intermediate, Higher, Advanced, Graduate Foundation, Apprenticeships, Higher Apprenticeships Level 2, Level 3, Higher Apprenticeships
Do Frameworks or Standards apply? Frameworks Standards* Frameworks Frameworks
Is End Point Assessment mandatory? Non Mandatory Mandatory Non Mandatory Non Mandatory
Does the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers apply? No Yes No Yes
Who is the relevant funding body? Skills Development Scotland Education & Skills Funding Agency Gov.Wales Department for the Economy (DfE)
Is there a training federation supporting providers and stakeholders?

Scottish Training Federation (STF)

Colleges Scotland

Association of Employment & Training Providers (AELP) Association of Colleges

Association of Colleges

National Training Federation Wales (NTFW) N/A – Employer/Sector led
Where can I find information on the funding rates? Skills Development Scotland The Education & Skills Funding Agency Gov.Wales NIDirect.gov

*Frameworks still exist in certain sectors (e.g. Maritime) which have yet to transfer over to the new apprenticeship standards.

Contact SQA

To find out more about how SQA could help your organisation reach its potential, please contact us.

check denotes mandatory field.

 I agree to the terms of SQA's Privacy Statement.