Skills Edge are apprenticeship and training FAQ experts. If we can’t answer your question below, give us a call on 03333 583559.

Q.Is it easy to find the right apprenticeship for me?

There are hundreds of apprenticeships available nationwide and we are more than happy to talk to you about which would be the right path for you. A full list of apprenticeships can be found here.

Q.What is the apprenticeship levy?

As of the 6th April 2017, companies with a payroll of over £3million will start paying the ‘apprenticeship levy’. This means they will pay a monthly tax equating to 0.5% of their total payroll, with a £15,000 allowance which is untaxable. This tax is paid into the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS), where the government will top up the funds by 10%. This means that for every £1 that enters your account, you get £1.10. This money is redeemable through employing apprentices. The levy is on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis, whereby if the funds have not been used within 24 months they expire.

Q.Who pays for the apprenticeship training? (applicable for standards after 01/05/2017)

It depends on the size of the organisation and the age of the apprentice.

Large organisations (over £3m payroll): the training will be paid for out of your levy pot from the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). This pot is topped up by 10% by the government. Once the funds in the DAS are used up, any further training costs are covered 10% by the organisation and 90% by the government up to the funding band maximum.

Small to medium organisations (under £3m payroll, above 50 employees): If the apprentice is aged 16-18 the government will pay 100% of the training costs. If the apprentice is aged 19+, 10% of the training costs are paid for by the employer, the other 90% is covered by the government. This is called ‘co-investment’. However, if the apprentice is aged 16-18, or if the apprentice is aged 19-24 and were formally in care or who have an Education and Health Care plan, the employer will receive a £1000 ‘incentive payment’.

Small organisations (fewer than 50 people): The government will pay 100% of the training costs for apprentices aged 16-18. If the apprentice is aged 19+ the employer will contribute 10% of the training costs, and the remaining 90% will be co-funded by the government. However, if the apprentice is aged 16-18, or if the apprentice is aged 19-24 and were formally in care or who have an Education and Health Care plan, the employer will receive a £1000 ‘incentive payment’.

Q.What is the difference between an apprenticeship standard and an apprenticeship framework?
  • Apprenticeship standards – each standard covers a specific job role and sets out the core skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to be fully competent in their job role and meet the needs of employers, standards are developed by employer groups known as ‘trailblazers.’
  • Apprenticeship frameworks – a series of work-related vocational and professional qualifications, with workplace and classroom based training.

Apprenticeship frameworks are being phased out, and by 2020 all apprenticeships will have moved over to the new employer-led standards.

Q.I’m an employer- how do I get involved?

If you have identified training needs within your organisation we are on hand to help. Whether you wish to upskill your staff through training days, vendor qualifications, webinars delivered by industry experts or gaining an apprenticeship, give Skills Edge a call on 03333 583559 to find out how we can help.

Q.I’m an employer- what’s my involvement in an apprenticeship?

An apprentice must be in full-time employment for the duration of their qualification (minimum 1 year), paid at least the minimum wage for apprentices. The apprentice must also be given 20% of their time to complete off the job training, for which their time must also be paid for. Although the training for the qualification is conducted by the training provider, it is both the training provider’s AND the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the apprentice is ready for their End Point Assessment.

The employer is responsible for sufficiently inducting the apprentice into the organisation and ensuring that adequate training is provided in order for them to effectively complete the tasks assigned to them.

Q.What’s the minimum wage for an apprenticeship?

The minimum wage for apprentices between the ages of 16-18 is £3.70 an hour. For apprentices aged 19+ the minimum wage is £3.70 for the first year, then goes up to minimum wage for the age of the apprentice after a year. It is at the employer’s discretion how much above the minimum wage the apprentice is paid.

Q.How long is a course?

You can find out the typical duration of individual courses on the relevant course description page.

Q.Do I need my Maths and English GCSE's to study an apprenticeship?

If you achieved less than a C grade for either your Maths or English GCSE and want to continue studying, you will be required by law to complete Functional Skills in each or both of these subjects.

Q.I want to be an apprentice but I'm worried I won't be able to get to work, is there any help available?

The Kickstart scheme help young people access work by removing barriers such as location. They do this by providing alternatives such as subsidised mopeds. Have a look at their website by clicking here.

Q.Why would I take on a learner loan, rather than an apprenticeship?

An apprentice must be in employment for at least a year whilst completing their qualification, whereas a learner loan can be used to fund short courses.

Q.What are the equivalent of apprenticeship levels?
Level Equivalent
2 GCSE grades A*-C
3 A-level
4 Undergraduate
5 Undergraduate
6 Graduate
7 Postgraduate/Masters
8 Doctoral
Q.What are the Skills Edge subcontracting arrangements?

Why does Skills Edge Training Ltd subcontract?

Having achieved an Ofsted Grade 2 in its first inspection; Skills Edge Training seeks to develop new like-minded partnerships with progressive providers who can complement our existing provision and offer quality driven, industry-recognised qualifications to support learners and employers.

Our commitment to improving outcomes for learners through the quality of teaching, learning and assessment

Skills Edge Training is believe that the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is fundamental to the personal development of its learner and ultimately high success rates. This is demonstrated though our robust subcontracting agreement and due diligence process, that ensures all partners are selected through demonstrable evidence that they deliver quality teaching and learning and are managed through a process of regular performance monitoring.

What management fees do we apply?

The typical percentage range charged by us is between 20 to 25%. This management fee is deducted from the SFA rate based on the funding income received by Skills Edge Training Ltd.
The amount charged will be negotiated with the individual party and will depend on a number of factors but is not limited to: Evidence of an established relationship between Skills Edge and the subcontractor, market experience of the subcontractor, evidence of the risk factor relevant to our work, level of support deemed to be required from the prime provider and performance against target measures as agreed with the subcontractor.

What support do we offer our subcontractors?

We believe the relationship has a joint responsibility to deliver high quality provision to all learners and therefore as a minimum Skills Edge provides the following service and support: Designated contact, regular performance updates, network events, standardisation events, access to our bespoke e-portfolio system (Skill Star), dedicated business support team, and regular quality performance and quality visits.

How do we make payments to our subcontractors?

Payments are made based on the SFA value provided by the PFR received monthly from the Data Service, less the management fee as agreed. Payments are made by BACS and we expect subcontractors to fully engage in assessing the accuracy of payments and therefore have a responsibility to identify an inaccuracies.

How often do we review its subcontracting fees policy?

This policy will be reviewed monthly against the key performance indicators (for example, where there is opportunity for growth) and contract variations issued as appropriate. All contracts are fully reviewed by directors on an annual basis.


Subcontractor Sub contracted UKPRN


Contract Date Total funding Paid by SFA in contract year Paid to contractor 16-18 Paid to contractor  19-23 Paid to contractor 24+ Total
The Academy of Hair Limited 10031276 01/08/2015 – 31/07/2016 £170694.43 £95408.40 £33714.30 £7432.84 £136555.54
Fusion Hair Consultants Limited 10036432 01/08/2015 – 31/07/2016 £22206.56 £15697.33 £957.59 £0.00 £16654.92
Tempus Training Limited 10011159 01/08/2015 – 31/07/2016 £12744.26 £10195.41 £0.00 £0.00 £10195.41



Subcontractor Sub contracted UKPRN Contract Date Total funding Paid by SFA in contract year Paid to contractor 16-18 Paid to contractor 19+ Total
The Academy of Hair Limited 10031276 01/08/2016 – 31/03/2017 £162,521 £86,609.60 £43,407.20 £130,016.80
Fusion Hair Consultants Limited 10036432 01/08/2016 – 31/03/2017 £58,341 £42,618 £1137,75 £43,755.75
Tempus Training Limited 10011159 01/08/2016 – 31/03/2017 21,567 £9367.5 £6807.75 £16.175.25
Hairstation Limited 10049402 01/08/2016 – 31/03/2017 £54,905 £37,191 £3987.75 £41178.75
Q.What is the Skills Edge Training Supply Chain Policy?
Q.I'm a parent or guardian, where can I find the relevant Skills Edge policies?
Q.I'm a parent or guardian, what information is out there for me?