How to find the right government training and employment schemes for your business

With skills and labour shortages at record highs, government programmes can be a good way for businesses to both ease short-term skills gaps and build a pipeline of talent for the future.

There are several schemes available, including apprenticeships, traineeships, and T Levels. It can be hard to decide which is best for your business, so we have set out the costs, benefits, and time requirements of each scheme below.


Apprenticeships combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a job role. Apprentices get at least 20% of their normal working hours as ‘off-the-job’ training delivered by a training provider. Apprentices must be aged 16 or over and can be either new or current employees. This applies to England only.


Apprentices are paid the minimum wage, (£4.81 for those aged under 19, or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship).

You may have to contribute 5% of the apprentice’s training and assessment costs – this will depend on the size of your business and the age of the apprentice.


Apprenticeships allow you to build a workforce that is trained to the specific needs and requirements of your business. They help to develop a well-trained and fast developing workforce with the skills and knowledge of existing employees.


Minimum of 12 months employment.

Find out more about what is involved in offering an apprenticeship here.

T Levels: industry placements: 

A 45-day (315 hours) industry placement for 16- to 19-year-olds studying for a T Level qualification. T Levels are available in more than 20 courses, covering 11 skill areas.


Free government scheme, however, you may have your own business costs. Some employers may choose to pay wages or cover expenses such as travel and living costs.


Industry placements allow you to grow your workforce in the short-term with little or no cost, and scout future talent in your area. Existing staff can gain management and mentoring skills as they mentor the student.


Short term 45-day industry placement.

Find out more about what is involved in offering a T Level industry placement here.


A 6-week to 12 months programme that focuses on skills development and includes an unpaid work placement to help 16- to 24-year-olds prepare for an apprenticeship or employment.


It is a free government scheme, but you may have your own business costs.


Traineeships give future apprentices or employees the opportunity to gain valuable skills relevant to your sector and business.


70 to 240 hours work placement.

Find out more about what is involved in offering a traineeship here.

Skills Bootcamps: 

Flexible training courses for individuals aged 19 and over to fast-track specialist skill development. Skills Bootcamps can be used for existing or new talent for your business. Employers are required to provide a guaranteed interview as part of the Skills Bootcamp provision

They are available in:

  • Digital courses such as digital marketing or coding
  • Technical training in areas like construction, logistics (HGV driving) or engineering
  • Green skills, for example, solar energy or agriculture technology

Employers can also work with training providers to develop and deliver Skills Bootcamps to help them fill skill shortage vacancies.


Employers are required to contribute to the cost of training if they use Skills Bootcamps to train existing employees. Large employers contribute 30% of this cost, and small or medium employers contribute 10%. Existing employees may also need time to study and attend classes.

There is no cost to a business to hire a new employee who was trained on a Skills Bootcamp.


Skills Bootcamps allow you to upskill existing employees, progressing them into higher skilled roles and helping to plug skill shortages areas within your business. They can also help to futureproof your business in a rapidly changing labour market by ensuring you are recruiting staff with the necessary skills and training.


Up to 16 weeks.

Find out more about what is involved in Skills Bootcamps here.

Supported internships: 

A work-based study programme for young people aged 16-24 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. They help equip young people with the skills to gain and sustain long term employment.


Free government scheme, however you may have your own business costs. Some employers may choose to pay wages or cover expenses such as travel and living costs.


Supported internships help to create and support a diverse workforce and allow you to shape a job role that suits both the needs of your business and the needs of the supported intern.


Between 6 to 12 months.

Find out more about offering supported internships here.

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