Apprenticeships - British Florist Association


An Apprenticeship is a smart, cost-effective way to recruit a new staff member. Above all, it means you can train someone to work in a way that suits your operation. Businesses of all sizes look to recruit Apprentices as they help bring a fresh perspective and set of skills to the workforce. 

If, as an apprentice, you are successful in securing an Apprenticeship with an employer, you will be considered a full-time employee and will have the same benefits as one.

The BFA Member Colleges who have currently confirmed they are providing training are:

The Floristry School at Sheffield College

North Kent College

Bolton College

The Windsor Forest colleges Group

Derby College Group

What will the off the job training be like? click here

An employers guide click here

What agreements and commitments will you need to make? click here

What are the pay and conditions like? click here

The Overview

Information for the Employer:

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy is a tax on employers implemented in April 2017 with the intention of aiding employers with staff training via Apprenticeships.

The tax is 0.5% of their total wage bill and is paid through P.A.Y.E to HMRC. Funds are held in a digital pot which can then be utilised for Apprentice recruitment and upskilling of existing staff. 

Who pays into the Apprenticeship Levy?

The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships, which means that less than 2% of UK employers contribute to it.

Businesses with an annual wage bill less than £3 million will have the cost of Apprenticeships partially funded by the government. The government will contribute 95% of the fees and your business will pay only 5%.  Most floristry businesses will fall into this category.

In addition, businesses with less than 50 employees who employ apprentices aged 18 and under will have the full cost of their training funded by the government.

Once you have chosen a Training Provider for your apprenticeship, they will be able to help you get the most out of your Apprenticeship and will be able to provide advice and guidance on:

  • recruiting new Apprentices
  • upskilling existing staff via Apprenticeships
  • improving staff retention
  • futureproofing your teams

For the Apprentice:

An Apprenticeship is the best of both worlds! Not only will you be employed full-time and earning a wage, but you will also be working towards achieving a full set of qualifications and skills that will benefit you, your employer, and your future career.

To fully appreciate the benefits of being an Apprentice, it’s important that you understand all the different elements of an Apprenticeship.  You will study towards the Knowledge (theory), Skills (practical) and Behaviours (communication) which are essential to your development within the Floristry industry today.

A full-time job and a wage

As an Apprentice you are entitled to an hourly wage, which must also cover all of your study time attached to your Apprenticeship programme. The minimum Apprenticeship wage is set by the Government; and this wage is paid for the first 12 months of the apprenticeship – after 12 months the correct wage for the apprentices age will be paid. 

When you secure an Apprenticeship, you will be enrolled on a programme of study known as an Apprenticeship Standard. This ‘Standard’ has been designed by a group of leading industry employers to ensure that each Apprentice gains the knowledge, skills and behaviours in order for them to succeed within the floristry industry.

Learning environment and duration

For you to excel in your Apprenticeship, the majority of your training will take place in the workplace; you will be able to develop your skills in a supervised environment and apply what you are learning to your daily routine. As a part of your Apprenticeship, you may be expected to attend college, but this will depend on your training provider (college) and the needs of your employer.

How does it work?

Depending on the location of the employer/Apprentice, delivery can be either online weekly, regular visits by an assessor or weekly attendance at college.  Typically, an apprentice will be expected to complete their apprenticeship within 21 months from their start date.  Some apprentices choose to fast-track their apprenticeship, and this can be achieved in around 15 months.


There are three end point assessments which need to be completed successfully for the Florist L2 Standard:

1. Practical assessment with questioning

2. Multiple-choice assessment

3. Professional discussion

The L3 Florist Apprenticeship is currently under production and should be available for delivery from September 2023.

FAQ – Employers

Q: Think an Apprentice might be right for your business?

A: Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Apprenticeships so you can understand all the advantages of taking on an Apprentice in a way that’s right for you or your business.

Q: What is an Apprenticeship?

A: An Apprenticeship is a work-focused programme of training to an industry standard. Apprentices will gain the skills and knowledge expected within their specific industry by completing a mixture of on-the-job and off-the-job training.

Q: How long does an Apprenticeship take?

A: In most cases, an Apprenticeship will take up to 21 months to complete – however some apprentices can fast-track the qualification in around 15 months.

Q: Why would I want to recruit an Apprentice?

A: Taking on an Apprentice is a smart, cost-effective way to grow your business. By recruiting an Apprentice, you will be bringing new blood into your business along with their enthusiasm and ideas.

Q: Are there any monetary incentives for taking on an apprentice?

A: Yes! Currently, there is an incentive payment of £1,000 for employers who hire an Apprentice:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority

You’ll get the payment in 2 equal instalments. You’ll receive 50% after the Apprentice completes 90 days of their Apprenticeship and the remaining 50% after the Apprentice completes 365 days.

Q: An existing employee has suggested they would be interested in an Apprenticeship. Can I put them on a programme?

A: Absolutely! Enrolling an existing member of your team onto an Apprenticeship is a great way of helping them take on fresh responsibilities and benefit from structured training.

Q: How can i find a training provider for my apprentice?

A: Email the BFA for a list of accredited training providers

Q: What are my responsibilities as the employer?

A:You must give your Apprentice an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training. As with all employees, you are also responsible for the wages of your Apprentice.  You need to support your apprentice by allowing them time to train both at work and away from the work environment with a training provider.

Q: How can I recruit an Apprentice?

A: It all starts with you – the employer. By working with your training provider, they may be able to help you to craft the perfect job description and Apprenticeship advertisement so that you can really sell the benefits of working with your organisation.  This advert can then be published on the National Apprenticeship website.  Alternatively, using your businesses social media and in-house marketing, skills you can recruit for an apprentice like you would for any other member of your team.

FAQ – Apprentices

Q: How old do I have to be to start an Apprenticeship?

A: You can do an Apprenticeship if you are 16 years of age or older, are out of secondary education, not a full-time student and not in any other employment.

Q: What does an Apprenticeship involve?

A: You will need to be employed within a floristry business for a minimum of 30 hours per week and be allowed time to study towards your apprenticeship by being released to attend college on day release one day a week for your lessons or by being visited within the work environment by a tutor/assessor.

Q: Do I get paid for doing an Apprenticeship?

A: Yes! An Apprenticeship is paid training, so you get a qualification at the same time as earning a wage. The minimum weekly salary for an Apprentice is around £130 a week, although some employers pay much more, you could be earning over £300 a week! 

Q: How will apprentices with additional needs be supported within the L2 Apprenticeship programme?

A: Tutors will undertake initial discussions with employers to help support the apprentice within the workplace. Regular review sessions will take place between the employer, apprentice and tutor. This makes sure support mechanisms are adequate and helps the development of the apprentice.

Q: Am I entitled to holidays or annual leave?

A: Yes – it’s a legal requirement! You’ll get a minimum of 20 days per year, although this may be more depending on your employer.

Q: Do employers value an Apprenticeship on my CV as much as other qualifications?

A: Many employers cite work experience as their top priority when hiring new candidates. An Apprenticeship shows that you’re not only qualified but also that you already have experience of doing the job you’re applying for – something that is invaluable.

Q: What qualifications will I need?

A: You will be expected to have achieved at least a grade 4 or a C in both your maths and English GCSE’s or be willing to work towards achieving these whilst on your Apprenticeship (training providers will help you achieve your maths and English). Some companies may also have additional entry requirements so please check each vacancy carefully!

Q: How do I find an Apprenticeship?

A: Most training providers will have a team of people within their apprenticeship department who can help you find an apprenticeship – alternatively, update your CV and take it into any floristry business who are advertising for an apprentice or just take your CV into a floristry business where you feel you would like to work.

Q: Can I apply for a full-time study programme as well as an Apprenticeship?

A: If you’re not sure which route is best for you, or you’ve applied for an Apprenticeship programme but you’re struggling to find an employer to take you on, it might be worth applying to do a full-time study programme too, so you’ve definitely got something you can start in the coming months. 

If you have any additional questions about Apprenticeships in Floristry, a member of our team here at the BFA will be able to answer your queries or point you in the right direction.

Additional resources for employers and apprentices

L2 Florist Standard – an overview can be viewed here:

The complete training plan for the L2 Florist Srandard can be viewed here:

NUS Apprentice Extra discount card

Help with child care costs

Holiday calculator

Access to work Guidelines – Official government information, guidance and advice on the Apprenticeship Levy can be found here

Work out your Levy payments – have released some guidance for working out your Levy bill which can be found here

Apprenticeship helpline
Telephone: 0800 015 0400
8am to 10pm, 7 days a week
Find out about call charges

If you need more experience

If you feel you’re not ready for an apprenticeship, a traineeship is a course designed to prepare you for one. Click the link to find out more.

Apprenticeships in Scotland and Wales

Different organisations deal with apprenticeships in Scotland and apprenticeships in Wales the link below will take you to where you need to go to find out more.

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