Trailblazer Apprenticeships: Employers Guide - British Florist Association

Trailblazer Apprenticeships: Employers Guide

What is an apprenticeship? 

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying assessment and skills development programme. It is a way for individuals to earn while they learn, gaining valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role. The apprentice gains this through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment. Apprenticeships benefit employers and individuals, and by boosting the skills of the workforce they help to improve economic productivity. 

How do they work?

The new Florist L2 Apprenticeship standard is made up of Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours which have been developed by a team of industry specialists to enable apprentices to gain the practical and theoretical skills needed to be successful within the floral industry.

Knowledge – the information, underpinning knowledge, technical detail, and ‘know-how’ that someone needs to have and understand to successfully carry out their duties. Knowledge will generally be occupation specific, although some are more generic such as health & safety.

Skills – the practical application of knowledge needed to successfully undertake your duties. They are learnt through on- and/or off-the-job training or experience.  You will use these skills on a day to day basic within your business by conditioning botanical materials and producing floral designs.

Behaviours – mindsets, attitudes or approaches needed to be competent in the floral industry. Behaviours tend to be very transferable. Team work, displaying professional conduct, problem solving and customer care are all examples of behaviours.

Together with the KSB’s, apprentices will work towards a minimum of 20% off the job training, and if required maths and English to Level 2 whilst working as an apprentice florist.

Timescales:  Most apprentices at L2 will take around 18-21 months to complete all the Knowledge Skills and Behaviours which will enable them to take their End Point Assessments. 

Who are they for?

Individuals over the age of 16, spending at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of their apprenticeship and, not in full-time education, can apply for an apprenticeship. Employers can offer apprenticeships to new entrants or use them to grow talent among current employees. Apprenticeships equip individuals with the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviour they need for specific job roles, future employment and progression.

Benefits of hiring apprentices

 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation, while 78 per cent said apprenticeships improved productivity. 

 Other benefits that apprenticeships contribute towards include: 

– increasing employee satisfaction

 – reducing staff turnover

 – reducing recruitment costs 

Terms, conditions and pay

To employ an apprentice, you need to check and meet the following terms and conditions.

Your apprentice should:

  • be 16 years old or older; they can be a new or current employee
  • work enough paid hours each week to undertake sufficient training to achieve their apprenticeship

We base the minimum duration of each apprenticeship on an apprentice working 30 paid hours a week or more. This includes any off the job training they do.

Off-the-job training is a statutory requirement for an English apprenticeship. It is training which is received by the apprentice, during the apprentice’s normal working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the approved apprenticeship referenced in the apprenticeship agreement. By normal working hours we mean paid hours excluding overtime. 

“It is not on-the-job training which is training received by the apprentice for the sole purpose of enabling the apprentice to perform the work for which they have been employed. By this we mean training that does not specifically link to the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship.”

Employer responsibilities

There must be a genuine job available with a contract of employment long enough for an apprentice to complete their apprenticeship. Employers must pay an apprentice’s wages and the role must help them gain the knowledge, skills and behaviour they need to achieve the apprenticeship with support from employers.

Employers can select a training provider from the Register of apprenticeship training providers (ROATP) and agree a total price for the cost of training and assessment. For an apprenticeship standard, this should include the cost of the end-point assessment which must be agreed with the provider selected from the Register of end-point assessment organisations. 

Employers need to have:

 – an apprenticeship agreement in place with their apprentice for the duration of the apprenticeship – a commitment statement signed by the apprentice, their employer and the provider

For employers who pay the apprenticeship levy and use the apprenticeship service, they will need to have: 

– a contract for services with their main provider

 – an apprenticeship in place for at least one year

 – the apprentice on the correct wage for their age, for the time they are in work, in off-the-job training and doing further study 

– apprentices who are paid a wage consistent with the law for the time they are in work and in off-the-job training. Updates on progression and average weekly hours and changes to working patterns must be logged and checked with the training provider. The government is offering additional support to organisations with fewer than 50 employees. 

For more details visit:

Funding for your apprenticeship – How funding works if you do not pay 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

Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

We have set out the information for apprenticeship funding in England.

Apprentices must spend at least 50% of their working hours in England and have the right to work in England.

If you’re an employer in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you may also wish to contact your local apprenticeship authority in the devolved administrations.

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