Are you a farmer or landowner who is interested in hiring an apprentice?

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the process:

What is the South West Peak Landscape Partnership?

The Landscape Partnership is a group of organisations working together in the area with the aim of improving relationships, benefitting local communities, wildlife and cultural heritage.  The partnership is running several projects which you can find out about on our website at

Why work with South West Peak Landscape Partnership?

  • We have secured lottery funding to help with training costs for apprentices.
  • We will help with paperwork, recruitment, organise work between different farms and liaise with the training organisation.
  • We will provide a mentor for the apprentice who can help them with skills like finding a job after the apprenticeship.

Can any farm take part?

  • Your farm needs to provide a safe place for the apprentice to work and meet HASPS requirements.
  • The farm will need to provide sufficient training and learning opportunities. Apprentices may work on more than one farm to achieve the training requirements.

Can I employ a relative?

Yes. You can employ your own son, daughter or other relative.

Can an existing employee become an apprentice?

Yes, provided they will learn significantly new skills by doing the apprenticeship.

Can I have a part time apprentice?

  • Yes. Apprentices can work on two or three farms.
  • One farm will need to be the lead farmer and others will need to pay the lead farmer for the time the apprentice works for them.
  • It would help if the farms were different types so the farms have differing busy periods when help is needed. .

What work can apprentices do?

Anything another adult worker can do but initially they may not be as fit or as strong as older more experienced workers. They may also be less aware of risks and health and safety issues. More time needs to be spent explaining jobs, checking understanding and working with the apprentice.

How much will I pay?

  • From April 2018 the minimum payment will be £3.90 per hour for 16 to 18 year olds and anyone in the 1st year of their apprenticeship.
  • After the first year of employment apprentices age 19 or over are entitled to receive the national minimum wage.
  • The current national minimum wages are below.


25 and over

21 to 24

18 to 20

Under 18


April 2019






What other training costs will there be?

The other costs of training an apprentice include the college course and short courses such as NPTC Awards.

  • 90% of the off –job training will be paid by the government and 10% by the South West Peak Partnership
  • NPTC courses, such as tractor driving, pesticide licence or chainsaw licence will be paid for by the South West Peak Partnership,

Why is the South West Peak Landscape Partnership doing this?

  • One of the aims of the South West Peak Landscape Partnership is to improve understanding and communication between farming and conservation sectors.
  • In return for paying for about a third of the costs of an apprentice we would like to choose about a quarter of the units they study.
  • As well as supporting three agricultural apprentices we are also employing three conservation apprentices.
  • For some of the units we would like all the apprentices to train and work together. For example they could train and work together on maintaining site biosecurity, constructing and maintaining site boundaries and paths.

Will I need to pay additional apprentices if there is a team working on my land?

If the apprentices are completing work for which you receive payment under an agri-environment scheme agreement, then yes. We can discuss the details with you.

The payment of any additional farm workers on your farm will need to be agreed between the employers. It may involve additional payment or it could involve keeping a record of how much time the farm apprentices spend on each other’s farms.

What modules will the apprentices study?

  • For each apprenticeship there are mandatory units and optional units
  • For agriculture livestock level 2 the mandatory units are:

  • Monitoring and maintaining health and safety
  • Maintain and develop personal performance
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with others
  • Establish and maintain conditions appropriate to the welfare of animals
  • Prepare feed and water supplies for livestock
  • Monitor and maintain the supply of feed and water to livestock
  • Load and unload physical resources within the work area
  • Maintain site bio-security and personal hygiene

  • There are about 55 optional units. The farmer, the apprentice, the South West Peak team and the training organisation will discuss these and decide the most suitable.
  • The farmer may wish to choose units suitable for their own farm such as units specific to dairy, beef or sheep farming or the transport of animals.
  • The South West Peak Landscape Partnership may choose units such as construct and maintain boundaries, construct and maintain paths or manage habitats.

What qualifications will the apprentices gain?

Apprentices will work towards

  • a Level 2 Stocksperson Standard.
  • NPTC awards for example tractor driving, all-terrain vehicle, spraying, chainsaw maintenance and felling.
  • If the apprentice does not already have a level 2 maths and English will also need to work towards these qualifications and pass at least Level 1 English and Maths.

Do I need to give the apprentice holidays?

  • Apprentices are entitled to a minimum of 20 days a year paid holiday plus bank holidays.
  • They will also need the equivalent of one day a week allocated to off-job training.

What hours should apprentices work?

A full time apprentice needs to work for a minimum of 30 hours a week. An apprentice under the age of 19 must not work more than 8 hours a day or more than 40 hours a week. We understand that farming involves variable working hours throughout the year. How to balance the work between busy and quiet times will need to be discussed between the farmer, training organisation and apprentice.

Where will the training taking place?

Much of the training will take place locally, but if there are specific courses such as NPTC training which are being run elsewhere which are better value or quality then the apprentice may need to travel to other locations.

When will apprentices go for training?

The apprentices will need to spend an average of 1 day a week training. This can be training that

  • is done by the farmer, for example talking about how to do a job, or demonstrating methods,  
  • day release for a period of time to a college or attending training for an NPTC certificate.
  • Visiting other farms,
  • Training can be arranged to fit in with the farm work and will avoid busy periods on your farm.

Will I have to provide transport?

Not necessarily. We can help with transport around the South West Peak for work and training. If the apprentice has to attend college there may be a subsidised bus or we may be able to help.

Can apprentices be left to work on their own?

For each new task the apprentice will need to work with a qualified employer/employee until they are confident in that task and it has been signed off by the training organisation. When you and the apprentice are confident that the apprentice can competently complete the task in a safe manner they can be left for short periods provided they have the ability to contact someone if necessary. Make sure your apprentice is comfortable asking for help and they know the limits of the task e.g. they have been asked to feed the cows in the field but they feed the bull who is aggressive and temperamental as well.

Will I need to have extra insurance?

You will need to have public liability insurance and employer’s liability insurance. You may already have both of these but you will need to check with your insurer that they cover having an apprentice.

Do I need to pay sick pay?

Your apprentice will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), which is £94.25. a week for up to 28 weeks.

You can no longer reclaim statutory sick pay but you may be able to make a claim with your employer liability insurer.

Will I need to pay them a pension?

Employees earning less than £10 000 per year will not be eligible for automatic enrolment to a  workplace pension. Apprentices may voluntarily opt to join a workplace pension for which you may need to contribute.

Will I need to pay National Insurance?

If the apprentice is under 25, the employer does not need to pay National Insurance contributions.

For general information about hiring an apprentice please the governments guide for employers at

Any other Questions please contact:

Helen Betts at South West Peak Landscape Partnership


Tel: 07970237094