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Guidance on Apprenticeships

For general guidance on Apprenticeships, your first point of call should be the government website 

The following Buttercups blogs help explain the changes to Apprenticeships which came into place from 1st May 2017:

The latest Apprenticeship Funding Rules, including the Funding Rules for Employers, can be found following this link:

Apprenticeship funding

All employers fall into one of two categories when it comes to apprenticeship funding. These categories are defined by whether or not your organisation is required to pay the Apprenticeship Levy.

Levy Paying Employers
As an employer, you have to pay Apprenticeship Levy each month if you:

  • have an annual pay bill of more than £3 million
  • are connected to any companies or charities for Employment Allowance purposes and have a combined annual pay bill of more than £3 million

Non-Levy Paying Employers
Any employer who does not pay the Apprenticeship Levy, is defined as a non-levy paying employer.

Levy-Paying Employers

Buttercups Training continues to have capacity for apprenticeship starts for all age groups (16+). Please contact us to discuss how you can make the best use of your levy pot.

Non-Levy-Paying (SME) Employers

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have released access to funding for small and medium sized employers via the Digital Apprenticeship Service account. The Digital Apprenticeship Service now allows an employer to reserve funding for a maximum of 10 apprentices.

If you are interested in apprenticeships, please read the following information pages on the two pharmacy apprenticeship we offer:

Level 2 Pharmacy Assistant Services Apprenticeship
Level 3 Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship

There are enquiry forms on each page if you would like further information on recruiting or training an apprentice, or would like to start the enrolment process for an apprentice.

As always, we are able to offer non-funded programmes for the training needs of any learners. The following non-funded options are available for non-levy paying employers:

Apprenticeship programme Non-funded alternative 1
Level 2 Pharmacy Services Assistant Standard Dispensing Assistant Course (GPhC accredited and equivalent to level two)
Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) Pharmacy Technician Training Programme

Further information on these alternatives including costs and durations, can be accessed via the above links.

Advertising an Apprenticeship or Vacancy

If you are interested in recruiting an apprentice, Buttercups can assist you with getting an advert up on the Apprenticeship Vacancies website. Please send an email containing details about the apprenticeship vacancy to Buttercups Training at

If you are a learner looking for an Apprenticeship in pharmacy, please follow this link which will enable you to search for Apprenticeship vacancies within your area.

Enrolment onto an apprenticeship programme

As a training provider, to enrol any candidate onto an apprenticeship programme, we have ensure that the apprenticeship funding rules as set out by the Education and Skills Funding Agency are met. This involves an in-depth process and will usually take 6 - 8 weeks.

However, this timescale is dependent on the timeliness with which employers and their candidates provide the necessary data to complete all the steps in the process.

If you intend to recruit an apprentice it is best to let us know as soon as possible so we can secure a place for them to start prior to commencing the enrolment process.

Enrolment Process Overview

Stage 1: Employer onboarding including Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account set up
Stage 2: Apprentice nominations
Stage 3: Apprenticeship eligibility check
Stage 4: Screening Course and Training for the Workplace Training Supervisor
Stage 5: Programme Enrolment Forms
Stage 6: Review Application for Suitability
Stage 7: Skills Scan Call
Stage 8: Agree Start Date and Finalise Enrolment
Stage 9: Confirm Enrolment on Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) Account

Please note: this is the standard order for the enrolment process, however, depending on circumstances we may ask that certain activities are completed in a different order or in parallel.