This information about apprenticeships applies to England.

In England only, apprenticeship frameworks are now being phased out and replaced by Standards (Trailblazer). 

Apprentices

What are apprenticeship frameworks?

Frameworks aim to ensure that apprenticeship programmes are delivered consistently and to agreed standards. 

The following frameworks are available in England:

Further information on frameworks can be found on the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards (FISSS) website Apprenticeship Frameworks Online 

It’s expected that the frameworks will be phased out by 2021 and replaced by Standards (Trailblazer). During the transition period, you will need to ask the local training provider if they offer the old frameworks or the new Standards (Trailblazer).

NHF and NBF Members can download free apprenticeship agreements for use in England: 

Standards (Trailblazer) apprenticeship agreements (hairdressing/barbering).

Standards (Trailblazer) apprenticeship agreements (beauty therapist).
Framework apprenticeship agreements (hairdressing, barbering, beauty therapy, nail services).

What are Standards (Trailblazer)? 

Hair Professional (hairdressing/barbering) and Beauty Professional (beauty therapist) Standards (Trailblazer) apprenticeships are available in England. 

Find out more on the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) website:

Hair Professional:

Beauty Professional:

They have been developed by hair and beauty employers to ensure apprentices gain the level of knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to work well in a hair salon, barbershop or beauty salon.

The level 2 Hair Professional: hairdressing/barbering Standards (Trailblazer) are set at a higher standard than the old apprenticeship frameworks (equating to a level 2½). 

Apprentices must spend 20% of their time completing ‘off-the-job’ training; this is one day a week for full-time apprentices. (English and Maths cannot be included as part of the 20% ‘off-the-job’ training.) 

Additional Standards (Trailblazer) are currently in development, including the following:

Beauty Professional 

Standards (Trailblazer) are approved by the government. The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) is responsible for improving the quality of apprenticeships in England. 

Ofqual provides external quality assurance. 

How do Standards (Trailblazer) work?

Standards (Trailblazer) apprenticeships have three stages:

  • On-programme training
  • Gateway
  • End Point Assessment

On-programme training

At this stage, the apprentice learns all the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be competent in their job role. 

A full breakdown of what is required can be found by following the links below: 

Hair Professional:

On-programme training (employer occupational brief) – hairdressing, level 2

On-programme training (employer occupational brief) – barbering, level 2 

Beauty Professional:

On-programme training (employer occupational brief) – beauty therapist, level 2

On-programme training (employer occupational brief) – beauty and make-up consultant, level 2

On-programme training (employer occupational brief) – nail services technician, level 2

Gateway

At this stage, the employer and training provider (if appropriate) decide if the apprentice is ready for the End Point Assessment. 

For level 2, the apprentice must have:

  • Gained all the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by the level 2 Standards (Trailblazer).
  • Achieved level 1 English and maths* and taken level 2 English and maths, but it is not necessary to pass level 2 English and maths for the level 2 apprenticeship).
  • Completed all on-programme training including any mandatory qualification required by the standard.
  • Been on the apprenticeship programme for a minimum of 12 months before taking the End Point Assessment.

For level 3, the apprentice must have:

  • Gained all the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by the level 3 Standards (Trailblazer).
  • Achieved level 2 English and maths.*
  • Completed all on-programme training including any mandatory qualifications and portfolios of evidence required by the standard.
  • Been on the apprenticeship programme for a minimum of 12 months before taking the End Point Assessment. 

*For those with an education, health or care plan or a legacy statement the minimum requirement for English and maths is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language qualification is valid as an alternative to English qualifications. 

The employer and training provider sign a declaration when the apprentice is ready for the End Point Assessment.

End Point Assessment

End Point Assessments are carried out by Independent End Point Assessors (IEPAs). 

In accordance with procedures set down by the independent End Point Assessment organisations, the IEPAs will:

  • Observe the apprentice carrying out specified services and treatments.
  • Assess the apprentice’s knowledge and behaviours (via online tests or professional discussions, or as set out in the assessment plan).

The apprentice will be graded pass or distinction based on their overall performance.

Download the Hair Professional Assessment Plan: hairdressing/barbering from the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

Download the Beauty Professional Assessment Plan: beauty therapy from the Institute for Apprenticeships website. 

Download the Beauty Professional Assessment Plan: beauty and make-up consultant from the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

Download the Beauty Professional Assessment Plan: nail services technician from the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

The independent End Point Assessment organisations are: 

City and Guilds (for hair and beauty)
VTCT/ITEC (for hair and beauty) 

Help with recruiting an apprentice in England

Employers in England can post and manage apprenticeship vacancies on the gov.uk site. Candidates can then view and apply for opportunities posted on the system. 

Standards (Trailblazer) apprenticeship funding in England

Small employers (fewer than 50 employees) will not have to make any financial contributions towards the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment if they take on:

  • 16-18-year-olds; or
  • 19-24-year-olds who have been in care, or who have a local authority care plan.
In addition:  
  • Any employer taking on 16-18-year-olds or those aged 19-24 who have been in care, or who have a local authority care plan will receive £1000 for each apprentice to support the additional costs of training these groups. The training provider will also receive £1000.

You must pay your apprentices at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices. Find out more about the NMW and apprentice rates. (Funding cannot be used to pay wages.) 

Employers contributions

Employer contributions

You will need to pay a contribution of 10% of the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment (5% from April 2019) for apprentices who are 19 or over at the start of the apprenticeship if they have not been in care and do not have a care plan. 

Hair and beauty Standards (Trailblazer) apprenticeships are allocated to funding bands, which are intended to cover the training provider’s costs for training and assessment.  

Funding bands are not confirmed until standards and assessment plans are approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships. 

Standards (Trailblazer) Funding band   Employer contribution 19+*
Hair Professional – hairdressing/ barbering level 2 £7,000 (from 1 January 2019)   £700** 
Hair Professional - advanced and creative hair professional level 3 TBC TBC

Beauty Professional - beauty therapist level 2

Beauty Professional - beauty and make-up consultant level 2

Beauty Professional - nail services technician level 2

£7,000

 

£3,000

 

£3,500

£700** 

 

 £300

 

£350

Beauty Professional - advanced beauty therapist level 3 TBC TBC
Beauty Professional - holistic therapist level 3 TBC TBC

*This applies if your apprentice is aged 19 or over at the start of the apprenticeship.

**From April 2019 this will reduce to £350 for new starters aged 19 or over. 

Apprenticeship levy

Employers with a pay bill of £3 million or over must pay 0.5% of their pay bill into a pot to help pay for apprenticeship training. This levy applies across the whole of the UK but how the funds can be used varies between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

Large employers will have a £15,000 allowance to offset against their levy payment. 

Find out more about apprenticeships in the UK  

See our FAQ for more information