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:

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

Unfortunately, we have not had our allocation of funding for apprentices based at small to medium sized employers extended. As such, we will not be able to deliver further apprenticeships for non-levy paying employers for the time being. We will update our Latest News section as and when this changes. Please be assured however that we do have funding available to continue delivery to existing apprentices.

This lack of funding is not limited to just Buttercups Training, or even the healthcare sector - funding for apprenticeships for small and medium employers is limited across all sectors:

This will also mean that we will be unable to help non-levy paying employers to advertise on the National Apprenticeship Service account for any apprenticeship vacancies.

In the meantime we are, as always, 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 Non-funded alternative 2
Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship in Pharmacy (dispensing assistant training) Dispensing Assistant Course (GPhC accredited and equivalent to level two) Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills OR Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills (No GPhC Registrant Supervision)
Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Pharmacy (pharmacy technician training) Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technician Programme Senior Dispenser Programme (appropriate for dispensing doctors practices, or dispensaries with no pharmacist or pharmacy technician on site)

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

Please rest assured that we are dedicated in our work to promote and encourage apprenticeships as an option for training and we will be applying again for growth from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as soon as we are able to - however we understand that there are currently no windows planned for this.

Please note, this only affects our non-levy paying employers, we are still able and eager to deliver apprenticeship training to existing and new levy paying customers.

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

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

You may be eligible to apply for an AGE 16 to 24 Apprenticeship grant to assist in recruiting your first apprentice.

The AGE 16 to 24 year olds is aimed at helping eligible employers to offer young people employment through the Apprenticeship programme, by providing grants to assist employers in recruiting their first apprentice.

The National Apprenticeship Service will provide grants to eligible small medium sized employers recruiting 16 to 24 year olds with a value of £1,500 to encourage new employers to take on new apprentices. The grant is not guaranteed but when recruiting an apprentice Buttercups can assist with getting an application for the grant in place. We do request that you make your interest in the AGE grant clear on any Application Packs you submit to us.

Please follow this link  to the Government website for full details

Please note that the following regions of the country have their own grant systems in place; these differ from the National AGE grant. For information regarding the grants available for businesses in these regions, please see the government website link above which signposts you to the relevant websites.

  • West Yorkshire and York
  • South Yorkshire
  • Greater Manchester