Introduction to this document

Offer of permanent job at end of apprenticeship

Where you’re able to offer a permanent role to an apprentice whose apprenticeship is coming to an end, you can use our letter to make that offer.

Unfair dismissal risk

Towards the end of an apprentice’s apprenticeship, you should have an informal meeting with them to discuss various practical issues. One of those issues is whether there’s the possibility of a permanent role with you at the end of their apprenticeship – see our Letter to Discuss End of Apprenticeship. If you’re not in a position to offer the apprentice a permanent job, you would need to terminate their employment at the end of their apprenticeship. If they’ve been continuously employed for two years or more, there’s then a risk of an unfair dismissal claim, as the expiry of a fixed-term apprenticeship contract still constitutes a dismissal in law. So, you must have a potentially fair reason for dismissal (usually “some other substantial reason” (SOSR)) and must follow a fair dismissal procedure – see our Notice of Potential Dismissal (FTC Expiry) and our Fixed-Term Contract Expiry Dismissal Letter.

Offer of permanent employment

If you can offer the apprentice a permanent role, and they’ve expressed a wish to stay with your business, you can use our Offer of Permanent Job at End of Apprenticeship. Be aware that, if you don’t have any suitable roles in terms of those for which the apprentice has trained under their apprenticeship, your offer could be for a different type of role. Our letter offers the apprentice a new permanent role and then it attaches an offer of appointment letter setting out the detailed terms and conditions of the offer. You can use our Offer of Appointment Letter for this purpose, but you will need to adapt it accordingly as you won’t, of course, be doing all the pre-employment checks again, so you won’t need to make the offer conditional on matters such as satisfactory references and evidence of right to work in the UK.

Continuous employment

Provided the new employment contract follows on immediately after the end of their apprenticeship, the apprentice will have continuity of employment for statutory purposes because continuity isn’t dependent on the individual being in the same role. However, if there’s a break of at least one clear calendar week, measured from Sunday to Saturday, between the apprenticeship ending and the permanent employment starting, this will break the apprentice’s period of continuous employment (unless there’s an agreement between you to preserve continuity). Our letter covers both options.


You can still have a probationary period in this situation, which you might want to do if the apprentice is to start a new role that’s different to the one they were performing in their apprenticeship, but bear in mind that they may have two years’ continuity of employment for unfair dismissal purposes (see above), so in that case it won’t be as simple as just terminating their employment if their performance or conduct isn’t up to scratch in the new role.