Q. What is an apprenticeship?
A. An apprenticeship is a training programme designed by employers to give individuals the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by businesses whilst gaining practical experience. It is a combination of on-the-job and off-the-job learning and you ‘earn whilst you learn’
It is as simple as that!!
Q. What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?
A. If you like the sound of being paid to learn then an apprenticeship is an excellent route for you, with the current fierce competition for jobs there has never been a better time to gain skills that will give you the edge. You’ll receive accredited qualifications without sitting in a class room all week, on-the-job training, at least 20% off-the-job training, paid holidays and widen your opportunities for progression.
Q. Who can do an apprenticeship?
A. Don’t be misinformed apprenticeship schemes aren’t just for those of a young age, in fact anyone over the age of 16 and not in full time education can undergo an apprenticeship, however school leavers cannot start until after the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they have their 16th birthday.
Q. If I've already got a job can I start an apprenticeship?
A. If you are currently working, you can become an apprentice so long as your employer agrees as you can become an apprentice within a current job role or in a new job role within your organisation however significant learning must take place.
Q. How much will I earn?
A. If you are recruited directly onto an apprenticeship, during the first year the minimum salary is £3.70 per hour (as correct from 1st April 2018), however some employers may pay more than this – you cannot be paid any less (www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates).
However… If you are already employed and have signed up to an apprenticeship you will not be placed on an apprenticeship wage, your existing salary will remain.
Finally… research shows that apprentices earn, on average, over £100,000 more throughout their lifetime than other employees.
Q. How long will an apprenticeship last?
A. Your employment will be for at least 30 hours per week however there are a small number of circumstances where you’re unable to complete the full 30 hours and in these cases employment will be for at least 16 hours per week.
Your apprenticeship can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of apprenticeship, your ability, commitment and the industry sector.
Q. What qualifications do I need to enrol on an apprenticeship?
A. This will depend on the industry and the requirements from the employer. We encourage employers to look beyond academic qualifications as some people may have a real desire to work and learn. In these situations we will offer Functional Skills alongside the qualification to comply with qualification framework requirements.
Q. What experience do I need?
A. Many young individuals are unfortunate enough to find themselves stuck in a catch 22, in regards that they lack the experience to get a job, but can’t get a job to attain the necessary experience. Fortunately apprenticeship schemes offer a foot in the door opportunity to allow those with lacking experience to start their professional career in their desired direction.
Q. What are the different levels of apprenticeship?
A. There are four levels of apprenticeship available:
Intermediate (equivalent to a Level 2 standard) and will take between 12-18 months to complete.
Advanced (equivalent to two A-level passes/Level 3) and will take between 15-24 months.
Higher develop skills at Level 4, 5, 6 & 7 (equivalent to Foundation degree and above) and will take between 24 - 48 months to complete
Degree develop skills at Levels 6 & 7 (equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree). and will take between 24 - 48 months to complete
Q. Do I get support during my apprenticeship training?
A. As a provider of apprenticeship programmes we take our role in helping you make a success of your apprenticeship very seriously. It’s our job, along with your employer and mentor to ensure that your training fits your individual needs and requirements, offering the skills needed for the job and satisfies national standards and we’ll also be there to help you through any difficult times - we pride ourselves in offering a high level of support and guidance.
Q. How do I gain practical, relevant training and experience?
A. Apprenticeships allow you to work in real world environments giving the option to gain the essential experience needed as a large part of your training typically takes place on the job, therefore you are learning in the same environment as you are working.
Q. What is 20% off-the-job training?
A. 20% off-the-job training is time that the apprentice has away from their usual place of work to complete training in line with learn new or enhancing existing skills, knowledge and behaviours. The total amount of time taken over the duration of the apprenticeship must come to at least 20% of the apprentice’s contracted working hours.
This will vary from job shadowing to online research to workshops to computer based training and much more.
Q. Will I receive any certificates after completing an apprenticeship?
A. Yes – you will receive a certificate for completing your apprenticeship, as well as potentially gaining additional qualification certificates that may be completed during your apprenticeship course.
Q. How does an apprenticeship compare to a degree?
A. Apprenticeships start at level 2 and go up to degree level which means you can gain a fantastic qualification and lots of on-the-job experience but without a student loan or debt.
Q. Apprenticeships are a viable option instead of attending university .
A. There is a great debate in regards what is better apprenticeships or attending University. There is a simple answer neither… You should invest in the one which is more suited to your needs and take it from there. If you don’t want to attend university then apprenticeships are a great option. They allow you to start training in real work environments gaining experience and skills which can later lead to a career and potentially full time job upon completion.
Q. If I do an apprenticeship, can I still go to university?
A. Yes – you can go to university by completing apprenticeships as they count towards UCAS points and prove that you have practical knowledge and skills gained throughout the duration of the course.
Q. Are apprenticeships well regarded amongst employers?
A. Employers all over the country recognise and value apprenticeships, with 81% recommending them to other employers. An apprenticeship shows prospective employers that you have been trained and gained the right skills they need. Better still; entering the workforce as an apprentice highlights your commitment.
Q. Will an apprenticeship lead to a real job?
A. The National Apprenticeship Service found that after finishing, the majority of apprentices (85%) will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) staying with the same employer. A third (32%) of all former apprentices had received a promotion within 12 months of finishing, and of those in work, three quarters (75%) reported taking on more responsibility in their job.
Q. Does an apprenticeship allow me to progress within my career?
A. According to the City and Guilds, 33% of employers have seen apprentices reach management positions within their company with over 50% taking five years or less. Government research also shows 83% of apprentices say apprenticeships boosted their career prospects.
Past and completed apprenticeships have had a huge success on both the employee and employers behalf. Most who have undergone an apprenticeship have claimed about the huge levels of satisfaction and success that they have had.