FAQs - Learners and Parents
learners and their parents:
Apprenticeships are available in many sectors and industries from engineering to catering, hairdressing to accountancy.
They generally fall into one of three categories:
- Intermediate Level Apprenticeships – NVQ level 2
- Advanced Level Apprenticeships – NVQ level 3
- Higher Apprenticeships – NVQ level 4.
An Apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications called a ‘framework’ developed by Sector Skills Councils. Most Apprenticeship frameworks follow a standard format that comprises:
- a National Vocational Qualification (e.g. Level 2 for Intermediate Level Apprenticeships, Level 3 for Advanced Level Apprenticeships)
- key Transferable Skills
- a Technical Certificate.
The learning provider provides the knowledge and develops skills while the employer provides the practical experience to put those skills to the test. Training can be classroom based, in a workshop or in a workplace, depending on the subject and on the learning provider
Yes, you you can do an Apprenticeship but you will not be eligible for funding. That means your employer would have to pay your training costs.
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace.
Getting qualified while on the job can also mean: • you work better and more effectively • it can set you up to move into new and better jobs • you get better pay • you get to experience new and different challenges • your existing skills and knowledge are recognised and can help you gain a qualification faster • you learn at your own pace and get support when you need it • better job security • you gain skills and knowledge which can be used across a range of jobs and industries.
Career progression is excellent for apprentices, and over the course of their careers, those with an Apprenticeship earn, on average, £100,000 more than those without. [A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Apprenticeships and Other Vocational Qualifications, University of Sheffield, 2007] Some Apprenticeships already attract UCAS points or allow you to study for a Technical Certificate. Once the Apprenticeship has finished there’s the opportunity to carry on working, maybe get promoted or go on to higher education in a college or university. The National Apprenticeship Service is working with UCAS to extend this system so that more qualifications gained during an Apprenticeship count towards an individual’s university application.
Yes. It’s up to you to choose an employer but learning providers (e.g. college or private training company) can help you decide.
Yes, all employed apprentices will get a wage. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is currently £2.65 per hour*. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages – in fact, research has found that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week. The apprentice NMW applies to all 16 to 18 year olds and to those aged 19 and over in the first year of their Apprenticeship. If you reach age 19 and have completed the first year of your Apprenticeship your employer must pay you at least the full NMW rate for those aged 18 to 20. If you are already 19 and have completed the first year of your Apprenticeship you must be paid at least the NMW rate for your age. For more information on the National Minimum Wage (NMW), please see the NMW Q&As below. * Please note that wage rates for roles within the Agricultural sector may differ from the minimum wage stated above.
If you have been made redundant you should contact your training provider who will be able to give you assistance and advice on what happens next.
The employer will give you an induction into the company and your role. They provide on-the-job training and pay your wages. Each apprentice has a manager at work who will be responsible for helping you throughout your training.
Different Apprenticeships have different entry requirements. However the most important requirements are that: • You must be living in England and not taking part in full-time education. • You must be aged 16 or over. • If you took your GCSEs more than five years ago and didn’t gain a top grade (A or A*), or you don’t have good GCSE grades in Maths and English you will need to take a literacy and numeracy test.
An Apprenticeship includes the following components: • A knowledge based element. • A competence based element. • Transferable or “key skills”. • A module on employment rights and responsibilities.
The length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on prior skills levels of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete.
Yes. If your employer agrees, you can become an apprentice where you work now.
Like most other employees, you will be given at least 20 days paid holiday per year as well as bank and public holidays.
There are a number of elements to each Apprenticeship and this is called the Framework. This means you will get a range of qualifications as you progress through your training and education. Each Apprenticeship framework has three main strands: • A competence based element • A technical element • A skills element The three strands are sometimes accompanied by additional qualifications to give the most relevant skills and knowledge required for the job that you are employed in.
The selection process is just like any other job application process. Individuals are put through a series of interviews, and in some cases, tests, to establish if they are the right fit for the role.
You can apply at any time of year. When you begin the work-based training depends upon the availability of a position with an employer.