Apprenticeships - Frequently asked questions for parents and learners
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.
Apprenticeships are available in many sectors and industries from engineering to catering, hairdressing to accountancy. Apprenticeships are developing all the time to keep up with changes in the economy and job opportunities. There are different levels depending on the apprentice’s career journey and experience:
Intermediate Level Apprenticeships – Level 2
Advanced Level Apprenticeships – Level 3
Higher Apprenticeships – Level 4 and Level 5
Degree Apprenticeships – Level 6
An Apprenticeship is essentially a job with training. Most of the learning is done on-the-job with the employer.
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. Some of the learning may be virtual, or in the classroom.
At The College, most of our apprentices attend classes with a group of other apprentices. This is a good way to interact with other people doing the same course, but working for different employers. The learning will be interactive and will relate to your job role, but you’ll also be learning other transferable skills and behaviours.
Yes. But the Apprenticeship would need to be in a completely different subject area to your degree.
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.
you build up your confidence.
Yes. It’s up to you to choose an employer but learning providers (e.g. college or private training company) can help you decide.
The great thing about Apprenticeships is that you earn a wage. As a 16-18 year old, or if you’re aged 19 and over and in your first year of an Apprenticeship, you can expect to earn the apprentice rate. After that the National Minimum Wage applies. However many employers pay more than this, especially if the Apprenticeship is Advanced or Higher.
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.
GCSEs are important, particularly English and maths. Many vacancies will specify a minimum of grade A-C/9-4 (or equivalent) in English and maths. However, if you don’t have these grades you may be invited to take a literacy and numeracy test at interview. If you are successful in finding an Apprenticeship placement, then you would need to complete functional skills as part of your Apprenticeship.
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.
An Apprenticeship will be for a minimum of one year, although the length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on prior skills levels of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and the industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete.
Yes. If your employer agrees, you could become an apprentice where you work now. Your training provider would be able to furnish your employer with all the information they need.
Like most other employees, you will be given at least 20 days paid holiday per year as well as bank and public holidays.
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 and the employer would make the final decision.
You can apply at any time of year. Being able to enrol as an apprentice depends upon the availability of a suitable position with an employer.
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