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Apprenticeship Recruitment
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We are specialists in the provision of Apprenticeships
 

Apprentice FAQ’s

General FAQs
What types of Apprenticeships are there?
If I change employers, do I have to restart my Apprenticeship?
I have a degree - Can a university graduate do an Apprenticeship?
What is an Apprenticeship?
How is learning done through an Apprenticeship?
Career Benefits
What are the advantages of an Apprenticeship?
Will an Apprenticeship give me a good career?
Training and Employment
Do I get paid?
Do I have to pay tax and National Insurance?
I’m an apprentice and have just been made redundant. What do I do now?
What’s the role of the employer?
What’s the role of the learning providers?
How long does it take?
Is there an upper age limit for Apprenticeships?
What are the entry requirements of an Apprenticeship?
What does it involve?
Can I join a trade union as an apprentice?
Do I get to choose where to work?
Do I have to pay anything to become an apprentice?
I’ve already got a job – can I still do an Apprenticeship?
Do I get holidays?
What’s involved in the selection process?
What time of year can I start?
What are the minimum and maximum work hours for an apprentice?
Are apprentices eligible for maternity leave?
Is there a limit to the number of apprentices that an employer can take on?
What are Functional Skills?

General FAQs

What types of Apprenticeships are there?
Apprenticeships are available in all sectors and industries throughout England. There are many types of Apprenticeships in a range of industry sectors, from engineering to boat building, veterinary nursing to accountancy.
They generally fall into one of three categories:
  • "Apprenticeships" equivalent to GCSE level.
  • "Advanced Apprenticeships" equivalent to A-levels.
  • "Higher Apprenticeships" – the equivalent to a degree.

If I change employers, do I have to restart my Apprenticeship?
No – You can continue on the same Apprenticeship programme. If you are aged 19 and over and change employers after you have completed your first year, you will also be able to receive the national minimum wage.


I have a degree - Can a university graduate do an Apprenticeship?
Yes - You can do an Apprenticeship but you will not be eligible for funding. That means your employer would have to pay your training costs.


What is an Apprenticeship?
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.


How is learning done through an Apprenticeship?
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 (Level 2 for Apprenticeships, Level 3 for Advanced Apprenticeships).
  • Functional 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 is mainly work-based, depending on the subject and on the learning provider.

Career Benefits

What are the advantages of an Apprenticeship?
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.

Will an Apprenticeship give me a good career?
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.

Training and Employment

Do I get paid?
All employed apprentices must receive a minimum wage of £2.65 per hour. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages.

Do I have to pay tax and National Insurance?
As is the case of all employees aged over 16, all apprentices must still pay tax and national insurance on their income.


I’m an apprentice and have just been made redundant. What do I do now?
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.


What’s the role of the employer?
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.


What’s the role of the learning providers?
Learning providers are either colleges or specialist training providers who are responsible for the formal training of an apprenticeship.They provide you with the knowledge and development your skills.

You will usually be allotted a tutor or assessor who will be your mentor through the training programme. Their role is to help you through the framework of the apprenticeship scheme, gaining evidence, completing tasks and preparing you for Functional Skills and technical certificate assessments.

How long does it take?
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.


Is there an upper age limit for Apprenticeships?
There is no upper age limit for apprenticeships but should you be aged 24+ you will have to apply for an advanced learning loan for courses starting on or after 1st August 2013. To pay for your apprenticeship. For further information regarding advanced learning loans please contact your provider.

What are the entry requirements of an Apprenticeship?
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.





What does it involve?
An Apprenticeship includes the following components:
  • A minimum of 30 hours per week paid employment.
  • A knowledge based element.
  • A competence based element.
  • Functional Skills
  • A module on employment rights and responsibilities.

Can I join a trade union as an apprentice?
Yes. Most employed apprentices are entitled to join a trade union.


Do I get to choose where to work?
Yes. It’s up to you to choose an employer but learning providers can help you decide.


Do I have to pay anything to become an apprentice?
Only if you are aged 24+ and starting a course on or after 1st August 2013. While you are on an Apprenticeship, your employer pays you a salary and supports you whilst you undertake your training. Most of the training is ‘on the job’ within the workplace however the rest can be provided by a local college or by a specialist learning provider or in some cases it could all be undertaken by your employer.


I’ve already got a job – can I still do an Apprenticeship?
Yes. If your employer agrees, you can become an apprentice where you work now.


Do I get holidays?
Like most other employees, you will be given at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year as well as bank holidays.


What’s involved in the selection process?
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.


What time of year can I start?
You can apply at any time of year. When you begin the work-based training depends upon the availability of a position at an employer.






What are the minimum and maximum work hours for an apprentice?
An apprentice must be offered a minimum of 30 hours of work per week to complete their Apprenticeship. Generally, however, most apprentices are employed full time.

Aspects of the employment agreement like how many hours an apprentice is expected to work and the breaks to which they are entitled is determined by the employer and the apprentice.


Are apprentices eligible for maternity leave?
Yes. Like all employees, apprentices are entitled to statutory Maternity Leave of 52 weeks with statutory Maternity Pay for up to 39 weeks.


Is there a limit to the number of apprentices that an employer can take on?
No.


What are Functional Skills?
Many different industry sectors share the same skill sets. These core skills are transferable across sectors and are built into the Apprenticeship to maximise flexibility and choice for employers and apprentices. They include:
  • Functional Skills in English, Mathematics and ICT are available at Entry Levels 1,2,3 and at Level 1 and Level 2. From September 2012 they replaced the Key Skills of Communication, Application of Number and Information and Communication Technology at the relevant levels.
  • Some learners may be exempt from Functional Skills
  • Learners who have already achieved Key Skills (within the last five years) at the relevant level for the qualification they are taking.
  • Learners with GCSE A*-C grade in one or all of the GCSEs English, Mathematics and ICT (achieved within the last five years) are exempt from Functional Skills qualifications deemed as a mandatory element of their programme.

 
 
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