What are Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships are work based training programmes where you work and learn at the same time. As an apprentice, you will be working in a real job where you will be employed by a company, have a contract of employment, get paid a salary and be entitled to all the statutory benefits such as holiday and sick pay.
What makes an apprenticeship different to other jobs?
The main difference is while you are working in your job you will also be working towards a package of qualifications and you will be awarded these qualifications when you complete the apprenticeship. These qualifications will be directly relevant to the job that you are doing, whatever role you are working in.
What is an Apprenticeship Framework?
An apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications – called a ‘framework’. A framework typically consists of:
- The Competence element (often an NVQ), which will enable you to demonstrate your workplace abilities and prove that you can do specific job-related tasks.
- The technical certificate will give you extra knowledge and understanding about the job you are training for.
- Transferable Skills such as Functional Skills cover more general work-related skills such as maths, English and using new technologies.
- ERR – Employee Rights and Responsibilities. In this part of the Apprenticeship you will learn about your rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
- PLTS – Personal Learning and Thinking Skills. As part of the Apprenticeship you will develop a series of underpinning skills that employers are looking for. Skills such as creative thinking, evaluation and team working are key to future employability.
Where do apprentices train?
Training is mainly ‘on the job’ at your actual place of work but you will also have to complete “off the job” training as part of the apprenticeship programme. This time is negotiated and planned by your company and the training provider and all companies will be different as it will need to fit in with operational demands in the workplace.
Who is an apprenticeship for?
Apprenticeships can be a suitable career option for almost anyone. Apprenticeships have changed a lot in the past 10 years and sometimes people do not realise the huge range of apprenticeship opportunities that are available. You may be surprised to learn that you can even achieve a full HND Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with a degree apprenticeship, so it’s worth doing your research to see if you can achieve your career goal by following the apprenticeship pathway.
How old do you need to be to start an apprenticeship?
If you are still at school right now you need to wait until you are 16 yrs old and have completed Year 11. Apprenticeships can start any time throughout the year.
Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers but for anyone who has aspirations to have a career and gain job satisfaction in their chosen industry. You could be in your 20’s,30’s, 40’s and upwards.
Do you get a job at the end of the apprenticeship?
Most apprentices do. A survey conducted by the National Apprenticeship Service showed that 90% of apprentices either stay employed with the employer that they have completed their apprenticeship with, or will go on to find another job with a different employer.
There are some apprentices who will decide once they have finished their apprenticeship that they want to go on to do further study which might mean an apprenticeship degree or a full-time degree at university or college.
What are the benefits of becoming an apprentice?
There are so many benefits when you become an apprentice. Here are just a few…
- You work in a real job for a real employer in the industry you want
- You gain valuable work place skills and experience
- You are paid a salary and have a contract of employment
- You get paid holidays
- You achieve qualifications
- You get support from colleagues and your training organisation
- You become more employable because you have experience of work
- You have real future career prospects once you complete your apprenticeship
What makes a great apprentice?
Employers will set the standards they want from an apprentice just the same as the rest of their employees. Employers realise for many individuals starting an apprenticeship that they may have no experience in the workplace and others will have some experience.
But….there will be certain things about you that ALL employers will desire.
Some of the qualities you need to have could be that
- You have ambition and are conscientious in everything you do
- You have the determination to succeed
- You have the right attitude and apply yourself to work hard and keep up with your studies
- You can demonstrate common sense in situations at work
- You take responsibility for yourself and others around you
- You have done voluntary work while at school – that’s a bonus!
5 Places To Find Out More About Apprenticeships
1. Find an apprenticeship | www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship
Create an account, search for the latest jobs, apply and receive text and email alerts about your applications online.
2. Amazing Apprenticeships | www.amazingapprenticeships.com
Your central hub for all the latest apprenticeship information. Download the free Apprenticeship Pack, watch short films, download free posters and much more. Sign up to the newsletter so you never miss a free resource again!
3. National Careers Service | https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk
Find out more about the different types of careers available to you, receive job search advice and personalised help from careers advisers. You can also access face to face advice, speak to someone on the phone or chat online.
4. Get In. Go Far | www.getingofar.gov.uk
The Get in. Go Far website allows you to hear from real apprentices and employers, watch films and explore the website. There are also case studies available to read so you can find out more about the apprenticeship route.
5. Apprenticeship Guide | www.apprenticeshipguide.co.uk
The Apprenticeship Guide contains brief summaries of every apprenticeship offered in England, plus general careers advice, real life case studies, employer advertising, a directory of training providers and much more.
Levels of Apprenticeships Available
- Level 2
- 12-18 months
- Equivalent to 5 GCSE’s A* – C
- Level 3
- 18-24 months
- Equivalent to 2 A levels
- Level’s 4 & 5
- 24 months +
- Equivalent to foundation degree