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What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a work-focused programme of training to an industry standard. It can be used by employers to tailor training to improve the skills in their workforce.

The employer benefits from an employee who understands their organisation and receives customised training for their role. Apprentices gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and skills they need for their job and future career.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a programme of training designed to an industry standard for a range of specific roles. Apprenticeships will support employers to recruit fresh talent and upskill current teams to boost business.

An apprentice can be a new recruit or current employee aged 16 or over. While they work for you, they learn the core skill set for their job. Alongside work, they study for a nationally recognised qualification.

Designed in conjunction with employers, apprenticeships are targeted to the workplace and can be completely tailored to your organisation. This means apprenticeships are available in every industry, from hospitality to marketing.

For small to medium organisations, apprenticeships are supported by government funding. For large organisations, they are supported by the government’s apprenticeship levy. We can help you navigate the funding and explain how much money you have access to for an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships Levels

There are various types of apprenticeships available:

  • Intermediate apprenticeship: Level 2 – equivalent to five A*-C GCSEs
  • Advanced apprenticeship: Level 3 – equivalent to two A-levels
  • Higher apprenticeship: Levels 4 – 7 – equivalent to a foundation degree and above
  • Degree apprenticeship: Levels 6 & 7 – full bachelors or master’s degree
  • Traineeships: A separate education and training programme with work experience helping prepare young people to secure an apprenticeship or another job.

For Independent Advice on Apprenticeships and Traineeships go to: www.apprenticeships.gov.uk

Unsure of which path to take? Check out our level equivalence table.

Apprenticeship Structure

The job role you chose to fulfil as an apprenticeship is defined in an Apprenticeship Standard (also known as an Apprenticeship Framework). These are designed with you as an employer to ensure that training programmes and assessment plans are relevant to specific roles, the broader sector and wider economy.

  • The frameworks have been developed by sector bodies, and are used to assess apprenticeships. Each framework contains pathways that set out different roles within an organisation. We can discuss the available frameworks that best suit your organisation.
  • The overall standard contains a list of the skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to have learned by the end of their apprenticeship. Our trainers will work with you and the apprentice to ensure they meet the skills required.

How does an Apprenticeship work?

An apprentice is employed, trained and paid to work in a real job in a specific industry or market sector. Working alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. At the same time – usually one day a week – they will attend training sessions to refine and document any workplace knowledge to gain a recognised qualification.

Apprenticeships take at least one year and can last up to 5 years, depending on the role and level of study. Training is delivered through a combination of on-the-job learning, in-house training and online work. Assessment is done through work-based observation, a portfolio of achievements and other evidence of learning.

Who can become an Apprentice?

Apprenticeship training is for anyone in England aged 16 years old and above, whether employed, unemployed or leaving school, who have not already completed a qualification in a similar role. To apply for an apprenticeship, you must have left full-time education.

For our youngest apprentices, the apprenticeship is their first job – however, apprenticeships are a great way to increase the skills of your workforce, and many employers use them to give their existing staff extra knowledge and skills, regardless of their age.

If you are already in employment, your employer can tailor your training to improve your existing job skills and give you a qualification that will take your career to the next level. We have apprentices in all kinds of business – from small start-ups to global corporations.

What types of Apprenticeships are available?

We offer apprenticeships in a range of industry sectors. Our digital apprenticeships and technical apprenticeships have been designed to fill skills gaps and help you thrive in the changing economy.

Our apprenticeships in London are targeted to build your expertise to take up the capital’s economic opportunities.

Our apprenticeships include:

  • Arts, media and culture
  • Business and administration
  • Built environment and facilities management
  • Computing and ICT
  • Construction and engineering
  • Film and digital media
  • Hair and beauty
  • Health and childcare
  • Hospitality and culinary arts
  • Information and communication technology
  • Legal services
  • Management and marketing
  • Science-based industries
  • Social care, nursing and midwifery
  • Society, health and development

The occupation included in the training framework is defined in an Apprenticeship Standard (previously an Apprenticeship Framework). These are designed with you as an employer to ensure that training programmes and assessment plans are relevant to specific roles, the broader sector and wider economy.

Apprenticeship training is flexible, with a wide range of qualifications available – even up to Level 6, the equivalent of a university degree.

What are the Employer’s Responsibilities and Commitments

  • Ensure the apprentice’s contract of employment is long enough for them to complete their apprenticeship.
  • Employ and pay the apprentice in accordance with agreed employment terms and conditions taking into account relevant legislation.
  • Pay the apprentice a minimum of £4.35 if under 18, £6.15 for those 18 to 20, £7.70 for those over 21, and £8.21 if they are 25 and over. Apprentices must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for their age. Many employers choose to pay significantly above the apprentice minimum wage in order to secure and retain the best apprentices.
  • Provide the apprentice with an Apprenticeship Agreement which forms part of the individual employment arrangements between the apprentice and the employer. This can be a written statement of particulars under the Employment Rights Act 1996, a contract of employment or a letter of engagement, where the employer’s duty under the 1996 Act is treated as met.
  • Confirm that the apprentice is employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours per week.  If not, ‘the apprentice must work enough hours each week to successfully complete their apprenticeship’.
  • Confirm that the apprentice’s job is genuine with an accompanying skills development programme in order to gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills they need for their immediate job and future career, through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise new skills in a real work environment.
  • Ensure the role helps the apprentice gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to achieve the apprenticeship with workplace support.
  • Confirm at the start of the apprenticeship that you will allow for the apprentice to be able to complete the apprenticeship within their working hours, including English, maths and possibly ICT, if applicable.
  • Allow for 20% of the apprentice’s time to be spent on off-the-job training and to agree with the provider (and where appropriate provide evidence) the delivery of this 20%. Where an apprentice may need more than 20% off-the-job training (for example, for Functional Skills) allow for this extra time.
  • Pay apprentices for normal working hours and training that is part of their apprenticeship (usually one day per week).
  • Give apprentices at least 20 days paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays.
  • Offer apprentices the same conditions as other employees working at similar grades or in similar roles. This includes: sick pay, any benefits you offer such as childcare voucher schemes, any support you offer such as coaching or mentoring.
  • Provide a job opportunity, where this continues to exist, and if the apprentice wishes to remain with the employer, after successful achievement of the apprenticeship.
  • Fund re-sits for mandatory qualifications or end-point assessment needed for the apprenticeship where no additional learning is required.
  • Fund training, optional modules, educational trips or trips to professional events not specified in the apprenticeship framework or to meet the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the apprenticeship standard.
  • Pay the difference in costs for end-point assessment for apprenticeship standards, where these exceed 20% of the funding band maximum.
  • Provide appropriate supervision to support, encourage and monitor the apprentice in the workplace, including provision of a nominated mentor and deputy to ensure continuity of supervision.
  • Ensure the health and safety of the apprentice and agree to promote Common Values, Equality and Diversity as well as PREVENT and Safeguarding.
  • Ensure that the recruitment practice is not detrimental either to the apprentice or the apprenticeship brand.
  • Ensure that all current funding rules are not breached to avoid recovery of all or part government funding.
  • Take an active part in the apprentice’s progress reviews which are conducted every 8 weeks throughout the apprenticeship.

Adapted fromApprenticeship funding rules and guidance for employers 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020, where further, more detailed responsibilities are clearly outlined for compliance with Government funding. Find out more here.

How does CCCT support an apprentice?

We work as your training partner to ensure that training supports an apprenticeship standard that works for you as the employer and your apprentice. We are your main contact for the duration of the apprenticeship.

CCCT helps you by:

  • identifying the best employer-approved apprenticeship for your job
  • ensuring that training meets industry standards
  • customising the training to suit your role
  • running the apprenticeship training to ensure that you meet the milestones needed to gain your qualification

Find out more by reading our Apprenticeship FAQs

How does CCCT support an employer?

Part of our dedicated offer for employers is a free, fully managed apprenticeship service.

All our training is quality assured for qualifications from industry certification through to degree level. Our apprenticeships cover all major business specialisms, from IT and digital design to healthcare and management. We work with organisations across the public and private sectors to fill skills gaps and keep pace with market changes.

With the importance of technology in today’s workplaces, this includes updating aptitudes through digital apprenticeships and technical apprenticeships. Apprentices are supported by our experienced skills coaches. This means you can be certain they will be motivated, committed and learning the right skills for your sector of work.

As part of our one-stop apprenticeship provision, we offer a dedicated recruitment service, free of charge for employers. In an initial consultation, our recruitment experts will gain an understanding of your corporate objectives and talent management strategy; we will work with you to create a campaign that attracts the best candidates.

Call us on 0207 391 6400 or email employer@capitalcct.ac.uk

Find out more by reading our Apprenticeship FAQs

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