Apprenticeship Information

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are government funded work-based training programmes for people aged 16 and over. They combine on the job training with nationally recognised qualifications at intermediate (level 2), advanced (level 3) and higher levels (level 4 and above). Apprentices can choose a particular career route (framework or standard) and earn wages whilst learning the skills on the job and obtaining a nationally recognised qualification. Although the apprentice is in full time employment for the duration of the programme, the employer may provide a day to attend college to complete core units, functional skills and other work skills and assessments.

Apprenticeship training is fully funded by the Government for 16-18 year olds and part funded for 19-23 years olds. Funding is significantly reduced for apprentices over 24 years of age. Where training is part funded, employers are asked to co-fund the training by directly paying the training provider as an investment to enhance and develop their work force. Smaller employers can benefit from government incentives/grants to help pay for training costs, whereas larger employers, those with annual staff paybill of £3m are required to fund from their digital levy fund, which will be in place from April 2017. (More information is available under the employers section.)

Key Apprenticeship Benefits

Earn while you learn (no cost to the apprentice)

Gain a recognised industry qualification

Get paid holidays (treated as a normal employee)

Get paid while attending college

Develop professional work based skills alongside more formal study

Gain theoretical knowledge with practical work based experience

Receive ongoing support and guidance from your employer and a dedicated tutor/assessor

Become part of a professional team and make new connections

Broaden your knowledge and skills by working with a professional team

Build confidence and enhance job prospects and earning potential

Gain recognised literacy, numeracy and ICT qualifications

Potential of progressing to degree level programme

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Apprenticeship Levels at SFX

FULL-TIME (12 months in employment)

An Intermediate Apprenticeship is equivalent to five good GCSE passes. Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2, Key Skills and a relevant knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC.

Progression: Provides the skills required for the apprentice’s chosen career and allows entry to an Advanced Apprenticeship or traditional level 3 Diploma Study Programme.

Assessment: Progress will be continually assessed throughout the academic year by an assessor and evidenced in a portfolio. External assessment may need to be completed for functional skills.

FULL-TIME (18-24 months in employment)

An Advanced Apprenticeship is equivalent to two A-level passes. Advanced apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and a relevant knowledge-based certificate such as a BTEC.

Progression:  Provides the skills required for the apprentice’s chosen career and allows entry to a Higher Apprenticeship (level 4) or an undergraduate degree programme.

Assessment: progress will be continually assessed throughout the academic year by an assessor and evidenced in a portfolio. External assessment may need to be completed for functional skills.

Apprenticeship Qualification

Competence
The competence (technical/practical skills) aspects of the apprenticeship is based on National Occupational Standards and is completed in the workplace whilst carrying out the job. The evidencing of competency may be through observation, witness testimony and other forms of recording medium which may include audio/visual recording. The apprentice records their evidences in a portfolio.

Knowledge
The knowledge part of the apprenticeship covers the technical knowledge and theory that is relevant to the practical skills an apprentice will develop in their job role. The apprentice in most cases will need to produce written evidences and include this in the portfolio.

Employee rights and responsibilities (ERR)
An apprentice must be told about their rights as an employee – what they are entitled to expect and what their obligations are to their employer and colleagues. For example: sources of information and advice on their rights as an employee; their role within the organisation; the career available to them; the organisation’s principles and codes of practice; as well as health and safety, employment law and equality and diversity. Activities may be conducted in the work place to cover and evidence this, but may also include dedicated workshops to cover key information. The apprentice will complete documentations to evidence ERR.

Personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS)
These are the skills that help an apprentice to succeed at work: independent enquirers, creative thinkers, team workers, reflective learners, self-managers, effective participators. Activities may be conducted at the work place to cover and evidence this, but may also include dedicated workshops to cover key information.

Functional skills (key skills/core skills)
These are core set of skills people require to do the job and include English, Maths and Information Communications Technology (ICT) using practical applications. There is a government commitment to encourage 16–18-year-olds to re-sit English and Maths GCSEs where they do not have grade C or above. These skills are gained through a combination of work relevant activities and studies and are usually assessed using an online assessment tool.

Apprenticeship Qual Structure

Minimum Entry Requirements

The following entry requirements apply across all level 2 and 3 apprenticeships at SFX:

Apprenticeship – Intermediate (Level 2):
4 GCSEs at grade D or above including English and Maths. As an apprentice you will be required to be in full time employment for minimum two years.

Apprenticeship – Advanced (Level 3):
Successfully completed intermediate level apprenticeship or have five GCSEs at grade C or above. As an apprentice you will be required to be in full time employment for minimum two years.

Apprenticeship Salary and Entitlements

An apprentice:

  • will receive a salary during the full period of the apprenticeship which has to be for a minimum of 12 months.
  • is entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.40 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices under the age of 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.
  • is entitled to at least the minimum wage rate based on the age of an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of an apprenticeship programme.
  • will work for a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • will receive training which will be part of the apprenticeship
  • will be entitled to at least 20 days paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays
  • may receive other benefits provided by the employer (such as joining a pension scheme)


National Minimum Wages

Year 25 and over 21-24 18-20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2016 £7.20 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.40

(Source: http://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates)