How do Apprenticeships work for Apprentices

Apprenticeships – the basics

As an apprentice you will be employed, earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Anyone living in England, over 16 years-old and not in full-time education can apply, whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. You just need to be living in England and not taking part in full-time education.

Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level and type of Apprenticeship. You will need to be employed for at least 30 hours per week in a job role directly related to your chosen Apprenticeship. The minimum salary is £2.73 per hour; however, many apprentices earn significantly more.

There are different entry requirements depending on the Apprenticeship you are interested in and the industry sector. Competition for Apprenticeship places is high, so you will need to show that you are committed, and aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and any potential employer. You also need to demonstrate that you have the ability to work as both part of a team and individually, and be able to use your own initiative.

Apprenticeships are a great way to advance your career by achieving a nationally recognised qualification WHILST earning money. Our Apprenticeship programmes all lead to certified qualifications which are different from, but equal to those obtained through the GCSE, A Level, Further Education and Higher Education routes.

The National Minimum Mage (NMW)

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) for Apprentices has been increased to £2.73p per hour as from 1st October 2014.

This NMW is applicable to Apprentices aged 16-18 and those aged over 19 in the first year of their Apprenticeship. The NWM applies to time working plus time spent training as that is part of the Apprenticeship. Anyone not covered by the age category above will be entitled to the NMW appropriate to their age.

Employers are free to pay above the new wage. Many already do so and this change will not affect that but employers must ensure that they are paying their apprentices at least the minimum wage.

A summary of the changes to the hourly rates of pay are provided below, which come into effect from 1st October 2014

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Training

Apprenticeships are designed to offer a structured programme that takes you through the skills you need to do a job well.   You will be assigned a specialist Trainer Assessor who will work with you to make checks and set targets to make sure that you know how you are progressing and what you need to do next to succeed.  The same Trainer Assessor will also work closely with your employer to ensure they are supporting you to make progress in your Apprenticeship programme.

As an employee you will be in work for most of your time as most training takes place on the job. The rest takes place at the College or in a designated training facility. You can complete this off-the-job training on day release or over a number of days in a block; this will be decided in consultation with your employer. The amount of time you spend varies according to your Apprenticeship. It could be anything from one day every other fortnight to two days every week.