What is an Apprenticeship:

An apprenticeship is a real job with a skills programme attached i.e. paid employment with a recognised and accredited course of learning, that will be certificated on successful completion.

It is available to anyone over the age of 16 years, with no upper age limit.

An apprenticeship lasts for a minimum duration of 12 months. In practise, the length of programme should be specific to and suit the needs of the apprentice, taking account of prior learning; any learning support that may be required (eg dyslexia) and the level of the course programme (e.g. a Level 5 courses will generally take longer to complete than Level 3).

How do they work

Apprenticeships equip individuals with the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviour needed for specific job roles, future employment and career progression. This is achieved through a combination of ‘on-the job’ and ‘off-the-job’ training.

At least 20% of an apprentice’s time must be spent gaining training ‘off-the-job’; effectively this equates to 1 day per week, if fully employed. The employer and training provider will decide how best this is delivered. In addition to regular day release, it could include block release and special training days or workshops. It must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship framework or standard and can be delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work, as long as it is not part of their regular working duties. Off-the-job training can cover activities such as ‘shadowing’ work colleagues; mentoring; industry visits; and attending competitions.

On-the-job-training helps an apprentice develop the specific skills needed for the work place and should be supported by a mentor.

There are various levels of apprenticeship courses available:

wdt_ID Name Level Equivalent Educational Level
1 Intermediate 2 5 GCSE's
2 Advanced 3 2 A level passes
3 Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
4 Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree

What are they for?

Anyone over the age of 16 (there is no upper age limit) and not already in full-time education can apply for an apprenticeship. The individual must spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of their apprenticeship, to comply.

Employers can offer apprenticeships to new recruits or use the programme to up-skill existing employees and grow their talent from within their organisation.

How much will it cost?

The government has an ambition to substantially grow the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. It sees this as a means of improving the UK’s productivity, to make our country more competitive and raise our standards of living.

JACE is a direct employer of apprentices and therefore aware of both the commitment and benefits that the programme can bring to a business. Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved productivity
  • Improved quality of service/product
  • New ‘dynamism’ added to workforce
  • Freeing up managerial time for strategic matters
of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive
of apprentice employers say they make their business more productive
of companies who invest in apprentices have reported a significant increase in employee retention
of employers believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated workforce
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