A Guide to Apprenticeships
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualifications such as National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), key skills and knowledge-based qualifications.
You can use apprenticeships to train both new and existing employees.
Apprentices learn on the job, building up knowledge and skills and gaining qualifications at the same time.
There are various levels of apprenticeship available:
An Intermediate Apprenticeship: Level 2 usually lasts for about a year to 18 months.
- Apprentices have a full-time job and are paid a wage.
- Alternatively, apprentices may be based with a training provider, but undertake work experience placements. Apprenticeships on work experience placement are paid a weekly training allowance.
- Apprentices will work towards a level 2 NVQ, Key Skills qualifications and, in most cases, a technical certificate such as a BTEC or City & Guilds.
An Advanced Apprenticeship: Level 3 lasts for at least two years.
- Advanced apprentices are in full-time employment and are paid an appropriate wage.
- They are assessed in the same way as level 2 apprentices, including time spent with a training provider.
- Advanced apprentices and their employers should be aiming for a technical, supervisory or junior management role on completion.
Access to Apprenticeships
This is a new scheme that allows young people to show employers that they have the commitment and aptitude to work as an apprentice. Young people who need some extra help to start a paid apprenticeship will volunteer to learn with an employer for a short period before moving into a paid apprenticeship. Find out more on the Apprenticeships website.
Apprenticeships are an opportunity for an employer to attract young people to their business and have them trained to fill skills gaps. Training provision for a young person on an apprenticeship is free to businesses.
What are the costs involved for an employer taking on an apprentice?
If you use an approved training provider there will be no, or limited cost involved towards the training of a young person. This is government funded.
- An intermediate apprentice would either be paid a training allowance as well as any travel costs associated with getting from home to their training provider, or a full time salary at at least the National Minimum Wage for apprentices. A level 2 apprentice will have rights to time off to study, please ask the Connexions Employer Services Team for more information about this. They will also have rights to at least 20 days holiday per year including bank holidays.
- An advanced apprentice will be fully employed and so should be paid a full-time salary. This will be at least the National Minimum Wage for apprentices, but will vary across sectors as set out by the trade bodies. They will also be paid for time spent with a training provider. They also have rights to at least 20 days holiday per year including bank holidays.
When you consider the level of training and experience that your employee will finish up with, taking on an apprentice is often a much more cost and time effective way of creating or expanding a skilled workforce than training someone on your own.
How can I get help to take on an apprentice?
With one call or visit, Connexions will be able to assist you with all of your needs. We can:
- Help you find a training provider that supports your type of business.
- We can give you more information about apprenticeships in general.
- We can help you find a suitable young person to undertake an apprenticeship or work placement.
- We can also point you in the direction of government funding that could be available to train existing members of staff.
Apprenticeship Vacancies Service
We can advertise your apprenticeship vacancy to local young people. Through the National Apprenticeship Service you can also find:
- The offer of a training provider to help you with support and training for your apprentice.
- The opportunity to advertise your vacancy to young people who are interested in becoming an apprentice.
Find out more
For more information about what Connexions Leicester City can do for your business or to arrange a meeting with an Employer Liaison Officer:
Telephone: 0116 262 7254
Page last updated 8/2/13