What is an Apprentice?
As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. They follow a work-based training programme; a package of on-the-job work, training and qualifications. Being an apprentice means having a job.
Anyone living in England, over 16 years-old and not in full-time education can apply for an Apprenticeship vacancy. Regardless of whether someone is working, or not working, they can apply for an Apprenticeship vacancy. An employer might choose to create an Apprenticeship vacancy if they have a new skills need in the business, and existing employees could apply for the Apprenticeship job.
There are over 200 different types of Apprenticeships available (sometimes referred to as ‘frameworks’) and three levels of Apprenticeship:
Intermediate Level Apprenticeships
Advanced Level Apprenticeships
Depending on the sector and job role an Apprenticeship can take anything from one to four years to complete.
New degree level Apprenticeship routes are now also being developed.
National Apprenticeship Service
The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) will provide support to help employers take on an Apprentice -from initial interest through to the selection of a training provider and the recruitment and progression of an apprentice. Employers who are interested in taking on an apprentice, or finding out more, are encouraged to contact the helpline, shown on the right. Employers can advertise their Apprenticeship vacancies on the website through the National Apprenticeship Service.
Funding Initiative - Apprenticeship Grant for Employer - AGE
The Government may provide a £1,500 grant to support the costs of employing an apprentice aged 16 - 24, while funds last. See link on the right.
Trailblazers and New Apprenticeship Standards
The current Apprenticeship Framework 'system' is changing and new standards, developed by employers and reflecting job roles, will eventually replace all current frameworks. Some new standards are already available. See the link on the right hand side of the page.
Apprenticeship Levy and Reform
Government is currently reforming the way that it funds training for Apprentices. Part of these changes will mean that in April 2017 employers who have a wage bill higher than £3 million, will be required to pay an Apprenticeship Levy. Final details are not yet available but further information is available through the link on the right.