What is an Apprenticeship?

In its simplest form an apprenticeship is basically a job with a training package attached. The apprenticeship must last at least a year and work a minimum of 30 hours and a maximum of 40 hours a week. Apprentices receive on the job training in the workplace which allows them to develop their skills as well as contribute to the productivity of the company they are working for. They also attend college for contextual learning which combines practical skills with theory. The set of qualifications which make up an apprenticeship are currently known as frameworks. Frameworks are developed by the Sector Skills Councils with a view to providing training that meets both the needs of the employer as well as the sector. An apprenticeship framework consists of:

• A knowledge based qualification (Technical Certificate)

• A QCF competence based qualification in the chosen occupational area (NVQ)

• Functional Skills – English, Maths and sometimes ICT training

• Employment Rights and Responsibilities

Why become an Apprentice?

All apprenticeships are real jobs so all apprentices earn a salary. You must be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage – and many employers pay significantly more. Apprentices should work for at least 30 hours per week and an apprenticeship takes between one and five years to complete, depending upon the level of apprenticeship and the industry sector. Most of the training is delivered in the workplace, so you will learn the skills you need to do the job well. The training is specifically tailored to ensure you develop the skills the employer wants, giving apprentices a real advantage in the workplace. This means that apprentices not only have better long term salary prospects but also have excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace.

Benefits of doing an Apprenticeship:

• Earn a salary

• Train in the skills employers want

• Have excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace

• Increase future earning potential

• Enjoy marked salary increases when you complete your training

• Learn at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor

• Get paid holiday