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Apprenticeship

What is an apprenticeship?

When you start work as an apprentice you are in a real job.

An Apprenticeship is a real job with training so you can earn while you learn and pick up some nationally recognised qualifications as you go. Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete and cover 1500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from things like engineering to finance advice, veterinary nursing to accountancy.

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

What advantages does completing an apprenticeship give me?

Getting qualified while on the job can also mean:

How do I know what apprenticeship to do?

Think about where a qualification could take you in your career - decide on the kind of skills and knowledge that you will need to get ahead. If you are already employed, you may want to talk to your employer or a colleague to help you with this.

Apprenticeships are delivered while ‘on the job’. Like any career choices you need to make, there are many options available, so we advise you think about where you would like to develop your career and choose the best qualification to progress with.

Knowledge Web are happy to discuss any questions or queries you may have. Please feel free to contact us at any time. 

Will an apprenticeship give me a good career?

Career progression is excellent for apprentices, and over the course of their careers, those with an Apprenticeship earn, on average, £100,000 more than those without. 
[A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Apprenticeships and Other Vocational Qualifications, University of Sheffield, 2007]

Some Apprenticeships already attract UCAS points or allow you to study for a Technical Certificate. Once the Apprenticeship has finished there’s the opportunity to carry on working, maybe get promoted or go on to higher education in a college or university.

The National Apprenticeship Service is working with UCAS to extend this system so that more qualifications gained during an Apprenticeship count towards an individual’s university application.

How can Knowledge Web help me?

Once you have contacted or completed your user profile Knowledge Web can actively match you up against your criteria for apprenticeship opportunities which become available. We will work to find the best opportunity for you, and provide you will all the information you need for the interviews.

What if I am not successful after an interview?

Knowledge Web will get the feedback from all interviews and work with you to address anything which you may need help or advise with. Once you are registered with a user profile, Knowledge Web will not give up trying to find the best opportunities for you. 

How do I learn through an apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications called a ‘framework’ developed by Sector Skills Councils. Most Apprenticeship frameworks follow a standard format that comprises:

The learning provider provides the knowledge and develops skills while the employer provides the practical experience to put those skills to the test.

What is a framework?

There are a number of elements to each Apprenticeship and this is called the Framework. This means you will get a range of qualifications as you progress through your training and education. Each Apprenticeship framework has three main strands:

The three strands are sometimes accompanied by additional qualifications to give the most relevant skills and knowledge required for the job that you are employed in.

Can apprentices claim any additional benefits ( Such as childcare)?

Yes. In some limited cases, apprentices can claim additional benefits. You can find out more on benefit claims at www.dwp.gov.uk. 

What are transferable skills?

Many different industry sectors share the same skill sets. These core skills are transferable across sectors and are built into the Apprenticeship to maximise flexibility and choice for employers and apprentices. They include:

These are achieved by having the right grade GCSE* or by undertaking a Functional Skills qualification.

*International GCSEs and Short Course GCSEs are also acceptable.

How much do I get paid doing an apprenticeship?

The first thing we must point out is the whole point of doing an apprenticeship is to gain a nationally recognised qualification while gaining sector knowledge and experience.

Yes, all employed apprentices will get a wage. The current 'apprentice National Minimum Wage' is currently £3.40 per hour*.

This though is the minimum, and many employers pay more than this.

Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage rate does not apply to Higher Apprenticeships.  

However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages. This is always at the discretion of the employer and can be based on performance, attitude, punctuality  etc.. Your employer will normally discuss these at the start of your employment.

The apprentice 'National Minimum Wage' applies to all 16 to 18 year olds and to those aged 19 and over in the first year of their Apprenticeship. If you reach age 19 and have completed the first year of your Apprenticeship your employer must pay you at least the 'full National Minimum Wage' rate for those aged 18 to 20.

If you are already 19 and have completed the first year of your Apprenticeship you must be paid at least the 'National Minimum Wage' rate for your age.

* Please note that wage rates for roles within the Agricultural sector may differ from the minimum wage stated above.

Why is the apprenticeship wage low in comparison to the national minimum wage?

The first thing to consider is the employment opportunity has been provided in order for you to complete your chosen qualification.

The rate is set to be consistent with current arrangements in parts of the UK. The Low Pay Commission has recommended a rate that is fair to apprentices and does not discourage employers from offering Apprenticeships. The Government has accepted the rate recommended. The rate is a minimum, employers can pay more – and many do so.

The NMW rates are reviewed each year by the Low Pay Commission.

Will my wage increase after completing my apprenticeship?

Once you have completed your apprenticeship your employer will decide based on their circumstances and criteria if they wish to offer you a full time (non apprenticeship) employment contract. This will be based on their current wage structure and what they can offer you. If you decide to progress onto a higher level once you have completed your current apprenticeship, this is a discussion either you or Knowledge Web can have if we or one of our partners are delivering your apprenticeship.

The legal requirements are:

Apprentices aged 19 years and over that have completed one year of their apprenticeship are entitled to receive the national minimum wage rate applicable to their age.

Please refer to the following link for full clarification:

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage/what-is-the-minimum-wage

I am aged 19 and over and been on my apprenticeship for over a year. What national minimum wage should I be paid?

If you are already 19 or over and have completed the first year of your Apprenticeship you must be paid at least the NMW rate for your age.

Again, please refer to the following link for clarification

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage/what-is-the-minimum-wage

What does the apprenticeship involve?

An Apprenticeship includes the following components:

When can I start an apprenticeship?

You can apply at any time of year. Knowledge Web have new vacancies becoming available daily, so always keep looking on our site. If you develop a user profile, we can do the looking for you!

When you begin the work-based training depends upon the availability of a position at an employer. Knowledge Web will work closely with you to find the right apprenticeship for you.

I am already employed – can I do an apprenticeship with my current employer?

Yes. If your employer agrees, you can become an apprentice where you work now.

Please note for funding there is an eligibility criteria, and Knowledge Web will be more than happy to confirm if you are eligible or not. If not your employer always the option of covering this for you.

How long does an apprenticeship take to complete?

The length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on prior skills levels of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete. 

Other factors can include your commitment in completing portfolio work and attendance in the work place.

What is the role of the employer while I complete my apprenticeship?

The employer will give you an induction into the company and your role. They provide on-the-job training and pay your wages. Each apprentice has a manager at work who will be responsible for helping you throughout your training while gaining the qualification.

Can an employer terminate my employment?

As an apprentice you are covered by all employment law, and all the legal rights and responsibilities this entails.

What must be pointed out though is your employer has provided you with the opportunity to complete your apprenticeship while in employment so this needs to be respected at all times. Like all employers, if you have poor attendance, attitude problems, poor timekeeping and so on, they are well within their rights to terminate your employment in line with their policies and procedures.

If you are unclear about what your employers policies and procedures are, you are able to look at them anytime to avoid any confusion.

If you are unsure about what your rights are as an apprentice / employee please refer to the following link:

www.worksmart.org.uk.

Do I get holidays as an apprentice?

Like most other employees, you will be given at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year as well as bank holidays. The procedure in booking holidays with your employer will be discussed with them during your induction. This should also be available in the companies policies and procedures.

What hours will I be working?

To complete an apprenticeship you need to be working full time (30 hours+ per week). Depending on what the apprenticeship is and the working pattern of the employer this maybe Monday to Friday 9 – 5 pm, shift work ( If in healthcare for example) Weekends if in retail. Like all jobs, the employer will discuss the hours and working arrangements. Knowledge Web will discuss these if you are applying for a job.

What are the entry requirements for an apprenticeship?

Different Apprenticeships have different entry requirements. However the most important requirements are that:

Do I get to choose where I work?

Knowledge Web will provide you with all the information you need to decide if the opportunity is right for you. When applying please bear in mind the following:

Accepting a job offer from any employer for an apprenticeship opportunity will be your decision. You will need to apply for apprenticeship vacancies and go through the Knowledge Web and the employers’ recruitment process and be successful in your application to be offered a position.

If you are offered a position, and decide to decline this prior to starting, that is your prerogative like any job offer.

I have a question but the answer is not listed

Please feel free to contact an advisor at Knowledge Web, who will be happy to talk you through the process and answer any questions or queries you may have.