What are Apprenticeships?

If you are aged 16 or over and want on-the-job training whilst earning a salary and gaining a qualification, an apprenticeship could be for you. Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers – apprenticeships are for everyone. Apprenticeships can also be undertaken by existing employees.

Apprenticeships cover a wide range of careers, are nationally transferable, well respected and in great demand. Apprenticeship training can provide the skills needed to start a career – or boost your skill set if you are already employed.

Apprenticeships are vocational qualifications, which means that apprentices learn whilst working on the job. This method of education enables the learner to have real hands-on experience, applying their vocational knowledge to academic study; allowing the apprentice to work for an employer getting real-life, day to day experience, training and knowledge, whilst being paid.

Everyone undertaking an apprenticeship is entitled to Off-The-Job Training (see below). This can be made up from a multitude of different tasks, including academic study, both online or in the classroom.

  • Apprentices have 12 weekly tripartite reviews with their training provider and line manager. Tripartite reviews enable the learner to discuss their apprenticeship, ensuring they are fully supported and on track.
  • Apprentices are assessed throughout their qualification and at the end of the programme, culminating with the End Point Assessment (see below).
  • If undertaking a BSc apprenticeship, apprentices graduate in exactly the same way as all undergraduates and will attend an award ceremony with the accompanying hat and gown.

Health & Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme (HSSAP)

European Social Fund logoThe Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme (HSSAP), is an exciting programme, part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Apprenticeship Levy.

The programme provides opportunities for individuals to access a variety of free, flexible learning and development opportunities; from workshops to short courses and qualifications, including apprenticeships, across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Have the right to Live and work in the UK
  • Be over 18 years old, or if under 18 not in education, employment or training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET
  • Interested in pursuing a career in health and social care, are an existing member of staff, or are a health and social care apprentice
  • Live in a Devon post code area (Devon, Torbay and Plymouth).

If you would like to find out more about the Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme and how it can support you and your organisation please contact:

Off The Job Training (OTJT)

Learners are entitled to a minimum of 6 hours each week for OTJT, this means that a proportion of an apprentices paid working week is dedicated to study time or additional tasks that will enhance the educational programme of learning. OTJT includes: study at college or university, e-learning (many programmes are delivered face to face and online), any additional training, as well as mandatory training, time spent working on assignment work, undertaking projects, shadowing colleagues, being mentored or providing mentoring, reflective accounts, research and attending group learning sessions.

As long as OTJT is different to an apprentices paid apprenticeship role but enhances learning, it will be hugely beneficial to the learner.

Many apprentices have much more OTJT time, and in some cases are completely supernumerary. The amount of OTJT each apprentice has depends on the apprenticeship programme being undertaken.

Existing staff wishing to undertake an apprenticeship qualification must be fully supported by their manager.

All those wishing to undertake an apprenticeship must be on a contract of employment of at least 30 hours per week, or newly employed into an apprenticeship vacancy.

End Point Assessment (EPA)

The end-point assessment (EPA) was brought in by the government as part of the apprenticeship reforms in 2017. As well as continuous assessment throughout the apprenticeship qualification, all apprentices are now required to complete an EPA as the culmination of their apprenticeship qualification. The EPA is designed to test whether each apprentice has gained the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the standard, and will result in a grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction.

The EPA provides the ideal opportunity to showcase the work which has been undertaken during the previous 18 – 48 months.

Apprenticeship data reporting

Annually all Public Sector Organisations are required to submit their Apprenticeship statistics to the Government. This data is referred to as our ‘Annual Apprenticeship Reporting Data’. This includes employees who started an apprenticeship between defined time lines.