What are Apprenticeships?

If you are aged 16 or over and want on-the-job training, then an Apprenticeship could be for you. Paid Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers – Apprenticeships are for everyone. You can also undertake an Apprenticeship if you have been working for an organisation for a period of time or you already have existing qualifications.

Apprenticeships cover a wide range of careers, are respected and in demand from employers. The training can give you the skills needed to start your career – or boost your skill set if you are already in work. Many people don’t realise that you can use Apprenticeships to develop leadership and management expertise too.

Apprentices learn on the job which means you will be working for an employer getting real-world training. Therefore, you will gain the skills needed for that job role while getting paid – including holiday pay. You will have to do off-the-job training too.

To help improve Apprenticeship outcomes and drive up quality, it is now mandatory for Apprenticeships to:

  • Last a minimum of 18 months, regardless of age or prior experience.
  • Include 20% off-the-job training, which can be either on, or off-site. See 20% off-the-job below for more information.
  • Apprentices will be assessed throughout their qualification and also at the end of the programme, culminating with the End Point Assessment. See End Point Assessment below for more information.
  • Assessment will have a synoptic element enabling certification of full competency across the standard, grades include: Pass, Merit and Distinction.

20% off the job

Learners are entitled to 20% off the job training; this means that 20% of your working week should be dedicated to study time or additional tasks that will enhance your educational programme of learning. This can include undertaking tasks from other departments, such as managing a project. As long as it is different to your paid apprenticeship role this will be hugely beneficial to the learner. Also included within the 20% off the job training is study time at college, additional training such as mandatory training, time spent of assignment work. Existing staff wishing to undertake an Apprenticeship qualification must gain approval from their manager.

All Apprenticeships must be undertaken on a contract of employment of at least 30 hours per week.

End Point Assessment (EPA)

The new end-point assessment (EPA) is one of the biggest changes in the new Apprenticeship reforms of 2017. As well as continuous assessment throughout the Apprenticeship, all Apprentices are now required to complete an EPA as part of the conclusion of their 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. It is the ideal opportunity for the Apprentice to showcase the work they have been undertaking over the last 18 – 36 months.

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