What is an Apprenticeship?
An Apprenticeship is a nationally recognised qualification that is valued by employers and gives you a great start to your career. There are two types of Apprenticeship qualification:
- Level 2 Intermediate
- Level 3 Advanced
The level you start at will depend on your skills and experience.
People who are employed specifically to do an Apprenticeship programme are called apprentices. This will not be the case if you are already employed and undertaking an Apprenticeship as part of your personal and professional development.
What does it involved and how long do they last?
Apprenticeships are structured, vocational programmes, lasting from a minimum of 12 months to four years. You learn and earn on the job.
All Apprenticeships include:
Diplomas and Certificates (Competency based qualification)
These are work-related qualifications that help you develop the practical skills and knowledge needed in a specific job. The qualifications are split into units and each unit is assessed through the observation of practical work and a portfolio of evidence.
Functional skills are a range of essential skills required in everyday life and in the workplace. These include:
- ICT (for certain apprenticeships)
Technical certificates develop your skills and knowledge in a particular aspect of your job. They are recognised by employers.
The duration of the programme depends on your contracted hours and what level of Apprenticeship you are undertaking.
Level 2 Intermediate programme duration times are usually:
- Employed for 30+ hours = 12 months
- Less than 16 hours – you are not eligible for an Apprenticeship
Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships are usually 18 months in duration as there is more to cover. If you start an Apprenticeship, you must commit to completing it.
How will it help me?
Career progression is excellent for people who have completed an Apprenticeship. Over the course of their careers, those with an Apprenticeship earn more than those without.
The benefits of doing an Apprenticeship include:
- Earning a salary from day one of starting your placement. The wage or salary you will receive will depend on your employer, however it will at least be in line with the National Minimum Wage. You’ll also be entitled to paid holidays just like any other employee
- Real ‘on-the-job’ experience, which is valued by employers
- A recognised qualification (equivalent to 5 GCSEs A-C grade, or 2 A Levels for the Advanced Apprenticeship programme)
Getting qualified while on the job will also mean that you:
- Work better and more effectively
- May be considered for promotion at work
- Could get better pay and job security
- Experience new challenges
- Learn at your own pace with support when you need it
- Gain skills and knowledge which can be used across a range of jobs and industries
What will I get paid?
The minimum wage for an Apprenticeship is £3.33 per hour, this is set by government. You will be paid at least the minimum wage, however we often find that employers do pay more than the minimum wage.
Like most other employees, you will also be given at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year as well as bank holidays. As skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages, research has found that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week.
The apprentice 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.
If you have a query regarding your salary then you should contact your employer.
What if I already earn more than £3.33 per hour?
If you are already employed and plan to undertake an Apprenticeship with your current employer, there is no reason for them to change your contract or your rate of pay. The NMW of £3.33 per hour is a minimum, and it applies to people who have been specifically employed as an apprentice.
Can I claim benefits whilst on an Apprenticeship?
Not usually. If you are on an Apprenticeship, you will be in work and being paid an hourly wage by your employer. In some cases, you may be able to claim for certain benefits e.g. child tax credits. Full details are available on the following website www.dwp.gov.uk.
I have already got a job – can I still do an Apprenticeship?
Yes. If your employer agrees, you can undertake an Apprenticeship where you work now. Your current contract and rate of pay shouldn’t change, and you won’t be classed as an apprentice.
What kind of Apprenticeship can I do?
Apprenticeships cover a wide range of vocational areas. They are not just for plumbing, hairdressing, construction or welding – you can even work in an office and be on a business administration Apprenticeship.
At CBD Training, we offer advice and help you choose the Apprenticeship that suits you best. Here’s a list of the types of programmes we can offer:
- Health and Social Care
- Team Leading
- Customer Service
- Business Administration
How will I know what level to choose?
CBD Training will advise you on the level that best suits your job role, current knowledge and skills. You will be assessed by one our qualified and experienced assessors who will ensure you are place on the right pathway.
What is expected of me?
- Once you start your Apprenticeship, you should be committed to staying with your current employer and intend to finish your Apprenticeship programme. It’s important that you complete the programme to receive your qualification
- You should complete any initial assessment exercises in your own time. This could be before or after your normal working hours and is typically around 2 hours in total. This helps us to see how well you would cope with the programme and how we would tailor your own Individual Learning Plan
- You need to attend your booked appointments with your allocated assessor
- You should act upon any training targets that your assessor may set you
- You will need to inform us if you are off sick for more than 7 days
- You will need to inform us if you leave your employment
Can I carry on if I leave my employment?
If you decide to leave you current employment and move to a similar role with another employer, you will be able to continue on your apprenticeship.
If you change job roles i.e. moving from Care Support Worker to Hairdresser then you will be no longer suitable for the apprenticeship you originally signed up for.