We use cookies to make this site as useful as possible. They are small text files we put in your browser to track usage of our site but they don't tell us who you are. By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies.LEARN MORE

About Apprenticeships

What’s Involved ?

Apprenticeships are a structured learning programme to gain nationally recognised qualifications whilst in employment. Apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Each Apprenticeship will involve an element of work-based learning, and sometimes this will require attendance at a college or private training provider. They are open to anyone living in England, over 16 and not in full-time education.

Every Apprenticeship programme contains a range of different qualifications chosen to suit the requirements of the business. These usually include Functional Skills; QCF's and Technical Certificates.

Functional Skills are practical skills in 3 areas; English; Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Mathematics. They allow individuals to work confidently, effectively and independently. Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCFs) are work-related, competence-based qualifications. They are assessed in the work place and show that the employee has the knowledge and skills needed to do the job. A Technical Certificate is a college based qualification, providing extensive up-to-date knowledge in a chosen area of study.

There are three levels of Apprenticeship; an ‘Apprenticeship’ which is Level 2, ‘Advanced Apprenticeship’ which is Level 3 and a ‘Higher Apprenticeship’ which is a level 4.

So… how can you start growing your business with an apprentice?

Apprenticeships bring in the skills and talent your business needs to flourish. Regardless of the size and nature of your enterprise, Apprenticeships will contribute to your company's success. They are precisely tailored to meet your requirements and will develop capable and committed employees.

Perform and Compete

Apprenticeships ensure that your workforce has the skills and qualifications it needs both now and in the future.  Apprenticeships are the ideal way to attract talented and enthusiastic people into your business. They reduce staff turnover and increase employee motivation and performance. Apprentices tend to be flexible, loyal employees who make companies more effective, productive and competitive.

How SWAC Works

We offer 3 packages, all designed to take the hassle out of the process of recruiting an apprentice.

The Hosting Model

This is our most popular service and we have successfully matched and placed nearly 650 apprentices this way.

The reason this service appeals to employers is that it simplifies the recruitment process and removes risk. We identify the most appropriate framework for the skills required and once the job description is agreed we advertise on the National Apprenticeship Service website and on the SWAC website as well as other appropriate job boards.

All applicants are screened to determine their suitability for the role and their eligibility for funding. Successful applicants are interviewed by SWAC (suitability interview by phone and then face-to-face) and shortlisted for you to interview and select your ideal candidate.

SWAC employs the apprentice on your behalf and pays them weekly through our apprentice payroll system. Employment law for apprentices is quite complex and demanding, particularly for small businesses. By employing the apprentice directly and placing them with you, we remove this burden from you.

We invoice you every 4 weeks and collect in advance by direct debit fortnightly, reconciling any sickness and overtime at the end of the invoice period. 

Our service gives you the freedom to evaluate your apprentice’s progress during the suitability period; you are able to assess your apprentice and feedback to SWAC if you would like a different apprentice to be placed with you.

Your apprentice has a dedicated Learner Account Manager who will offer them support personalised to their individual needs and encourage them to reach their true potential.

The Recruitment Model

Alternatively, you could opt to employ your apprentice direct. SWAC will provide the recruitment service but we don’t employ the apprentice and run the payroll:

  • Sourcing and matching with suitable training providers
  • Apprentice recruitment, screening and testing
  • Full interviewing and placement matching service

The Apprentice Support Model

The final option is normally tagged onto the Recruitment Model for those hosts that have not had an apprentice before and really need some support either for just 3 months while the apprentice settles into their role or throughout the framework to support their development and help you to manage their performance:

  • Support, advice and pastoral support
  • Trouble-shooting and performance management 
  • Pre-placement apprentice induction

Want more information? Call 0800 334 5767 or email info@theswac.org.uk