Apprenticeships are high quality work based learning programmes for those who wish to improve their prospects and develop their career. They give you the best of both worlds; you will be in paid employment and complete the required training to ensure that you become qualified in the area you chose to work in!
Apprenticeships create a highly recognised standard for work based training and so there are many benefits to doing an Apprenticeship. You can earn while you learn and learn in a way that is best suited to you through hands on experience. The key benefits of being an apprentice include:
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Apprenticeships are designed by employers to reflect the current market and industry needs. They offer a structured programme that provides you with the skills needed to do the job well.
You will either attend college for day/block release or receive the practical training in your workplace; this depends on the course you are studying.
You will work towards your Apprenticeship qualification by studying technical skills and carrying out practical assessments. Review meetings will take place with IMPACT Apprenticeships and your ‘Host Employer’ to ensure that you are progressing well with the right support.
There is a national minimum hourly rate of pay for apprentices per hour. The ‘Host Employer’ sets the hourly rate of pay appropriate to the job role and functions. As the Apprenticeship includes both work and on and off the job training, you are paid for all the time you are on the Apprenticeship. That includes training time with the training provider.
Apprentices under 19 years or 19 years and over and in the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the minimum wage for apprentices.
Once the apprentice reaches 19 years and has completed the first year of the apprenticeship the apprentice must be paid the full National Minimum Wage rate for their age.
Components Of An Apprenticeship
An Apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications called a ‘standard’ (formerly a ‘framework’). Most Apprenticeships follow a standard format which includes a technical diploma, an NVQ diploma and functional skills.
The technical qualification focuses on the knowledge and understanding that underpins the NVQ and concentrates on the theory side. A commitment to a minimum number of hours of teaching which can be at college 1 day a week or block release or in the workplace is required.
The NVQ focuses on the practical skills required to do the ‘day to day’ job and also demonstrates your ability at work and your ability to do the job. The NVQ itself is work based and this element is usually achieved through assessment and training where specific units are selected at the start of the Apprenticeship programme.
Functional skills are core elements of English, Maths and ICT that provide you with the skills you need to operate confidently, effectively and independently at work.
If you do not have the required GCSE grades C or above (Grade 4 to 9) in these core subjects then they will be delivered to you as part of the Apprenticeship.
92% of apprentices said their career prospects had improved
Length Of Apprenticeships
The length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on your prior skills, the qualification you are doing and industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete. You can usually start an Apprenticeship at any time of year depending on the sector. Apprenticeships need to be for a minimum of 30 working hours per week.
Working Time Regulations
Young people aged 16 and 17 years old cannot work between 10pm to 6am however, there are a few exceptions if you work in:
- Hotels or Catering
- Care Work
Young people aged 16 and 17 years old must not exceed 8 hours a day or 40 hours per week. You are also entitled to paid holidays and rest breaks of at least 30 minutes if the shift lasts more than four and half hours.