Apprenticeships aren’t just about getting a job; it’s all about making sure you get the skills and training that you’ll need to succeed in the world of work. During your apprenticeship, you’ll essentially be studying for qualifications whilst working. That means you’ll be splitting your time between work and college: studying with a learning provider to gain your qualifications, whilst gaining practical experience as you work for a company. A winning combination? Absolutely.
What qualifications will I gain with an apprenticeship?
It varies from apprenticeship to apprenticeship, but all apprenticeships aim to provide you with a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or another equivalent qualification. Successful completion of the apprenticeship will also involve gaining a Key Skills qualification and a technical certificate. Nifty.
Break it down for me
Apprenticeship programmes are structured schemes, and each one is required to have the following elements: a knowledge-based element, a competence-based element, transferable or ‘key skills’, and a module on employment rights and responsibilities. Don’t groan! You won’t be spending all of your time in a classroom.
In other words, apprenticeships are work-based learning programmes, which aim to give you the skills that you’ll need to succeed. You’ll learn relevant technical skills, gain an understanding of the industry, and acquire the competences needed to perform your duties to the required standard. All apprenticeships aim to give you a basic set of ‘key skills’ too, such as communication, numeracy, problem solving and teamwork.
When will my apprenticeship training start?
Apprenticeships are available all year round. However, when you begin the work-based training will depend on your chosen employer. Unlike university, the hardest part is securing a position at an employer, rather than with your learning provider.
How long will my apprenticeship training last?
Apprenticeship training can last between one and four years. If you start on an apprenticeship, most of the training will take place on-the-job, i.e. at the company which is employing you. You’ll be working at least 30 hours a week for the company. The rest of your training will be done at a local college or training provider.
Consequently, you might be spending two days a week at college and three days in the office or workshop. Alternatively, you might only go to college once a fortnight (or maybe even less). Some employers use a ‘block training’ approach, concentrating the required off-the-job training into weekly or fortnightly slots across the year.
How much does apprenticeship training cost?
Generally, training is funded by the government. That’s right! No tuition fees and no debt. You’ll also be paid a salary during your apprenticeship by your employer. The current minimum wage for apprentices is £3.90 an hour; however, most employers tend to pay more than the minimum apprenticeship wage.