What is an Apprenticeship?
We thought it might be useful to provide a bit of general information about what apprenticeships actually are. Effectively, they are a way for young people to learn in a real job, not have to go to college and avoid leaving university without landing themselves in huge amounts of debt. As an apprentice they do a real job, gaining real qualifications and are able to work towards a successful career.
Apprenticeships take different lengths of time to complete, for instance, an IT apprenticeship could be between 12 months to 24 months, a motor vehicle technician apprenticeship should be at least 3 years (experience matters when servicing engines!) The minimum length for any apprenticeship is 12 months.
An apprentice is a normal employee. They need a contract of employment and they must be employed for at least 30 hours per week. They must also receive the apprenticeship minimum wage which is £2.68 per hour – we do though ask employers to try and pay a little extra – when you are next queuing for a Grande skinny latte in Starbucks just consider that it would take an apprentice nearly 1.5 hours of work to afford one!
What is an apprenticeship framework?
An apprenticeship is made up of a number of different parts. Typically, they are:
- Diploma (NVQ) which focuses on professional competence – can the learner demonstrate they are competent to do their job.
- Certificate / Diploma of technical knowledge – does the learner have the knowledge to do their job
- Functional Skills – if the learner does not have GCSE Maths, English & IT they need to have functional skills in the subject not covered by a GCSE at grade C or above.
Training is delivered in a number of different ways – on the job learning is key – the learner has to learn their job by doing the job. They also access eLearning to gain the knowledge needed. On top of that they are supported by an assessor / mentor that conducts observations of their competence and ensures they are learning the right things.
Recruiting an apprentice
This is always important. One of the benefits of working with a local provider such as Yorkshire Apprentice is that we focus of local businesses and local apprentice.
It is important to work together with the employer to find the right candidate and we are never sure how a national provider based in another part of the country can do this effectively!
You need to be given the right candidates and the candidate has to feel that this is the right job for them – it is not a numbers game. Too often large providers have a spreadsheet of candidates and a spreadsheet of employers and the those at the top of the list are matched regardless of they are the right fit.
So what can you expect and what should your apprentice expect? Well they key thing to consider is that you are employing an apprentice to grow with your business. We have seen some cases of employers only hiring an apprentice for the length of their apprenticeship – that’s not what it is about – this is about you investing in a new member of staff that wants to learn the business and stay with you. See it as a long term employee investment and it will be a success for all.