National Apprenticeship Week is an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships. The week aims to bring together apprentices and businesses all over the country and promote the positive impact that apprenticeships can have on individuals and businesses.
What are apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are paid employment; they allow the apprentice to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst also gaining on the job training and valuable work experiences in their chosen career sector.
20% of an apprentice working hours will involve carrying out off the job training with a training provider, college, or university. This could include classroom lessons, online learning, practical training and learning support.
There are various levels of apprenticeships and depending on the level one of the following qualifications will be achieved.
|LEVEL||EQUIVALENT EDUCATION LEVEL|
|Higher||4,5,6 and 7||Foundation degree and above|
|Degree||6 and 7||Bachelor’s or master’s degree|
Some levels may require a previous GCSE qualification in English or Mathematics and other levels will provide additional training to ensure that the apprentice has these skills at the right level.
It is not all about exams, apprentices are continually assessed throughout their apprenticeship to ensure they are achieving the correct knowledge, skills, and behaviour in their chosen field. Apprenticeships also include an end point assessment (EPA) which is designed so show that an apprentice is fully competent in their specific occupation. The EPA could involve a practical demonstration of skills and discussion to demonstrate the apprentices learning and ability.
There are apprenticeships in a wide variety of interests including catering and hospitality, education and childcare, legal, finance and accounting, and transport and logistics.
Apprenticeships must last for at least a year, and they can last for up to 5 years depending on the level of the qualification the apprentice is studying.
Who can join an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are open to anyone in England over the age of 16. This could include:
- School leavers
- Existing employees looking to upskill in their current role
- Those looking for a career change
- Those not already in full time education
Benefits of hiring an apprentice
Hiring an apprentice is a valuable way to grow talent and develop a skilled and qualified workforce. They will contribute towards the reduction of staff turnover and hence recruitment costs.
What help do employers get in finding an apprentice?
The gov.uk website provides information on choosing an apprenticeship training course and the availability of training providers in the local area.
Once employers have established the apprenticeship position, they wish to offer they can create an advert using their apprenticeship service account. Adverts are usually approved within 24 hours and are then made available on the national find an apprenticeship website.
Employers can also give permission for their chosen training provider to create apprenticeship adverts for them.
And what about paying for their training?
Employers may get help from the Government to pay for apprenticeship training. The amount of support depends on whether the employer is an apprenticeship levy payer or not. Levy payers are employers with a payroll bill over £ 3 million per year.
If you do not pay the levy, you will pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing your apprentice. The government will pay the rest up to a funding band maximum which will vary with each apprenticeship level and pathway.
If you pay the levy, you can use the apprenticeship service to manage your funds and spend it on training and assessing your apprentices. This will be topped up by a further 10 % from the government.
How much do you need to pay an apprentice?
There are different rates of pay for apprentices depending on their age and what year of their apprenticeship they are in.
Aged 16-18 – the current national minimum wage for an apprentice is £ 4.30 per hour rising to £ 4.81 from April 2022
Aged 19 and over and in their first year – the current national minimum wage for an apprentice is £ 4.30 per hour rising to £ 4.81 from April 2022
Aged 19 and over and have completed their first year – the national minimum wage will apply depending on their age
19 – 20 £ 6.56 per hour rising to £ 6.83 from April 2022
21-22 £ 8.36 per hour rising to £ 9.18 from April 2022
23 and over £ 8.91 per hour rising to £ 9.50 from April 2022
An employer will be responsible for providing their apprentice with a contract of employment, paying their wages, and signing an apprenticeship agreement. Apprentices must be offered the same conditions as other employees working at similar grades or roles. This will include, paid holiday, sick pay, and any other benefits an employer offers.
Where can you find more information?
Telephone: 0800 015 0600
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
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