Is an Apprenticeship full time education?
Essentially no – An Apprenticeship is work based learning set within the context of full time employment. You are eligible for an Apprenticeship at any age post GCSE. An Apprenticeship could be undertaken as an alternative to A levels, T Levels, or Higher Education. If you have already achieved Further or Higher Education, and/or is already in employment can also undertake an Apprenticeship, so long as there are new knowledge/skills/behaviours to be gained that will enable you to become role competent.
How long is an Apprenticeship?
An Apprenticeship term is legislated to be a minimum of 372 days. They are typically between 15 – 18 months at Level 3 and 21 – 24 months at Level 4. A full training plan and schedule will be discussed and agreed between the employer and training provider before the start of Apprenticeship programme delivery.
What qualifications do I need to take up an Apprenticeship?
There are no mandatory qualifications required to enable enrolment onto an Apprenticeship. Employer preference may place emphasis on aptitude, transferable skills and ability to learn more than prior qualifications and existing technical skills. Some employers may also ask for GCSEs (A-C/9 -4) in English, Maths and possibly ICT, although the high likelihood is that the priority will be placed on demonstrable interest in IT. As part of the enrolment process you will take English and Maths Initial Assessments to determine that you are at least up to the capability level of GCSE Grades A – C (now Grades 9 – 4).
Do I need to be employed to do an Apprenticeship?
Yes. If you are currently in employment, you can talk to your employer about studying an Apprenticeship with GK Apprenticeships. If you are currently unemployed – for example, if you are leaving school or college, or looking to return to work after a career break, you can apply for an Apprenticeship vacancy as advertised on our website at https://www.gkapprenticeships.com/learners/vacancies
How do I get started?
To start an Apprenticeship, you’ll need to apply for an Apprenticeship vacancy with an employer (or via the training provider) or already be employed with a view to progressing in a subject matter relevant role.
Can I do an Apprenticeship if I have a degree?
Yes. Holding a Batchelors or Masters degree no longer automatically excludes you from undertaking an Apprenticeship. Because each Apprenticeship is predominantly job role specific, so long as you don’t already have significant existing knowledge and experience in the subject matter of the Apprenticeship you are applying for, then you will not be ruled out based on your prior academic learning undertaken in other subjects not related to your Apprenticeship. So anyone can undertake an Apprenticeship at a higher, equal, or lower level than a qualification they already hold, including a previous Apprenticeship, so long as you will acquire substantive new skills and the content of the training is materially different from any prior training or previous Apprenticeship. All relevant prior learning will be considered in the application process when assessing learner eligibility to validate that the applicant will acquire substantive new learning from the Apprenticeship.
What are Level 3 and Level 4 Apprenticeships equivalent to?
There is an academic equivalency to A Levels (or T Levels) for a Level 3 Apprenticeship, and to a Cert. Ed. Diploma for Level 4. However an Apprenticeship is a competence based qualification, not purely academic. Therefore if you have achieved an A level in French or History for example, it would not automatically follow that you would begin an Apprenticeship at Level 4 (such as the Network Engineer Apprenticeship.) It very much depends on the duties and competencies that you are required to develop in the job role you are applying for.
Can I do an Apprenticeship at any age?
Yes, since The Apprenticeships Reform Programme established in May 2015, Apprenticeships can now be applied to employees of any age. An Apprenticeship therefore enables career-starters, plus upskillers and reskillers.
Can I undertake more than one Apprenticeship?
Yes. For example there are IT/Digital Apprenticeships available from Level 3 to Level 7, so it’s possible to progress up to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships when starting with a Level 3 or Level 4 Apprenticeship. The level of the Apprenticeship will be determined by the duties and competencies required in the job role according to the employer. They will discuss and agree with the Training Provider which is the most appropriate Apprenticeship Standard available to support the duties and competencies required to develop across the full term of the Apprenticeship.
What makes someone eligible for an Apprenticeship?
To be entitled to undertake an Apprenticeship, you need to live and have the right to work in the UK for at least the duration of your Apprenticeship term. Also you must have been a UK resident for at least the three years preceding the course start date. To undertake an Apprenticeship, you need to be at least 16 years old or over, live in England, and not be enrolled in another form of full-time education. You cannot be enrolled on more than 1 Apprenticeship at the same time. There is no maximum age for undertaking an Apprenticeship. An Apprentice can be a new hire into a business or an existing employee undertaking substantive new learning as a means of upskilling or re-skilling as part of their professional development.
Can I transfer my Apprenticeship to another employer?
Yes. Should you secure a change of employment within the same sector fulfilling a similar job role, and your new employer is in agreement with supporting your existing training plan and the funding requirements, then the Apprenticeship can continue in the new employment setting.
What is ‘Off The Job Training’?
Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of day-to-day work duties and leads towards the achievement of your Apprenticeship. This training takes place within your normal (contracted) working hours. The off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the Apprenticeship. The minimum off the job training for a full-time apprentice is an average of 6 hours per week. The off-the-job training provides the time to focus and develop the required skills, knowledge and behaviours to achieve the Apprenticeship. There are lots of activities that can contribute to off-the-job training. The key thing to remember is that it must be relevant to the Apprenticeship. An Apprentice is mandated to get time for training and study related to your role (amounting to at least 20% of your contracted working hours). The employer is required to support you by giving you both the time and the opportunities to complete your 6+ hours per week. ‘Off-the-job’ training can be flexible and doesn’t have to mean 1 day out of the workplace every week – it is an average of the 6+ hours per week of an Apprentice’s overall programme. Training can take place: • at your place of work • at a college or university or with a training provider • online (Apprenticeship training must not be delivered solely by self-directed distance learning) - or it could be a combination of these options. All planned off-the-job training activity (not just shadowing/mentoring) must be agreed in advance of delivery. Some off-the-job training (or English/Maths training where applicable) must take place in every calendar month of the practical period of the Apprenticeship term.
How is an Apprenticeship assessed?
Apprenticeships are essentially non-exam based qualifications, but achieved through End-Point Assessment (EPA) designed to verify vocational competence. EPA is conducted in the final 3 months of an Apprenticeship and is an impartial assessment of whether your apprentice has developed the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard. Assessments are designed by employers in the sector and are conducted by independent bodies known as end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs). They will typically consist of the submission of a summative portfolio of work based evidence, a project, a presentation based on the project, and a professional discussion. The chosen training provider selects an EPAO in advance of the Apprenticeship, unless the employer wishes to do so, to ensure that you fully understand the assessment criteria from the beginning and how you will be achieve the required criteria. As well as successfully completing the EPA, you may need to complete, and pass, several additional requirements before completion of the Apprenticeship. This might include English and maths qualifications, depending on your prior qualifications. Once all elements of the Apprenticeship are completed, you will receive your Apprenticeship certificate.