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Apprentices' Frequently Asked Questions

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 11 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Apprenticeship Nvq Training Jobcentre

If you are considering an apprenticeship then it is natural that you will have a lot of questions about doing one. Here are a few FAQs to help you along the way.

What Is An apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines a job with structured training and working towards a national qualification. It is recognised by employers across the country and is an alternative choice to further education or just entering employment.

Who Can Do An Apprenticeship?

Anyone who is over the age of sixteen and not in full time education can apply to do an apprenticeship. There are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship so certain sectors may ask for GCSEs (A-C) in English, Maths and Science.

Will I Get Paid To Do It?

One of the great things about doing an apprenticeship is that you will get paid to do it. As at October 2016 the minimum wage for apprentices under the age of 19 or over 19 but in their first year of apprenticeship is £3.70 per hour (2018). Apprenticies aged 19 or over who have completed one year of their apprenticeship are entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage applicable to their age. You are counted as a regular employee so get all the benefits such as holiday and sick leave as well.

What Qualification Will I Earn?

During your apprenticeship you will work towards a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). This is a well recognised qualification that will help you in your career. You may also have the chance to work on professional qualifications such as City and Guilds.

Are There Different Levels Of Apprenticeship?

There are two different levels of apprenticeship. During an apprenticeship you will work towards an NVQ2 which is equivalent to 5 good GSCEs. Or you can work towards an NVQ3 on an advanced apprenticeship which is equivalent to 2 A level passes.

What Can I Do An Apprenticeship In?

There are over 180 apprenticeships available across 80 different sectors so there is a lot to choose from. Some popular areas are construction, manufacturing and business administration.

How Long Does An Apprenticeship Take?

There is no set time for completing an apprenticeship. It depends on each individual, their progress and how quickly they complete the training. An average time for an apprenticeship though is about two or three years.

Where Can I Find Out About Vacancies?

There are a number of different ways to find out about vacancies. Visit your local jobcentre, keep an eye on job adverts or call the apprenticeship helpline on 08000 150 600

How Do I Apply?

Applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for a job so you will have to got through an application process. This will usually involve a written application and then an interview where you will have to impress your employer.

What Do I Do When I’ve Finished?

It is up to you what you do when you have finished your apprenticeship. There may be an opportunity to stay on at the same company or you may want to look for a new job. Alternatively, you may decide that you would like to gain more qualification by staying on at college or applying for university.

By making sure you have all the information you need, you can make an informed decision about whether an apprenticeship is the right path for you.

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If I did a NVQ Health and Social Care Level 3 in the last 10 years, can I now undertake an apprenticeship Level 3 in health? I have moved from community Trust to an acute Trust in a different speciality thanks
chris - 11-Apr-18 @ 1:48 PM
JB - Your Question:
Hi I am 23 doing a level 3 apprenticeship & just been informed (yesterday) I have to do a maths course as I didn't get the gcse grade when at school. I have since leaving school got an FSA qualification and a btec level 2 in business. My question is do I have to do the maths course FYI I am doing the apprenticeship to enable me to change career direction

Our Response:
If your employer is saying that you have to do the maths course as part of your apprenticeship, then you would have to do the course. As much as it seems like something you really don't want to or have to do, it is very useful. For instance, if you wish to go into teaching when you are older it is imperative that you have maths GSCE, regardless of your other qualifications.
AnApprenticeship - 10-Apr-18 @ 1:59 PM
Hi I am 23 doing a level 3 apprenticeship & just been informed (yesterday) I have to do a maths course as I didn't get the gcse grade when at school.I have since leaving school got an FSA qualification and a btec level 2 in business.My question is do I have to do the maths course FYI I am doing the apprenticeship to enable me to change career direction
JB - 10-Apr-18 @ 8:49 AM
My friends started a one year level 2 apprenticeship in childcare in July 2016 they fell alot behind on coursework due to feeling forced to work 8-6 with 30 minutes to 1 hour lunch break. After 1 year of their apprenticeship they didn't finish their course but their course allowed them to still complete it. Their employer said as they didn't finish the apprenticeship they will still get paid 3.30 at the time. They're still completing their level 2 now and are still get paid apprenticeship wage is this legal if they started their apprenticeship in 2016 and what can they do about this.
Ben - 6-Apr-18 @ 2:09 PM
@Natalie123 - I'd finish the course you are on and then consider the other career later (so you have your qualification in the bag). This will give you a passport to apply for other better training or jobs. It really also depends upon whether the course you want to do is very different or similar to the one you are on now?
MaK - 5-Apr-18 @ 2:34 PM
Hi, i’m currently doing a BTEC level 3 business course and I am going to be finishing the first year in June which is equivalent to 1 and a half A-levels. - Which then if I decide to go onto the second year would equate to 3 A-levels. However lately i’ve been looking on Apprenticeship sites and have seen one that I think I would really be interested in however it’s a level 2 Apprenticeship and it would mean that I would only get a qualification that’s equivalent to GCSE and 1 and a half A-levels. I am really enjoying ny course, but i’m worried I might regret it if I don’t apply for the Apprenticeship to see what it’s like if I get an interview. What do you think I should do? Should I stick to the course I’m on and complete the second year so I have that qualification there that is equivalent to 3 A-levels, or risk it with the Apprenticeship? Thank you!
Natalie123 - 1-Apr-18 @ 11:43 PM
Toni - Your Question:
Hi I am in an apprenticeship at the moment. I want to go to university after. When I first signed the contract it said it was 12 months this was good for me because incase I wanted to change my mind and go uni I could. But they have recently told me it is 16 months and my contract would need to be extended. I have not signed a new contract tho I agreed it would be fine because at that moment I thought maybe I would want to stay at the job. But now I want to go university and have already started applying. Only problem would I be able to gain my qualifications if I leave the apprenticeship early but have still done my 12 months and done all my course work and exams as these qualifications would help me get into uni. Thanks

Our Response:
You would have to discuss this directly with your employer. You don't say why the contract has been changed. However, you may have recourse to complain, please see link here . You also may wish to give ACAS a call to find out your rights under the situation. If the contract specifies it was 12 months, then your employer should keep to the terms of the contract.
AnApprenticeship - 2-Mar-18 @ 12:38 PM
Hi I am in an apprenticeship at the moment . I want to go to university after. When I first signed the contract it saidit was 12 months this was good for me because incase I wanted to change my mind and go uni I could . But they have recently told me it is 16 months and my contract would need to be extended . I have not signed a new contract tho I agreed it would be fine because at that moment I thought maybe I would want to stay at the job . But now I want to go university and have already started applying . Only problem would I be able to gain my qualifications if I leave the apprenticeship early but have still done my 12 months and done all my course work and exams as these qualifications would help me get into uni. Thanks
Toni - 1-Mar-18 @ 8:58 AM
Meg - Your Question:
Hi I’m currently working as a teaching assistant apprentice. I have done my level 2 and will have completed a year on my apprentiship.i have asked if I could do my level 3 with them. To which they have agreed. My college has said I will still only get an apprentiship wage till my level 3 is done. Is this correct. Or should I be on nmw now I have done one year.

Our Response:
Much depends upon your age and whether you are under or over 19, please see link here.
AnApprenticeship - 16-Feb-18 @ 2:11 PM
Hi I’m currently working as a teaching assistant apprentice.I have done my level 2 and will have completed a year on my apprentiship.i have asked if I could do my level 3 with them. To which they have agreed. My college has said I will still only get an apprentiship wage till my level 3 is done. Is this correct. Or should I be on nmw now I have done one year.
Meg - 16-Feb-18 @ 7:44 AM
I am doing a 2 year level 3 apprenticeship in teaching and learning. I have nearly finished my diploma, but the college I am at won't let me complete it till I finish my functional skills.This is something i am really struggling with as i only have 4 months left on my course. My question is if I don't get my functional skills finished by the end of my course will I still get my diploma if I finish it ?
Allycat - 6-Feb-18 @ 9:20 PM
I have completed a level 3 it apprenticeship so would I have to do a level 4 apprenticeship or a apprenticeship in another vocational?
Dan - 1-Feb-18 @ 3:35 PM
Hi there I'm just wondering something I just finished my lvl 2 NVQ apprenticeship and my employer said I need to do a 1 year salon training for level 3 to be more prepared which I agree on. However does this one year I'm getting trained in salon I'm not going to college or anything everything is finished I'm qualified , am I still on a apprenticeship wage or should I ask her to be put on a full time contract and get paid more then when I'm ready for lvl 3 we change?
Gabriel - 18-Jan-18 @ 1:46 PM
I am currently at a hairdressing college and I've got a placement in a salon. I was wondering if it was possible to move to a different college but stay in the same placement?
xvtyra - 9-Jan-18 @ 9:47 AM
Chantelle - Your Question:
I am continuing my apprentaship for another year, and I’m currently doing my Level 2 NVQ, but do I have to do another NVQ for the sencond year

Our Response:
You would have to speak to your apprentice provider/employer directly regarding this matter.
AnApprenticeship - 16-Nov-17 @ 1:41 PM
I am continuing my apprentaship for another year, and I’m currently doing my Level 2 NVQ, but do I have to do another NVQ for the sencond year
Chantelle - 15-Nov-17 @ 8:34 PM
JD - Your Question:
Who do you complain to if you feel an employer has broken employment law with regards an apprenticeship?

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here, which should help answer your question.
AnApprenticeship - 14-Nov-17 @ 11:37 AM
Who do you complain to if you feel an employer has broken employment law with regards an apprenticeship?
JD - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:10 PM
Lucy4791 - Your Question:
I completed my level 3 management course with a online training company 27th September. its 28th October and I've not heard anything or had certificate, how long will it take? My friend completed hers with a different company 2days after me and received her certificates 4days ago. my tutor said she is waiting for the Claims for the certificates to come back - whatever this means. thanksLuciie

Our Response:
You would have to get in touch with the company directly to find this out.
AnApprenticeship - 30-Oct-17 @ 12:04 PM
I completed my level 3 management course with a online training company 27th September... its 28th October and I've not heard anything or had certificate, how long will it take? My friend completed hers with a different company 2days after me and received her certificates 4days ago... my tutor said she is waiting for the Claims for the certificates to come back - whatever this means... thanks Luciie
Lucy4791 - 28-Oct-17 @ 2:12 PM
annie - Your Question:
Hi - Can I leave my apprenticeship for another one as it's costing me a fortune in petrol. I need to find one closer to home. thanks

Our Response:
You would have to read the terms and conditions of your employment contract. This should contain the information regarding notice periods and whether you may have to repay your training costs etc if you leave before the period of the contract ends.
AnApprenticeship - 6-Oct-17 @ 9:53 AM
Hi - Can I leave my apprenticeship for another one as it's costing me a fortune in petrol. I need to find one closer to home. thanks
annie - 5-Oct-17 @ 12:45 PM
Hi i finishe a level 2 apprenticeship in hospitality is it possible to do another level2 apprenticeship for a different qualification? thanks
PeTe._.Pl - 27-Sep-17 @ 3:32 PM
I am currently 19 years old and doing my level 2 in child care. I started my apprenticeship on the 19th of September 2016, so I have been there a year. However due to my tutor being off ill, I didn't start my course work until the end of December. Should my wage go up once I've been there a year or once I've got my certificate back?
Chloalisha - 26-Sep-17 @ 5:51 PM
Hi, My son is a UK citizen living in Australia where he will complete his year 12 education next year, he has been offered a Bricklaying apprenticeship in the UK in the family business towards the end of 2018, will he be eligible for government funding? He will be 17 years old.Thanks
Curly - 26-Sep-17 @ 12:40 AM
Molli - Your Question:
I have done a year in childcare and I should hopefully have my grade for it. However, I'm hoping to do an apprenticeship. Will the government fund for me to do this?

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should answer your question.
AnApprenticeship - 8-Sep-17 @ 10:51 AM
I have done a year in childcare and I should hopefully have my grade for it. However, I'm hoping to do an apprenticeship. Will the government fund for me to do this?
Molli - 7-Sep-17 @ 2:37 PM
Wiggy - Your Question:
I'm a new apprentice and planning to move south before the apprenticeship finishes so it won't be practical to continue working for the same company. Will I be able to join another company as an apprentice or are there rules preventing this? Can I pick up where I left off or do I need to start again from scratch?

Our Response:
You would have to check the terms and conditions of your apprenticeship contract and speak directly to your apprentice provider regarding this. As a rule you should be able to transfer your apprenticeship, if you can find another similar position and day-release course (if applicable) that fits in. .
AnApprenticeship - 5-Sep-17 @ 3:18 PM
I'm a new apprentice and planning to move south before the apprenticeship finishes so it won't be practical to continue working for the same company. Will I be able to join another company as an apprentice or are there rules preventing this? Can I pick up where I left off or do I need to start again from scratch?
Wiggy - 5-Sep-17 @ 7:48 AM
Shak - Your Question:
I wanted to know that if and when I complete my apprenticeship in accountancy level 4 could do business administration admin apprenticeship. What would the wage be im ovee 19yrs old now. I want to do business admin to broaden my knowlege as an accountant also within the business sector

Our Response:
If you are over 19, you would work for the first year on an apprenticeship wage. However, in your second year you would be allowed the national minimum wage for your age, please see link here .
AnApprenticeship - 29-Aug-17 @ 2:36 PM
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