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Apprenticeships: Parents' Frequently Asked Questions

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 29 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Apprenticeship Apprentice Parents

Apprentices are having a resurgence. The government has recently pledged significant new funds for the schemes, which help apprentices get a foot on the employment ladder.

But apprenticeships can be confusing. There is a range of different types of apprenticeships, at different levels. Furthermore, many people are confused about the distinction between apprenticeships and conventional employment.

If you are the parent of someone considering entering an apprenticeship, you will want to be sure that it is the right choice for them. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you make a judgement.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a training scheme that focuses on ‘on-the-job’ work, rather than classroom-based learning. Apprentices are taken on by companies, and they are treated as employees. They learn a trade by doing it, rather than by reading it.

That is not to say, though, that there is no formal learning element. As well as the on-the-job training, apprentices also carry out certain classroom-based activities.

Will My Child Get a Qualification?

Yes. Apprentices receive a formal qualification in addition to their training. The nature of this qualification will depend on the type of apprenticeship that they are conducting, and the level at which they are doing it. So, for example, apprentices at Intermediate and Advanced Levels normally work towards NVQs or similar equivalents. Apprentices at the Higher Level might study for a Foundation Degree or equivalent.

In addition, they will receive a work-based qualification. They will also learn valuable Key Skills. These are transferable, so they will be useful even if the apprentice subsequently choose to switch industries.

Will They Get Paid?

Yes. Apprentices are employees just like any other, and they are entitled to be paid. They are also entitled to the other rights that employees enjoy.

You should remember, though, that apprentices may be paid at a different rate to conventional employees. Apprentices between 16 and 18 years old, and those aged 19 and over but in the first year as an apprentice, are entitled to be paid at least £3.30 an hour (2016). Once your child reaches 19 and they have completed their first year, they will be entitled to be paid the normal National Minimum Wage.

Will They Get a Job at the End of it?

There is no guarantee of a job at the end of an apprenticeship. But it has been widely shown to be a highly effective means of entering a profession.

Bear in mind that training an apprentice involves a lot of work for the company in question. They are unlikely to carry out this work unless they are keen to take someone on at the end of it. Similarly, you should remember that apprenticeships provide employers with the opportunity to build a workforce with the specific skills that they require. Provided that your child performs well, and that the employer has the money to continue paying them at the end of the apprenticeship, they therefore stand a very good chance of forging a career afterwards.

Can They go Back into Education Afterwards?

Yes. There is nothing to stop your child re-entering education after they complete their apprenticeship. Indeed, in many ways an apprenticeship will make it even easier for your child to go back into conventional education.

As they will have studied towards a qualification like an NVQ or a Foundation Degree, many institutions will be more likely to accept them onto courses. Furthermore, they may be able to enter at a higher level as they will already have some of the necessary skills.

Where Can My Child Find an Apprenticeship?

The National Apprenticeship Service runs a directory service that aims to match prospective apprentices with prospective employers. The directory is available on the Service’s website.

You may also want to consider approaching firms directly, or looking for adverts in local media. Some businesses run apprenticeship schemes but choose not to advertise them in the government-backed directories, so you should not necessarily limit your search to those sites.

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[Add a Comment]
Kirsty - Your Question:
My daughter is 16 and currently in college doing a course that she hates. She wanted an apprenticeship but didn't find one in time. She has now found a company that will offer her an apprenticeship but they can't enrol her til end of January as the course is full. They have said they will take her on as of next week paid of course so she can learn the ropes and do some training. My question is will either she or I get into trouble if she leaves college now?

Our Response:
Much depends upon what is contained within the terms and conditions of her college agreement/contract. She may also need to speak with her course provider directly.
AnApprenticeship - 30-Nov-17 @ 12:14 PM
My daughter is 16 and currently in college doing a course that she hates. She wanted an apprenticeship but didn't find one in time. She has now found a company that will offer her an apprenticeship but they can't enrol her til end of January as the course is full. They have said they will take her on as of next week paid of course so she can learn the ropes and do some training. My question is will either she or I get into trouble if she leaves college now?
Kirsty - 29-Nov-17 @ 7:26 PM
jill - Your Question:
My daughter has just been told that her hair salon has been sold to a foreign chain and will be closing on Saturday for a complete refurb. Will then re open in approx. 3 months. She is 18mths into her 3yrs apprenticeship and am really concerned for her future and what her rights are now.

Our Response:
Your daughter would have to speak directly to her course provider regarding this matter.
AnApprenticeship - 20-Jul-17 @ 12:55 PM
My daughter has just been told that her hair salon has been sold to a foreign chain and will be closing on Saturday for a complete refurb. Will then re open in approx. 3 months. She is 18mths into her 3yrs apprenticeship and am really concerned for her future and what her rights are now.
jill - 19-Jul-17 @ 2:17 PM
Hi My Daughter is 19 and has completed level 1 and level 2 apprenticeship in hairdressing. She has now started her level 3 but been told by her employer that this is the same as starting a first year and suggested her wages should now be lowered to £3.30 from the £5.55 . Can someone please tell me if this is correct?
Stew - 10-Dec-16 @ 6:11 PM
My daughter is 18 & has been studying hairdressing at college since leaving school (2 years). She had the opportunity to try for an apprenticeship at a local salon & attended several trial days. She was offered an apprenticeship, but in the same afternoon was told that they were sorry they wouldn't be able to offer her the apprenticeship after all as they would not receive any funding after July 2017, & would not be able to complete her training by then .I assume this is because she will turn 19 in June 2017. I don't fully understand how apprenticeships work, so is this correct?
J - 21-Nov-16 @ 10:07 PM
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