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How Apprenticeships Work

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 13 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Apprenticeships On The Job Training

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide whether it is best to take the time out to study and gain a qualification, or go into employment. It is always good to gain more qualifications but learning in the workplace and earning some money can seem more tempting.

Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to do both these things by offering on the job training alongside study so apprentices can gain a qualification and practical experience. Employers provide a structured programme to help the apprentice develop their skills as they work.

Qualifications

Apprentices will work towards an NVQ (national vocational qualification) level 2 or 3 in a subject that is relevant to their employment. This will consist of time in the classroom as well as coursework, which the apprentice will have to manage alongside their employment.

They will also be encouraged to work on their key skills such as communication and working well in a team. The time to do this study will be negotiated with the employer but will usually consist of day release to a local college.

On the Job Training

The most appealing part of doing an apprenticeship is often the chance to get practical on the job training. It can be easier to learn about an industry and career path by getting stuck in rather than just studying it. The on the job training allows apprentices to put everything they are learning into practice and apply their knowledge to real life examples. Employers will create a structured training programme so that both parties can make the most of the apprenticeship.

Becoming an Apprentice

There are a number of ways for someone to become an apprentice. A company may already have a scheme in place which candidates can apply for. Alternatively somebody looking for an apprenticeship may approach an employer about the possibility of creating a placement.

There are hundreds of different apprenticeships available so employers can find one that suits their business needs the best and candidates can match their skills and interests to the most suitable sort.

Practicalities

Apprentices are paid for their work in the same way that normal employee would be and are entitled to at least £80 per week. Wages will vary depending on the role and company and apprentices will have to pay tax on what they earn.

Some funding may be available though for travel and childcare costs. Apprentices are also entitled to at least 20 days holiday each year the same as other employees. They may also need extra time off for study leave but this will be negotiated directly with the employer.

Apprenticeships are a great way to combine study with on the job training and provide a lot of benefits for both the apprentice and the employer. They provide the apprentice with a qualification as well as hands on experience in which they can apply their skills.

Employers benefit from having an enthusiastic employee who can provide new skills to the company. The are hundreds of different apprenticeships available and candidates and employers can work together to find one that suits their needs best.

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[Add a Comment]
Caff - Your Question:
My daughter who is 25 in August has just qualified as a carpenter and has a month left before her apprentice contract is up. She was told, once she is fully qualified she would get a pay increase. She approached her employer, and they have told her no she would have to wait until she does a level 3. She hasn't been told in writing that she has been offered a level 3. What doe she need to don.

Our Response:
Your daughter can only negotiate this directly with her employer.
AnApprenticeship - 13-Jul-18 @ 1:54 PM
My daughter who is 25 in August has just qualified as a carpenter and has a month left before her apprentice contract is up. She was told, once she is fully qualified she would get a pay increase. She approached her employer, and they have told her no she would have to wait until she does a level 3. She hasn't been told in writing that she has been offered a level 3. What doe she need to don.
Caff - 13-Jul-18 @ 11:51 AM
Hi my name is ambrine and I'm 30 years old and I whated to do appership in childcare but a level two and I'm just scared I do and and can't do the rest because it might be a hard WhT do I do plz
Amber - 26-Mar-18 @ 3:49 PM
Hello if i undertake an apprenticeship can i claim benefit i wont have any other income.
hopeful - 9-Mar-18 @ 5:26 PM
My daughter is a Teaching Assistant apprentice at a local primary school.She has completed one year there and has been retained for a 2 year.For her first year her apprenticeship was arranged by SEAC and that is whom she submitted her time sheet to and got paid by.Now, for her 2nd year (at the same school) she is being employed directly by Medway Council.As she is 19 (20 in April 2018) and in her 2nd year she was expecting to see her salary go up to the minimum wage of £5.60.Can you confirm that this is correct?As the contract (only just received from Medway Council) states £3.60 ph. I'm assuming it shouldn't make a difference that her 'employer' has technically changed?She is, after all at exactly the same school.
Simon - 5-Jan-18 @ 9:20 PM
charlie - Your Question:
Hi my daughter 18 has just started an apprenticeship and is on £3 an hour ,does she qualify to get free dental treatment and prescriptions ? or any tax credit.

Our Response:
Please see NHS link here for further information.
AnApprenticeship - 20-Jul-17 @ 12:54 PM
Hi my daughter18 has just started an apprenticeship and is on £3 an hour ,does she qualify to get free dental treatment and prescriptions ? or any tax credit.
charlie - 19-Jul-17 @ 1:45 PM
@MrsStott16 - you probably wouldn't be entilted to anything other than the apprentice wage. After your first year though, as you're over 19 your wage would go up to the minimum wage for your age.
Ali - 5-Apr-17 @ 11:56 AM
I am 29 years old with 2 children under the age of 16. I have recently been contacted in relation to an apprenticeship that I applied for in business administration. I am currently in a well paid job but wanting to learn skills in a new field and gain a successful career path. My husband works full time also. I am aware that an apprenticeship wage is quite low and I am worried about the massive shortage in income that will result in me accepting this apprenticeship. We only claim child benefit and child tax credits as we are not entitled to anything else at the moment, can you advise in any help we may get with income etc as I have no idea where to look or who to ask.
MrsStott16 - 4-Apr-17 @ 3:50 PM
Say i applyfor a foundation apprenticeship as a car dealer, would i then be able to apply to other foundationn apprenticeships in other fields or intermediate level apprenticeships in other industries? Also of i do 1 foundation apprenticeship this yr can i do a different one next yr?
Ess - 11-Feb-17 @ 2:10 AM
hols - Your Question:
I am 23 and have attended uni but never got a degree instead I was awarded a level 4 certificate however I am finding it difficult to get an apprenticeship and with no work experience have no working back ground would be grateful for any advice in moving on in the job sector

Our Response:
Have you looked via the gov.uk site here? At your age and with your studying experience, you should not be able to find it too difficult to find apprentice work. However, much depends upon your chosen field (which you don't mention).
AnApprenticeship - 26-Jan-17 @ 11:39 AM
I am 23 and have attended uni but never got a degree instead i was awarded a level 4 certificate however i am finding it difficult to get an apprenticeship and with no work experience have no working back ground would be grateful for any advice in moving on in the job sector
hols - 25-Jan-17 @ 1:19 PM
I am 19 and am doing an apprenticeship in a Nursery. I am working 42 hours a week. I am often free as I'm not always needed. I ask my employer if I can do my coursework as I'm free and they don't need me (after they've asked me if I want to go home) and they either say "yes but will won't pay you" or "if you aren't going to go home we will send someone else." I just feel frustrated because they've employed me as an apprentice and know that I'm training. So surely they should allow me to do my coursework, if I'm free and not needed, without deducting hours from me. Please help me as I really don't think this is fair but I also don't know what they should or shouldn't be doing. Lauren
Lauren - 18-Jan-17 @ 10:35 PM
How much holiday am I entitled to I am 21 yrs of age and doing a apprenticeship course I have completed my first year? Also I feel as I don't get enough time to do my course work,I work all week n be given a variety of tasks through out the day I work 9 hours a week my course tutor see's me once a month work does not provide me enough time to do my course work given from tutor my manager had even suggested you can cut half an hour from your break and and catch up on course work. Please advice as I am very unhappy with my apprenticeship but I am holding on as I have spent a year of my hard work in the place n do not want to give up.
Nelly - 13-Jan-17 @ 7:51 PM
Should my daughter be expected to work a 40 hour week as well as course work and staff training in top?
Micky - 11-Jan-17 @ 10:12 PM
appremtice- Your Question:
I am an apprentice and started aged 21 and have been on apprentiship wages for more than a year. Should it have gone up to NMW as soon as I finished my first year and if so what should I do as surely I'm owed money. Thank you

Our Response:
Yes, you should be on NMW after the first year if you are over age 19. You can either take this up with your employer directly and/or give ACAS a call in order to explore your options.
AnApprenticeship - 31-Oct-16 @ 3:04 PM
I am an apprentice and started aged 21 and have been on apprentiship wages for more than a year. Should it have gone up to NMW as soon as I finished my first year and if so what should I do as surely I'm owed money. Thank you
appremtice - 31-Oct-16 @ 8:55 AM
Sulli - Your Question:
I am 29 and am about to start apprenticeship of childcare level 2.Yes the question you guys might be thinking is why now at this age as I was in my youth I didnt carry on studying now all of a sudden I decided to take this up.my question is how much will I get paid can anyone help me.

Our Response:
I'm afraid you would have to seek advice from your learning provider regarding this as apprentice funding rules change over the age of 24. If you have not found an apprenticeship yet, I suggest you can the National Apprenticeship helpline for this advice, please see link here .
AnApprenticeship - 29-Jun-16 @ 11:43 AM
I am 29 and am about to start apprenticeship of childcare level 2 ....Yes the question you guys might be thinking is why now at this age as i was in my youth i didnt carry on studying now all of a sudden i decided to take this up ........my question is how much will i get paid can anyone help me ......
Sulli - 28-Jun-16 @ 11:15 AM
hols12321 - Your Question:
Hi im 19 years old in my second year as an apprentice I get just over the minimum wagefor a 19 year old and I pay £50 a month in travel expenses I just wondered if I coul dclaim this back?

Our Response:
I'm afraid you cannot claim travel expenses back. However, you may be able to get extra help in this and other areas, please see gov.uk link here.
AnApprenticeship - 10-Mar-16 @ 11:54 AM
Hi im 19 years old in my second year as an apprentice i get just over the minimum wagefor a 19 year old and i pay £50 a month in travel expenses i just wondered if i coul dclaim this back?
hols12321 - 9-Mar-16 @ 12:23 PM
Malia - Your Question:
Hi there,I am on my second year of an apprenticeship in the same company but used a different apprenticeship company for my second year. How much am I entitled to? I am still getting the minimum apprenticeship wage. Should I not be getting national minimum wage now as I am in my second year and 18 years of age?

Our Response:
You would need to contact your apprenticeship provider, speak directly with your employer, or look in the terms and conditions of your contract. Please see linkhere. The fact you have remained with the same company shouldn't make a difference to your employment term, unless your contract was renewed or changed. Should you need any further assistance ACAS should be able to answer your question directly, see link here.
AnApprenticeship - 21-Oct-15 @ 2:25 PM
Hi there, I am on my second year of an apprenticeship in the same company but used a different apprenticeship company for my second year. How much am I entitled to? I am still getting the minimum apprenticeship wage. Should I not be getting national minimum wage now as I am in my second year and 18 years of age?
Malia - 20-Oct-15 @ 5:12 PM
AmyRae - Your Question:
I am 18 and am half way through my Business Administration L2 Qualification. My employer has told me they are happy to offer me a full time job in the area I am already working in once my appreticeship contract ends. I am happy to do this, however I am starting to consider furthering my qualification into a level 3 then a 4. Can I do this? Will I still be an apprentice if I complete L3/L4? Can I have a full time job and still work towards a further qualification? How do I do this?

Our Response:
Congratulations on your being awarded the job. I'm sure your employer will be supportive of you doing extra training. However, it will really be up to you to negotiate whether you should continue on another apprenticeship scheme with the company, if it consents. If you accept the full-time job, you may have to do your training in your personal time, outside working hours.
AnApprenticeship - 9-Oct-15 @ 10:38 AM
I am 18 and am half way through my Business Administration L2 Qualification. My employer has told me they are happy to offer me a full time job in the area i am already working in once my appreticeship contract ends. I am happy to do this, however I am starting to consider furthering my qualification into a level 3 then a 4. Can i do this? Will i still be an apprentice if I complete L3/L4? Can i have a full time job and still work towards a further qualification? How do I do this?
AmyRae - 8-Oct-15 @ 10:32 AM
If you are earning then you would tick the employment box.
matty - 21-Aug-15 @ 12:06 PM
I've just started an apprenticeship and need a bank account, on the form it asks weather I'm in employment or a student, I'm not sure which one to tick. Any suggestions please?
Shell - 20-Aug-15 @ 11:27 AM
Hi, I finished a 4 year advanced apprenticeship in June 2014 and although I was kept on as an employee for the company I was never given a new contract. The company paid for an additional years training which just ended in June 2015 but now I am thinking of leaving. My old contract says that I will have to pay the company back for this training, however because this is an out of date contract I am wondering if I am within my rights to claim that I do not currently have a contract and therefore can't be held to any terms within the old one. Is this correct?
cncapprentice - 20-Jul-15 @ 3:23 PM
I work for a charity which helps people get back into work. I have an industrial glass cutter whose industry collapsed and is now unemployed. I may have an apprenticeship for him, but it only pays about £3 per hour. As an adult, will he qualify to get his housing paid and top up the income, as he wont be able to live off this sum?
Charlotte - 17-Jul-15 @ 5:23 AM
My daughter 18 and has just completed her nvq2 in health and social care her work place where she has completed her apprenticeship is still paying her a apprenticeship wage are they allowed to get away with this?and if so how long?
kay - 14-Jul-15 @ 1:12 AM
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