In todays world there are more ways to get into a career than ever before; this can be through studying at university to starting full time work straight after high school or college. One of the most popular routes as an alternative today are apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships are more popular than ever before, as it is a way of getting into the job sector while also gaining a well recognised qualification. But, if like many you are unsure what apprenticeships are and how they can benefit your children; our parent’s guide to apprenticeships gives all the information you need.
What are Apprenticeships?
An Apprenticeship is a form of education where someone can learn the skills needed to pursue a career and gain industry experience. College or university isn’t always the right route for everyone, as many can find classroom study to be underwhelming. This is where apprenticeships can help! The advantage to apprenticeships is they will learn the skills and gain knowledge while also being in a full-time position. Apprenticeships are also an amazing opportunity for businesses to grow their team and train the next generation to become industry leaders.
Apprenticeships can be offered to anyone 16 and over as long as they are out of education. If your child/children are in their final months of education, they won’t be able to apply until they have finished.
Which sectors do apprenticeships cover?
There are over 600 apprenticeship standards currently active today, so there is no shortage of apprenticeships to complete. Whether your chid wants to be a lawyer or graphic designer, there is a qualification out there for them. At 360 Apprenticeships, we specialise in a number of areas which include:
- Business Administration
- Customer Service
- Digital Marketing
- Junior Content Producer (marketing/design)
- Infrastructure Technician
- Software Development
- Accounting and many more.
What levels are available?
There a 6 different levels for budding apprentices to choose from, so knowing where your child can start is important. The levels include:
- Level 2 – Equivalent to GCSEs – There is generally no criteria but the apprentice must be 16 years old to apply.
- Level 3 – Equivalent to 2 A-Levels – These are the most common level, as this is the usual starting point. Anyone 16 and over can apply, and anyone who has completed a level 2 apprenticeship, or 5 passes at GCSE.
- Level 4 – Equivalent to Foundation Degree – Level 4 apprenticeships are team leader and management level. You will need to have a Level 3 apprenticeship or experience in the sector.
- Level 5 – Equivalent to a Degree – Level 5 apprenticeships are also classified as higher apprenticeships. Again, these are for anyone with a Level 3/4 apprenticeship and experience in the sector.
- Level 6 – Equivalent to Bachelors Degree – Degree apprenticeships are a new course offered by universities. The level 6 apprenticeship gives candidates the opportunity to obtain a full bachelor’s degree.
- Level 7 – Equivalent to Masters Degree – Level 7 is an opportunity to gain a master’s degree in your chosen subject. As these are demanding courses. It is common to see strict requirements from employers for these apprenticeships. You will almost certainly need prior qualifications
What level should my kid complete first?
One thing that we at 360 Apprenticeships come across often is miscommunication regarding which apprenticeship level candidates can start. Many believe that after leaving high school/college, they can jump to a Level 6 or 7 Apprenticeship, but that is not the case. The Apprenticeship sectors works very differently to the normal education route, with industry experience being the major factor.
Even if your child has gained an A-Level in the sector they are looking to do an apprenticeship in, we still advise for them to start at Level 3. Learning their chosen sector in college is quite different to an apprenticeship, as this is where you will gain the hands on experience. Any Apprenticeships that are higher than Level 3 are generally for those looking to become managers or team leaders.
Training – How does it work?
Each apprentice will gain training from both the employer and a tutor from a training provider. Employers will train the apprentice on day to day duties, how the business works and areas such as communication, teamwork and much more. Whereas the training provider will focus on the sector and industry standards.
The minimum amount of time for an apprenticeship is 12 months; however, it can range to 18 months depending on the qualification and training provider. During the course, the apprentice will need to complete different elements including exams, portfolios of evidence and an end point assessment.
An important aspect to the apprenticeship is ‘off the job’ training. Off the job is a vital part to the training of the apprenticeship, as this is where they will complete their training. 20% of their time (equating to 1 day a week) will go towards their apprenticeship work. Even training from provided by the employer can be put towards their ‘off the job’. To document ‘off the job’ training, each apprentice will upload their training to an online portal.
Is an apprenticeship better than college/university?
This is quite a bias question, but there are many advantages to completing an apprenticeship. A-Levels or a gaining a university degree is still an incredible feat and shouldn’t be overlooked, but the only downside is work experience isn’t included. Employers today aren’t just looking for qualifications, but for an understanding and experience of the sector. This is where apprenticeships do excel, as the apprentice will gain a qualification and industry experience.
Can my child do an apprenticeship is they have a college or university qualification?
As long as they don’t have a qualification in the same sector higher than the apprenticeship, anyone can apply. For example, someone who has a degree in Business Management wouldn’t be able to do a Level 3 Business Administration. Degrees are the equivalent to Level 6 Apprenticeships (mentioned above), so they would end up being over qualified for lower levels in the same sector.
Do apprentices receive pay while doing their apprenticeship?
The short answer is YES! The only thing to take into consideration is if it will be viable; the current minimum rate of pay is currently at £4.30 hour, but will be increasing to £4.80 in April 2022. There are many employers who are more than happy to pay over the minimum, some will even pay the minimum wage for the age from the get go.
What else should I know?
- Businesses are required to offer contracts of employment for each apprentice hired
- All apprentices are given holidays (amount of days depends on employer), pension pots, possibility to earn bonuses and any other business perks
- There is the opportunity to be offered a permanent position after completion once an apprentice completes their course
- Many employers will have probation periods of 3 – 6 months, but they do also have the power to terminate contracts before this time if the apprentice doesn’t adhere to the businesses terms.
- If the apprentice starts the course but leaves 5/6 months into the course, they won’t be able to apply for the same qualification. This is due to government funding and where they are within the course.
There are many misconceptions around the apprenticeship sector, with many offering either wrong or out to date information. Having a full understanding of what to expect from an apprenticeship is vital to knowing if this is the right route for your children, which is why we created this paren’t guide to apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for anyone leaving the education sector to progress into an area of their choice; with the added bonus of work experience and gaining a nationally recognised qualification.
How 360 Apprenticeships can help
We provide a free service from first point of contact to the successful placement of each apprentice. Every apprentice who is successful will be placed with the best training providers (Graded 1 and/or 2 by Ofsted) so you know that everyone is in safe hands.
You can find out more regarding the apprenticeship scheme on our website. To speak to one of our recruiters directly, you can contact us on:
or email us at [email protected]. You can also find us on social media:
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