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What are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are a highly effective form of vocational learning, designed to provide employees with the skills required for their role. Much of the learning takes place on the job and is actually delivered by more experienced staff, ensuring learners gain and apply the real-life, practical skills, knowledge and understanding that are relevant to business needs.

For the learner, the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification (NVQs, BTEC National Diplomas and Functional Skills), whilst earning money at the same time is what makes Apprenticeships a practical learning option. 

How do Apprenticeships work?

Apprenticeships will typically comprise these components:

  • Diploma
  • Functional Skills 
  • Technical Certificate

Learners, aged 16+, will learn via a mixture of on and off-the-job training.

The Colleges' Partnership works with employers to develop an appropriate training solution - in accordance with defined training standards. From there we take care of all the admin, assisting employers in securing funding, managing the skills assessment, technical certification and Functional Skills delivery.

On-the-job training.

Learners will spend the majority of their time working with and learning from their colleagues in the workplace rather than external trainers - enabling employers to maintain control of delivery standards. We provide ongoing assessment of learners by gathering evidence of what they have learned through demonstration or discussion.

Off-the-job training.

Learners spend time with our training staff developing their Functional Skills, including Mathematics, English and Information Technology as appropriate.

Why Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships demonstrate real commitment to recruitment, development and training of the best young people. They not only show potential employees that employers take development seriously, but they also demonstrate to customersm commitment to quality of products and services via better a highly trained workforce.

Apprenticeships enable employers to directly address any skills gaps, helping make organisations more effective, competent, productive and competitive.

Apprenticeships offer cost effective, relevant training for all staff.

Is my organisation eligible?

All organisations can offer Apprenticeships; they have the option of recruiting Apprentices or offering existing staff the opportunity to take up an Apprenticeship.

What costs are involved?

The costs will largely depend on the age of the Apprentice. Apprenticeships are a government funded initiative, with funding provided by the Education & Skills Funding Agency. Up to 100% funding towards training costs are available for applicants aged between 16 and 18, with partial funding available for those aged 19+.

Employers pay the Apprentice a wage during their programme. 

What are Diplomas?

A Diploma can be a standalone qualification or be part of an Apprenticeship. As part of an Apprenticeship, a Diploma is the most practical component of the Apprenticeship Framework, and is a nationally recognised qualification which assesses a learner's knowledge of their employment area and experience in their role. 

Through completing a series of mandatory and optional units, learners demonstrate their competencies in a number of different aspects of their job role, gaining confidence as they apply their growing expertise in real work situations. 

Diplomas are assessed in the workplace by our qualified assessors, who make regular visits to monitor progress during the course of the programme - a high level of support and guidance which has been proven to increase employee motivation. 

What are Functional Skills?

Functional Skills qualifications are broader in scope than QCF Diplomas, NVQs and Technical Certificates, and focus on not only the transferable skills which learners use all the time, whatever their job role, but also problem solving skills.

Their aim is to build on aptitudes learnt in full-time education, which are essential in any work environment.

There are three Functional Skills:
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Information Communication Technology

English and Mathematics are common to all apprenticeships and ICT may also be required.  Functional Skills may be taken at different levels depending on the employment area and the level of the apprenticeship. 

A learner who has successfully completed Functional Skills will be more capable in these areas, for example, using spreadsheets, making calculations and writing reports.