Today, Monday the 7th of February 2022, marks the beginning of the 15th annual National Apprenticeship Week. Throughout the week, organisations small and large from around the UK will join forces in celebrating the wonderful impact that apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
Before we commence the week of celebration, let’s take a closer look at what apprenticeships actually are; how they work, what industries offer apprenticeships, how they can impact a business and how to get involved with apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships: What are they?
An apprenticeship is a job, where you receive training, learn and develop skills within an industry sector. As an apprentice, you are a paid employee, who receives training and education in combination with gaining work experience, where you have a contract of employment and employer rights, such as paid annual leave.
Over two million people have started an apprenticeship since 2015, with 93% of apprentices remaining in employment following completion of their training. Apprenticeships are available in over 600 different apprenticeship standards, ranging from Business to Hairdressing. As well as being offered in lots of different industries and standards, apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, with no upper age limit – there truly is an apprenticeship out there for everyone.
Apprenticeships in practice
With apprenticeships being available in so many different industries, it begs the question; what does an apprenticeship look like on a daily basis? Like most jobs, apprenticeships vary greatly depending on the industry and organisation that you work for, but there are certain standards that exist in all apprenticeships.
All government recognised apprenticeships last at least 12 months, with most apprenticeships taking between one to four years to complete, depending on the level and delivery model of the apprenticeship. This allows for you to be able to complete several different apprenticeships and gain a wide skill set in multiple different industries, should you choose to.
Whilst undertaking an apprenticeship, an apprentice will spend at least 20% of their time doing off-the-job learning, such as classroom-based learning at College.The remainder of their time being spent gaining experience and knowledge whilst working with colleagues in their workplace.
As an apprentice, you are entitled to earn a salary of at least the National Minimum Wage for apprentices, which is currently £4.30, but will rise to £4.81 as of April 2022. A lot of employers choose to pay their apprentices a higher salary than the National Minimum Wage.
|Year||25 and over||21 to 24||18 to 20||Under 18||Apprentice|
(UK Government, 2022)
How apprenticeships impact businesses
Just as most businesses have different levels and structures in place, apprenticeships offer a wide range of different levels to meet the fluctuating demands of each level of business. Apprenticeships range from Level 2 qualifications (equivalent to GCSEs) to Level 7 qualifications (equivalent to a Master’s degree).
As well as spending most of their time at work, an apprentice’s training outside of work is also heavily tied into the workplace. Off-the-job learning is more often than not conducted by skilled and industry-experienced staff who tailor the teaching material to meet the standards expected in the workplace. This allows apprentices to have a smooth transition from training to full-time employment and maximises the investment in fresh new talent by the employer, allowing for skills gaps to be easily bridged.
Whether you are looking to develop your own skills and knowledge within a given industry
or looking to further the future talent of your business, an apprenticeship offers industry-tailored training with a nationally recognised qualification, designed to meet your needs.
In the Yorkshire and East Midlands region Dearne Valley College and its partner colleges; Rotherham College, North Notts College, University Centre Rotherham and RNN Training offer apprenticeships in Business Administration, Childcare, Construction, Education, Engineering, Hairdressing, Healthcare, Hospitality, Management, Motor Vehicle and Social Care.
Got any questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 01709 513335