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Employers Guide to Apprenticeships

Discover the benefits and procedures of hiring an apprentice through Leicester College

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job designed to develop work-based skills while gaining qualifications, skills and knowledge in the workplace.

Apprentices must spend at least 80% of their time in work, and 20% of their time on off-the-job training, at the college and in the workplace.

786 apprentices aged 16+ started their apprenticeships with us last 3 academic years.

Employers have the option of training their existing employees via an apprenticeship or taking on new staff.

Apprenticeships aren’t just for brand-new members of staff, and they’re not just for school leavers
either. In fact, having an existing employee begin an apprenticeship can be an extremely cost-effective way of retraining, retaining and upskilling your staff.

Apprenticeships aren’t for low skilled or unqualified workers. Instead, they offer a work training
programme that’s a genuine alternative to GCSEs, A levels, or traditional university study, with the focus being on training the apprentice and giving them the skills and qualifications they need to succeed in their chosen industry.

As their employer, you’ll have a say in the type of training and qualification your apprentice will receive.

Why recruit an apprentice?

  • Reducing recruitment costs
  • Grants available
  • Reducing staff turnover
  • Increase in employee satisfaction

Did you know?

Did you know that 92% of apprenticeship employers nationally believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce?

Apprenticeships allow you to recruit people and train them specifically for the needs of your business as well as upskilling existing staff to help your business succeed.

Funding for apprenticeships changed in April 2017 with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. While only businesses with a pay bill in excess of £3million per annum have to pay the levy, all other employers (except those with fewer than 50 employers) have to contribute 5% of the cost. The remainder is met by the government.

By training an apprentice, you’re investing in the future of your company and the skills of your workforce. With the minimum apprenticeship length now standing at 12 months, and with around 70% of all apprentices staying with the same employer after finishing their qualification, hiring an apprentice doesn’t mean sacrificing continuity in your business. We’re also ideally placed to help you recruit the right person for your needs – 786 apprentices aged 16+ started their apprenticeships with us last academic year.

We’re one of the biggest apprenticeship providers in the area offering training in a wide range of sectors listed and our industry-experienced staff mean that we’re experts in training. Please contact us to discuss your needs and discover more about our apprenticeship offer.

For more information about apprenticeship see the Government Employer Guide to Apprenticeships.

Levels of Apprenticeships

We offer three levels of apprenticeships, for people aged 16, covering a range of subjects and careers.

Each level comes with its own vocational qualification or business appropriate training. This means that apprentices are prepared for a career in their sector at the end of their apprenticeship.

As an employer, you can advertise for different roles depending on the needs of your business. To ensure a quality experience that is consistent with others and at the same level. All apprenticeships follow an assigned standard.

If the apprentice lacks GCSE qualifications in English and maths, they will need to study these subjects with the college as part of the requirements of their apprenticeship.

We will help you identify the right apprenticeship for your business and match you to an existing apprenticeship standard.

Intermediate apprenticeshipLevel 2 – equal to five GCSEs at grade 4/C
Advanced apprenticeshipLevel 3 – equal to A-levels
Higher apprenticeshipLevel 4/5 – equal to an undergraduate level qualification
Degree  apprenticeshipLevel 6/7 – equal to a Bachelors or master’s degree

Intermediate
An intermediate apprenticeship is equivalent to five good GCSE. Apprenticeships work towards vocational qualifications at level 2, such as BTEC certificates and diplomas. Qualifications combined with the skills learnt in the workplace allow apprentices to progress into full work or an advanced apprenticeship.

Advanced
Advanced apprenticeships are equivalent to two A levels. As with the intermediate apprenticeship, advanced apprentices undertake vocational qualifications while also learning valuable skills directly from their employment.

Higher
Higher level apprentices study for an undergraduate level qualification such as a level 4 HNC, or level 5 foundation degree.

 

Apprenticeship Standards

If you have employed apprentices before, you will know that apprenticeships are designed around what are known as “apprenticeship frameworks”. However, new standards were introduced by the government led by employers including specific knowledge, skills and behaviour for a specific occupation. It enables employers to have more involvement as an apprentices-provider by delivering in house training.

The new standards are also shorter and more concise, each standard has a assessment plan, which is similar to the old framework. The standards do not include continual assessment but instead the apprentice will do 20% off-the-job training, progress weighting and end-point assessment (EPA).

As a large provider of training and a recognised expert in apprenticeships, we are working at a national level on these new reforms. We are therefore excellently placed to keep our employers informed of any development or changes to their current apprenticeship format.

Skills gaps

We can help you find new employees to fill the skills gaps in your business. Apprenticeships can be flexible – while they are governed by apprenticeship standards to ensure consistency, in practice a variety of different job roles can be mapped onto an existing apprenticeship standard, meaning that you can hire an apprentice to meet the skills shortage in your business.

Equally, by investing in your staff, you will be supporting the needs of your business and ensuring long-term growth. Bringing in an apprentice will mean your organisation will gain another productive employee (or keep one that it already had), and both smaller and larger firms find that hiring apprentices works out to be a really cost-effective option for acquiring more skilled staff.

What our Partners Say...

“We have enjoyed a valuable partnership with our local college. It is dynamic and has changed to match the changing landscape in which we operate.”

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Senior Learning and Development Manager

“Leicester College has been a valuable partner, supporting us to utilise our apprenticeship levy in away that provides our people with meaningful development”

Samworth Brothers Group People Director