Apprenticeship programmes for Employers

Apprenticeship Programmes: the benefits for employers

Bridgwater & Taunton College offers Apprenticeship programmes at a number of levels and, with university tuition fees on the rise, is seeing an increasing number of young people wanting to earn a salary whilst gaining practical skills, furthering their education and achieving a nationally-recognised qualification. The Apprenticeship scheme could not exist without the commitment and enthusiasm of local employers and, fortunately, the scheme offers numerous benefits for the employer as well as for the individual.

To find out more about the Apprenticeship Levy being introduced in 2017, and what it might mean to your business, click here.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a training programme which operates in the workplace, where employees work alongside experienced staff to gain specific skills, whilst also receiving tuition from a training provider, such as a college.

An employer can either take on a new apprentice or place an existing employee onto the scheme. This enables them to fill specific skills gaps, adapt to new opportunities and technologies, and train their workforce in their own way, passing on skills that have been acquired over many years.

What are the benefits in employing an apprentice?

Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice (91%) reports benefits to their business. 89% of businesses report improved productivity as a result of employing an apprentice (The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, December 2014).

Other benefits reported by apprentice employers include improved product or service, the introduction of new ideas to the organisation, improved staff morale and better staff retention, each mentioned by around two-thirds of employers.

Businesses which offer Apprenticeships view them as beneficial to their long-term development. According to the British Chambers of Commerce, most employ an apprentice to improve the skills base within their business.

The average Apprenticeship increases business productivity by £214 per week, with these gains including increased profits, lower prices and better products (apprenticeships.gov.uk).

What does an Apprenticeship involve?

Apprenticeship programmes usually last between one and five years (depending on level) and consist of:

  • Training for a number of qualifications (the Apprenticeship Framework including Literacy and Numeracy where appropriate).
  • Workplace training and assessment.
  • Flexible arrangements for attendance at College, e.g. day or block-release, depending on business need.

Once on the Apprenticeship programme, a member of the Apprenticeship team, who will co-ordinate training and liaise between the apprentice, employer, and the College, will be allocated. The Training Officer/Advisor and, at an appropriate time an NVQ Assessor will visit the workplace to monitor progress.

What are the Apprenticeship levels?

Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond. Which level Apprenticeship a learner undertakes depends on an individual’s current skills and qualifications and the needs of the business they are employed by.

Apprenticeships have equivalent education levels:

NameLevelEquivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 Five GCSE passes at A* – C grades
Advanced 3 Two A Level passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 Foundation Degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor's or Master's Degree

All Apprenticeships will include elements of on the job and off the job training, leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some Apprenticeships will require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice’s ability and competence in their job role.

What are the entry requirements?

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job.

How long does an Apprenticeship last?

An Apprenticeship can last from one to five years depending on the level of qualifications that are attached to the Apprenticeship.

How do I get an apprentice?

Employers can either take on a new apprentice or place an existing employee onto the scheme. This enables you to fill specific skills gaps, adapt to new opportunities and technologies, and train your workforce in your own way, passing on skills that have been acquired over many years.

Advanced Learner Loans

The Government has introduced Advanced Learner Loans for anyone aged 19+ and starting an eligible course at Level 3 and above (exceptions apply). The Loans are designed to support learners with their course fees in a similar way to how students studying university level courses receive a higher education loan. For more information please go to the Advanced Learner Loans page on our website.

Age 16 – 24 Grants

You may be eligible for an Age 16 – 24 grant, which is available for businesses who without this grant would not be able to appoint an apprentice. The grant is available for up to five apprentices. For more information please go to www.gov.uk

What should we do next?

If you are an employer seeking an apprentice, or if you are interested in placing an existing employee onto an Apprenticeship scheme, please contact our Business Development team on 01278 655111 or email business@bridgwater.ac.uk

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