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Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are training programmes to help create a skilled workforce and anyone 16 or older can become an apprentice. You can even have worked for a company for some time and still develop your skills with an apprenticeship. Good apprenticeships combine effective on- and off-the-job training with thorough assessment.

Apprenticeships are available across the UK, though are delivered and funded differently depending on if you’re in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.


Apprenticeships that work

We put quality and learning at the heart of our apprenticeship training and education - City & Guilds is a name you can trust. Our apprenticeships are designed to deliver a progressive learning journey for the apprentice and robust assessment.

We work closely with employers to make sure our apprenticeship programme helps businesses build a more qualified and better-trained workforce with the right skills for the job, we want businesses to have the best apprenticeships available. Remember that employers can benefit from apprenticeships for adults just as much as with apprenticeships for 16 year olds.

And if you’re looking for a tailored solution – such as additional qualifications or accrediting your own training, we can help with this.

Read more below about how apprenticeships are delivered across the UK. Or you can find out more about funding for apprenticeships.


Apprenticeships by region

England

Apprenticeships are changing from the SASE framework (Specification of Apprenticeship Standards in England) to new, employer-led, apprenticeship standards. These put employers in the driving seat as they help design the apprenticeships and manage the contracts with training providers.

As standards become available there can be a cross-over period where some training providers deliver these and some deliver the old SASE frameworks. The SASE frameworks are being discontinued and we expect they’ll be phased out completely by 2020. Find out more on the new apprenticeship standards in our guide to the reforms. Browse our SASE framework apprenticeships by industry sector or select from our new apprenticeships standards.

Apprenticeship standards

Apprentices must learn and evidence skills, knowledge and behaviours set down in the apprenticeship standard. They are set by employers, known as trailblazers, when the standard is first put together. The standard is made up of on-programme learning and end-point assessment. Where we offer them, employers can choose us for one or both parts of the standard.

SASE frameworks

Learning is made up of Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) and Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR). PLTS include employability skills to help the apprentice make a confident and valuable contribution in the workplace. ERR are the legal rights and responsibilities of the apprentice as an employee and their employer and an apprentice must show their understanding of these.

Maths and English

All apprentices should be supported to improve their maths and English. Depending on the level of maths and English they’ve already achieved and the apprenticeship being taken, studying maths and English could be a requirement of their apprenticeship. Maths and English can be delivered through GCSE or Functional Skills.

Details are in the apprenticeship standard or SASE framework though generally:

  • Level 2 apprentices need maths and English at Level 1 and should attempt Level 2.
  • Level 3 apprentices need maths and English at Level 2 and should attempt Level 3.
  • There may be extra requirements for higher level apprenticeships or particular industry roles

City & Guilds offers a range of online and offline materials and packages for learners to succeed in English and maths. We also offer CPD courses for tutors to help incorporate maths and English into the apprentice journey – particularly helpful for curriculum staff not used to delivering this.

Wales

The Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for Wales (SASW) frameworks set out the minimum requirements for apprenticeships. They are created by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) – which are employer-led and Government-licensed organisations, specific to an industry sector.

View our range of apprenticeships by industry sector.

The Welsh Government’s website has more information on apprenticeships in Wales.

SASW frameworks vary according to industry and level and details are in the individual framework though they usually contain the following:

1. Mandatory qualifications

These are specific qualifications and levels that include competency-based qualifications, such as NVQs, and knowledge-based qualifications (Technical Certificate). Competency-based qualifications are driven by work-based learning and continuous assessment. The provider will usually support this with on-the-job training and assessment. Technical certificates are usually delivered off-the-job by a training provider.

Some frameworks ask for a combined qualification to cover competency and knowledge. This is set out in the framework document

2. Skills training

Learning is made up of Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) and Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR). PLTS include employability skills to help the apprentice make a confident and valuable contribution in the workplace. The apprentice must evidence their learning in six skills areas: independent enquiry; creative thinking; reflective learning; team working; self-management and effective participation. ERR are the legal rights and responsibilities of the apprentice as an employee and their employer and an apprentice must show their understanding of these.

3. Maths and English

All apprentices should be supported to improve their maths and English. Depending on the level of maths and English they’ve already achieved and the apprenticeship being taken, studying maths and English could be a requirement of their apprenticeship. Maths and English can be delivered through GCSE or Essential Skills Wales a suite of qualifications which also covers Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Details are in the apprenticeship standard or SASE framework though generally:

  • Level 2 apprentices need maths and English at Level 1 and should attempt Level 2.
  • Level 3 apprentices need maths and English at Level 2 and should attempt Level 3.
  • There may be extra requirements for higher level apprenticeships or particular industry roles.

City & Guilds offers a range of online and offline materials and packages for learners to succeed in English and maths. We also offer CPD courses for tutors to help incorporate maths and English into the apprentice journey – particularly helpful for curriculum staff not used to delivering this.

Northern Ireland

Apprenticeship frameworks are created by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) – which are employer-led and Government-licensed organisations, specific to an industry sector.

View our range of apprenticeships by industry sector. The Northern Ireland Government’s website has more information about apprenticeships in Northern Ireland.

Apprenticeship frameworks vary according to industry and level and details are in the individual framework document though they usually contain the following:

1. Mandatory qualifications

These are specific qualifications and levels that include competency-based qualifications, such as NVQs, and knowledge-based qualifications (Technical Certificate). Competency-based qualifications are driven by work-based learning and continuous assessment. The provider will usually support this with on-the-job training and assessment. Technical certificates are predominantly delivered off-the-job by a training provider.

Some frameworks ask for a combined qualification to cover competency and knowledge. This is set out in the framework document.

2. Skills training

Learning is made up of Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) and Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR). PLTS include employability skills to help the apprentice make a confident and valuable contribution in the workplace. The apprentice must evidence their learning in six skills areas: independent enquiry; creative thinking; reflective learning; team working; self-management and effective participation. ERR are the legal rights and responsibilities of the apprentice as an employee and their employer and an apprentice must show their understanding of these.

3. Maths and English

All apprentices should be supported to improve their maths and English. Depending on the level of maths and English they’ve already achieved and the apprenticeship being taken, studying maths and English could be a requirement of their apprenticeship. Maths and English can be delivered through GCSE or Essential Skills Northern Ireland a suite of qualifications which also covers Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Details are in the apprenticeship standard or SASE framework though generally:

  • Level 2 apprentices need maths and English at Level 1. They should attempt Level 2.
  • Level 3 apprentices need maths and English at Level 2. They should attempt Level 3.
  • There may be extra requirements for higher level apprenticeships or particular industry roles.

City & Guilds offers a range of online and offline materials and packages for learners to succeed in English and maths. We also offer CPD courses for tutors to help incorporate maths and English into the apprentice journey – particularly helpful for curriculum staff not used to delivering this.

Scotland

Apprenticeships in Scotland are delivered as modern apprenticeship frameworks and are created by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) – which are employer-led and Government-licensed organisations, specific to an industry sector. Find out more about apprenticeships in Scotland on the Skills Development Scotland website.

View our range of apprenticeships by industry sector.

Modern apprenticeship frameworks have three main components:

1. Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ)

These are certificates of vocational education specific to the job role. They’re delivered through a combination of practical (on-the-job) and knowledge-based (off-the-job) learning and assessments.

2. Core skills

The SSC set the minimum requirements for these five compulsory skills areas: communication; problem solving; numeracy; working with others and information and communication technology (ICT).

Communications, problem solving and working with others are integrated into the apprenticeship, while ICT and numeracy are often taught as separate subjects.

3. Design and teaching

This varies according to occupational area and may use a curriculum-driven model or an assessment-driven model.

Enhancements (industry-specific)

The framework might set out additional training for apprentices to support their learning. This will typically be knowledge-based qualifications to support their SVQ.


To find out more about delivering our apprenticeships in Scotland, get in touch.


Read some of our research on apprenticeships

Want to know more? Our research looks at how people work with apprenticeships and what the job market needs. They’re all free to download.

Great Expectations, updated 2016 – looking at the jobs young people are interested in, salary expectations and the role of work experience, careers advice and the route they intend to take to get to their dream job. Read the full report.

Making Apprenticeships Work, 2015 – insights from industry on how apprenticeships can be successful for employers and the job market. Read the full report or the summary.

Remaking Apprenticeships, 2014 – a compelling case for why learning must be at the heart of apprenticeships and that employers should lead the way to making successful apprenticeships. Read the summary.

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