About apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are available across the UK, but there are differences in components and structure between apprenticeships in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

All apprenticeships are currently developed and funded by the Government. In England, this will change under the Government’s Apprenticeships Reforms.

Find out more about funding for current apprenticeships


Current apprenticeships – by region

Click on the links to find out about apprenticeships in your region.


England – SASE Frameworks

Apprenticeships in England currently follow the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) Frameworks, which set out the minimum requirements for the apprenticeship.

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

Timescales for Trailblazer Apprenticeships

Under the Apprenticeship Reforms, these SASE Frameworks will be replaced by new Apprenticeship Standards. Each Framework will remain in place until replaced.

The full switchover to the new apprenticeships (known as Trailblazer Apprenticeships) is expected to occur by 2020, but this date is subject to change.

Find out more about Trailblazer apprenticeships

Components of the SASE Frameworks

SASE Frameworks vary according to industry and level, although, as a guide, they usually contain the following components:

Mandatory qualifications

Specific qualifications and levels required will be stated in the relevant Framework documentation. They will include:

• Competency-based qualifications, such as NVQs 
• Knowledge-based qualifications (Technical Certificate )

Some Frameworks may require a combined qualification which covers both competency and knowledge. This will be set out in the Framework document.

Delivery methods

Apprenticeships require both on-the-job training and off-the-job training at a college or training provider.  As a general rule:

• Technical Certificates are predominantly delivered off-the-job by a provider
• 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  

Maths and English

Maths and English qualifications are a requirement of all current apprenticeships, although the level required will vary depending on the apprenticeship job role.

Requirements per level

The requirements will be included in the Framework document, but as a general rule:

  • All Level 2 Frameworks require Maths and English at Level 1. The apprentice will be required to attempt Level 2
  • Level 3 Frameworks require Maths and English at Level 2. The apprentice will be required to attempt Level 3
  • There may, or may not be, additional requirements for higher level apprenticeships

Delivery methods

Maths and English can be delivered at the appropriate levels through GCSEs or Functional Skills  – a suite of qualifications which also covers Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills are generic skills that are essential to life, learning and work. They include employability skills, to enable someone to make a confident and valuable contribution in the workplace.

Skills are split into six sections, all of which must be achieved by the apprentice and evidenced by the provider. The learning outcomes the apprentice must achieve are:

  • Independent enquiry
  • Creative thinking
  • Reflective learning
  • Team working
  • Self-management
  • Effective participation

Delivery methods

Some, or all, of the PLTS may be embedded into the mandatory competence or knowledge-based qualifications. Alternatively, if they are not already embedded, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) will provide a separate workbook which will need to be worked through and signed on completion, as part of the evidence of apprenticeship completion.

Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)

Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) are the legal rights and responsibilities of the apprentice (as an employee) and of their employer.

The apprentice must complete this learning and achieve the standards set out in the relevant Framework documentation.

Delivery methods

ERR may be completed as part of the qualifications, or through a separate workbook. Details are set out in the relevant Framework.

Available apprenticeships in England

View our range of apprenticeships by industry sector  

The Government’s website has a complete list of SASE Frameworks in England  

 

Wales – SASW Frameworks

WalesApprenticeships in Wales currently follow the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for Wales (SASW) Frameworks, which set out the minimum requirements for the apprenticeship.

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

Timescales for reforms

The Welsh Government is currently undergoing a consultation to reform apprenticeships in Wales.

Regional skills partnerships will advise the Welsh Government on future regional prioritisation of skills funding, in line with employment and skills needs.

From 2016/17, there is an opportunity for regional employment and skills plans to replace the current methodology and to influence which apprenticeships the Welsh Government supports. We will update this section as further information becomes available.  

Components of the SASW Frameworks

SASW Frameworks vary according to industry and level, although, as a guide, they usually contain the following components:

Mandatory qualifications

Specific qualifications and levels required will be stated in the relevant Framework documentation. They will include:

  • Competency-based qualifications, such as NVQs
  • Knowledge-based qualifications (Technical Certificate)

Some Frameworks require a combined qualification which covers both competency and knowledge. This will be set out in the Framework document.

Delivery methods

Apprenticeships require both on-the-job training and off-the-job training at a college or training provider.  As a general rule:

  • Technical Certificates are predominantly delivered off-the-job by a provider
  • 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

Maths and English

Maths and English qualifications are a requirement of all current apprenticeships, although the level required will vary depending on the apprenticeship job role.

Requirements per level

The requirements will be included in the Framework document, but as a general rule:

  • All Level 2 Frameworks require Maths and English at Level 1. The apprentice will be required to attempt Level 2
  • Level 3 Frameworks require Maths and English at Level 2. The apprentice will be required to attempt Level 3 
  • There may, or may not be additional requirements for higher level apprenticeships 

Delivery methods

Maths and English can be delivered at the appropriate levels through GCSEs or through Essential Skills Wales  – a suite of qualifications which also covers Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

PLTS

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills are generic skills that are essential to life, learning and work. This includes employability skills to enable someone to make a confident and valuable contribution in the workplace.

Skills are split into six sections, all of which must be achieved by the apprentice and evidenced by the provider. The learning outcomes the apprentice must achieve are:

  • Independent enquiry
  • Creative thinking
  • Reflective learning
  • Team working
  • Self-management
  • Effective participation

Delivery methods

Some, or all, of the PLTS may be embedded into the mandatory competence or knowledge-based qualifications. Alternatively, if they are not already embedded, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) will provide a separate workbook which will need to be worked through and signed on completion, as part of the evidence of apprenticeship completion.

Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)

Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) are the legal rights and responsibilities of the apprentice (as an employee) and of their employer.

The apprentice must complete this learning and achieve the standards set out in the relevant Framework documentation.

Delivery methods

ERR may be completed as part of the qualifications, or through a separate workbook. Details are set out in the relevant Framework.

Mandatory qualifications

Specific qualifications and levels required will be stated in the relevant Framework documentation. They will include:

  • Competency-based qualifications, such as NVQs
  • Knowledge-based qualifications (Technical Certificate)

Some Frameworks require a combined qualification which covers both competency and knowledge. This will be set out in the Framework document.

Delivery methods

Apprenticeships require both on-the-job training and off-the-job training at a college or training provider.  As a general rule:

  • Technical Certificates are predominantly delivered off-the-job by a provider 
  • 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 

Maths and English

Maths and English qualifications are a requirement of all current apprenticeships, although the level required will vary depending on the apprenticeship job role.

Requirements per level

The requirements will be included in the Framework document, but as a general rule:

  • All Level 2 Frameworks require Maths and English at Level 1. The apprentice will be required to attempt Level 2
  • Level 3 Frameworks require Maths and English at Level 2. The apprentice will be required to attempt Level 3
  • There may, or may not be additional requirements for higher level apprenticeships

Delivery methods

Maths and English can be delivered at the appropriate levels through GCSEs or Essential Skills Northern Ireland  – a suite of qualifications which also covers Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills are generic skills that are essential to life, learning and work. This includes employability skills to enable someone to make a confident and valuable contribution in the workplace.

Skills are split into six sections, all of which must be achieved by the apprentice and evidenced by the provider. The learning outcomes the apprentice must achieve are:

  • Independent enquiry
  • Creative thinking
  • Reflective learning
  • Team working
  • Self-management
  • Effective participation

Delivery methods

Some, or all, of the PLTS may be  embedded into the mandatory competence or knowledge-based qualifications. Alternatively, if they are not already embedded, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) will provide a separate workbook which will need to be worked through and signed on completion, as part of the evidence of apprenticeship completion.

Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)

Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) are the legal rights and responsibilities of the apprentice (as an employee) and of their employer.

The apprentice must complete this learning and achieve the standards set out in the relevant Framework documentation.

Delivery methods

ERR may be completed as part of the qualifications, or through a separate workbook. Details are set out in the relevant Framework.

Components of Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships comprise a package of three main components:

Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ)

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

Core Skills

Core Skills consists of:

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Numeracy
  • Working with others
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

All five of these skills must be included, at a level which is relevant to the level of the apprenticeship.

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

The minimum requirements for Core Skills are set by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs).

Design and teaching

Core Skills design and teaching varies according to occupational area.

As a guide, more traditional occupations tend to use a curriculum-driven model – integrating both ‘on-the job’ and ‘off-the-job’ training; while newer service-based occupations tend to rely more heavily upon an assessment-driven model. For these, the assessor will need to interpret and cross-reference much of the evidence.

Enhancements (industry-specific)

Apprentices may be required to complete additional training to support their apprenticeship learning. Details will be outlined in the Framework and will typically be knowledge-based qualifications to support their SVQ.

Skills Development Scotland has more about Modern Apprenticeships

Our Modern Apprenticeships

We offer the following Modern Apprenticeships:

  • Social Services and Healthcare Levels 2 and 3
  • Hairdressing and Barbering
  • Hair & Beauty
  • Horticulture
  • Retail
  • Travel and Tourism
  • SVQs in Social Services, Children and Young People
  • Children's Care, Learning and Development
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
  • Vehicle Accident Repair
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Customer Service
  • SVQ in Food and Drink Operations
  • Catering & Hospitality
  • Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals Qualifications
  • Business and Administration

Find out more about City & Guilds in Scotland

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