What is an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are vocational qualifications open to all age groups– whether you have been working for years, or you are looking to progress or start a new career.

There are now more than 200 different types of Apprenticeships for over 1,200 different job roles.

There are currently three different levels of Apprenticeship:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 2)
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 3)
  • Higher Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 4 and above)

Each apprenticeship has a framework that sets out the qualifications an apprentice is expected to leave with. The following are mandatory outcomes in England:

  • A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 2 for Apprentices and Level 3 for Advanced Apprentices, and higher level (5)
  • Key skills qualifications (which are transferable work-related skills)
  • Application of number and communication are mandatory
  • A technical certificate relevant to the work sector, such as BTEC National Diploma or City & Guilds Progression award
  • A knowledge of employment rights and responsibilities, which must include equality of opportunity and health and safety, and may have other elements depending on the specific sector.

They also contain examples of good practice in unionised workplaces.  The elements of a good apprenticeship programme include Equality and diversity – putting in place strategies to ensure apprenticeships are open to the widest possible groups.

Apprenticeship Levy

The UK Government will collect an Apprenticeship Levy from employers from the 6th of April 2017 to fund apprenticeship qualifications in England. Some URTU recognised employers will be required to contribute to the new apprenticeship levy.

The levy requires all large employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest 0.5% of their overall pay-bill into apprenticeships.

The Apprenticeship Levy is a monthly, mandatory financial contribution made by employers to the Treasury. This levy payment will then be placed in a designated account (Direct Apprenticeship Service) which can then be accessed by that employer to fund apprenticeships. If that employer chooses not to spend the levy on apprenticeships, their levy contribution will not be returned to them.

For more information about apprenticeships in your area please contact us

Charter for Apprenticeships


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