Apprenticeships FAQs

Below are common questions and answers asked by employers about taking on an apprentice and how AMG Training can help you.

More than 100,000 employers, in over 160,000 workplaces, currently use Apprenticeships to attract new talent, re-skill their existing staff and tackle skill shortages. Apprenticeships are available to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in England. Employing an apprentice not only helps drive your business, but it will also have a positive impact towards economic growth and recovery.

  • Trained, competent staff are more productive and add value to your business
  • Use apprenticeships to grow your own talent, protecting your business against the impact of future retirements, or staff turnover
  • Train and develop your own supervisors and managers
  • Your employees learn and earn on the job
  • Staff turnover can significantly reduce if you can offer your people better prospects with a structured vocational training path. Pay is not the only factor in retaining good people
  • Multi skilling means more cover for holidays and peak production periods. How does your business survive during August?
  • Apprenticeships demonstrate that you are serious about developing your people. When you need to recruit, this can make a difference to someone looking for a long term career. How do you pitch your business as being an ‘Employer of Choice’?
  • Apprenticeships are a cost effective way of training your people
  • Trained, skill people are more motivated, committed and focused
  • Many large corporates look for their supply chain partners to have defined training paths for their people. Apprenticeships show that you are developing your people for the future.

Apprenticeships cover a wide range of vocational training frameworks that support diverse industry and sector needs. They are not just for plumbing, hairdressing, construction or welding – you can even work in an office and be on a business administration apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are a structured vocational programme, lasting from a minimum of 12 months to four years.

  1. Intermediate level (equivalent to GCSE’s)
  2. Advanced level (equivalent to A Level)
  3. Higher level 3 (foundation degree/degree equivalent)

If they are a new recruit into your business, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices can found by checking the following website: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages.

However, to attract and retain the best talent for your business, many employers pay more than this. In our experience, employers struggle to recruit and retain apprentices in London and the South, unless they pay more than the legal minimum hourly rate.

If you are an existing employee and wish to go onto an apprenticeship training programme with your employer, your current contractual rate of pay will remain the same.

Technically, yes they can, but there are rules as to what the Government will and won’t fund. The key eligibility criteria are:

  • You are not qualified to Level 4 or above
  • You are not already studying part or full time at
  • college/school
  • You are living in England
  • You are contracted to work for at least 16 hours a week
  • You have not already undertaken or completed a similar level apprenticeship programme

In addition, the employee, or new recruit, must commit to remaining with you in the job for the duration of the apprenticeship programme. If someone is planning to take a career break, or intends going to university or travelling around the world, then they would not complete their apprenticeship programme on time.

The main elements are:

  • The Technical Certificate (i.e. the theoretical understanding)
  • The NVQ Diploma (i.e. proving you can do the job)
  • Maths (if not GCSE Grades A-C in the last 5 years)
  • English (if not GCSE Grades A-C)
  • Employees rights and responsibilities, including
  • Health and Safety
  • Personal learning and thinking styles (developing confidence, team work and how to learn)
  • ICT

Yes you can, but there is no Government funding purely for the NVQ Diploma element. This is because apprenticeships are a ‘well rounded’ vocational qualification, and importantly include English and Maths, which are Government priorities.

There is a risk that if your people only complete the NVQ Diploma element (3-4 months), they could use this to get another job and leave you. Apprenticeships are structured to last between 12-48 months, depending on the qualification and the level. They are designed to embed knowledge and test that this can be applied in practice. We can also quote you commercial rates to deliver just NVQ Diplomas.

This depends on the contracted hours of each employee and what level they are undertaking.

Typically for Level 2(Intermediate), the programme duration times are as follows:

  • Employed for 30+ hours = 12 months or more
  • 24+ hours = 15 months
  • 20+ hours = 18 months
  • 16+ hours = 23 months

Less than 16 hours – cannot do an apprenticeship

For Level 3 (Advanced) apprenticeships, these tend to follow the 15-18 month duration as there is more to cover, particularly on the information/computers/technology areas.

It is therefore important that any employee starting an apprenticeship must commit to completing it.

  • Be committed to you, their employer, and intend to finish their apprenticeship programme
  • Commit to 1-2 hours a week of their own time for studying
  • Attend their booked appointments when our assessor visits your premises
  • Act upon any training targets that their assessor may set them
  • Regularly ask their line manager or supervisor for feedback on how they are doing in their job

NVQs or National Vocational Qualifications are practical qualifications that are achieved largely by what you do in your job. The content of the qualifications are designed by industry so will be up to date and relevant.

There five levels of NVQs and AMG Training mainly deliver levels 2 and 3.

Level 1 – Basic industry knowledge and skills
Level 2 – Operative level industry knowledge and skills
Level 3 – Management/Supervision
Level 4 – Middle Management
Level 5 – Senior Management

With the support of your Manager and Assessor, you can collect evidence from your job and responsibilities at work and build a portfolio of evidence. Evidence can be collected in several ways including:

– Professional discussions with you
– Photographs
– Questions and answer sessions
– Examples of your work
– Testimonials from your manager or colleagues
– Observation of you working by your Assessor
– Case studies

We have a team of qualified Assessors who collect evidence of competence by building a portfolio to meet the industry approved national standards. We use a variety of methods to assess and collect evidence: observation of the learner at work, discussions based on tasks done and collection of work-based products and assignments set in conjunction with the employer. Many of these are collected using voice recordings and photographs and loaded onto a laptop.

AMG Training is a major provider of Government funded training programmes to support large and small employers across the UK. We will ensure that maximum funding support is obtained for all programmes delivered.

– Customised training programmes
– Leadership and management development programmes
– Numeracy and literacy training
– Free apprentice recruitment service (also known as an Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching Service)
– Support in recruiting to fill skills gaps

Please contact us to find out more about how we can help your business.