There are currently 600 (source Gov.uk) different apprenticeship programmes available in England, supporting skills development across a vast array of sectors,
From traditional industry apprenticeships such as business admin, plumbing
carpentry and adult care to specialist sector pathways such as veterinary or dental nursing, coaching or health and wellbeing. The apprenticeships we offer can be found here.
An apprenticeship is a structured programme of learning completed in the workplace. It enables individuals to get the knowledge, skills and behaviours (those are the pillars of all apprenticeships) to perform a specific job role. The apprentice must be in a job role that is relevant to the apprenticeship and allows them to put into practice their new skills and meet the other requirements.
For example, an individual cannot be enrolled on a dental nursing apprenticeship if they are working in customer services at a book shop as they wouldn’t be able to get the real-time application of knowledge or mentoring.
Broadly speaking, there are two different ways to look at the pathways available to you. You will find sector-specific apprenticeships for individuals to get industry-specific training i.e. in healthcare, childcare, manufacturing, boat building, and digital. Then there are the more general ‘business’ or ‘operational’ apprenticeships in areas such as business admin, customer service, leadership and management or HR. These are apprenticeships which develop skills for job roles which are in demand across all sectors.
Apprenticeships are grouped into levels. The higher the level the more experience is required. Generally, people starting a career would start on a Level 2 or 3 programme, completing subsequent levels as they progress. This provides a great chance to plan career development and for employers to identify and fill skills gaps. Level 3/4 provides good opportunities to develop and embed expertise in a chosen sector. The Level 5 apprenticeships improve professional practice and are often linked to management roles. Level 7 is the highest level of apprenticeship and is popular with experienced practitioners.
For some clinical-based apprenticeships – such as the dental nurse and senior healthcare support worker, apprentices must be working for at least 30 hours per week to build competency.
An apprenticeship programme can be completed at any age or level, so long as the requirements for funding are met (residency, functional skills, suitable job role). Although you cannot be in any other education and you cannot have too much prior experience in the sector. For example, a person who has been managing an office for 15 years would not be able to complete a Level 3 business admin apprenticeship because they probably know all there is to know about business admin for that level. However, they could complete a Level 3 Learning and Development Practitioner apprenticeship if they were going to be taking on responsibility for workplace training. Or, if they were going into a management role the Level 3 Team Leader Supervisor apprenticeship or Level 5 Operations Departmental Manager (ODM) would also be good options.
If you want to enrol on an apprenticeship, or if you are an employer, you can choose between a college or independent training (ITP).
Whether the choice is to learn with an Independent Training Provider like Exalt Training or learning with a college, there is no right or wrong approach. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and it depends on individual preferences and circumstances. We find many employers prefer our approach of full work-place based learning but some prefer the more traditional approach to release an apprentice to attend college once a week.
For school leavers or career switchers – apprenticeships offer the unique opportunity to get work experience, training and mentoring whilst being paid. Apprenticeship job opportunities can be found on job search sites, LinkedIn, and online at https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch and with careers advisers and employment support partners.’
For those already in a role, an apprenticeship can offer widespread benefits to the individual and the wider team. Many staff and employers benefit from apprenticeships which are called an ‘up-skill’. This is where the apprenticeship supports skills development in the existing workforce, helping staff to progress to the next level of their career. It allows for succession planning and team development; it’s also great for staff retention as employers are investing in the workforce through training.
Whatever your experience level or age, there will be an apprenticeship pathway or opportunity. To explore your own requirements contact the team.
Ofsted is responsible for ensuring the quality of education. They audit the provider to monitor and Grade them based on agreed criteria – similar to the way that schools are assessed and audited.
Give us a call and chat through your options on 01202 612365