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Apprenticeship Training: key information for employers

Please read this document - it contains extremely important information!

What are the benefits?

Apprenticeships offer employers a number of benefits, for example for new staff the programme offers employers the opportunity to:


Apprenticeship Training can also be used for existing staff and in all cases the benefits of the scheme include:

Apprenticeship Durations

The length of our apprenticeships varies from 15 to 20 months.  The length for each apprenticeship is provided on the relevant Course Information Sheet and on our fees sheet.


Please note: on the fees sheet you will see 2 durations for each apprenticeship:

Apprentice contract of employment

As a general rule, Apprentices must have a contract of employment for at least 30 hours per week.  There are some exceptions to this but only in certain sectors and in most cases this requires written permission from the funding agency.  Where this is given the duration of the apprenticeship has to be extended to take account of the reduced hours.

Employee Release for training

It is a regulated condition of funding that the Apprentice must spend 20% of their contracted working hours undertaking ‘off-the-job’ (OTJ) training (equivalent to 1 day per week).  Your tutor will provide advice concerning activities that can contribute towards this and how the OTJ training hours should be recorded.  Most, if not all of this activity can/will be done in the workplace but must not include time spent fulfilling duties outlined in their job description.  For some programmes, this may include releasing the Apprentice for 1 day per month to attend a workshop.  (Travel expenses for this must be paid for by the employer.)

Facilities

Apprentices need:


Settling-in Period Procedures (new employees only)

Our Settling-in Period Procedures are unique to us.  They are designed to provide you with a mechanism to give you as much reassurance as possible that your apprentice will be successful in achieving their apprenticeship and becoming a fully productive employee who adds value to your business.  You can read an article about why we created these procedures and how they work on our website here.  Key elements of the process are:

Line Manager/Mentor

At the very minimum, apprentices need a proactive line manager who has the time and ability to provide close support and supervision, especially during the first 3 months.  In some situations it may be a good idea to have a separate individual to act as Mentor to the candidate in addition to the line manager.  The inclusion of this role can be very useful in improving communication with the candidate, especially with regard to pastoral matters. It can also provide an excellent professional development opportunity for another member of staff.

Enrolment paperwork

Apprenticeship programmes are funded by the Government.  Funding for training is only released when ALL of the paperwork required has been completed and submitted.  We depend on employers to complete paperwork in a timely manner so that we can access the funding we need to deliver the training programme.

Please ensure that all paperwork and/or online forms sent to you are completed and returned by the date requested (or sooner!). This ensures you are legally able to continue to employ your new member of staff as an Apprentice, along with associated terms (e.g. wages).


Progress Reviews

Progress Reviews are a formal contractual requirement of the funding regulations and are subject to audit.  Progress Reviews have to involve all three parties to the apprenticeship agreement, i.e.: the tutor, the employer and the apprentice.  It is particularly important that employers attend Progress Reviews and provide tutors with accurate and realistic feedback about the apprentice’s progress so that training and support can be adjusted as necessary to ensure a successful outcome.

Please ensure that the line manager is available to attend all Progress Reviews as requested by the tutor.

Employer attendance at meetings

An apprenticeship is completely dependent on a constructive and close working relationship between the employer and the tutor as well as the apprentice.  By necessity this means regular contact between the tutor and the employer.  Clearly we understand how busy employers and line managers are with managing their businesses and tutors will always keep interruptions to employers to a minimum.  However, please note:

We insist on employer attendance at at least 7 meetings over the 15 months of the apprenticeship (8 for apprenticeships over 18 months).  These are:

Dates for these meetings will be set between the employer and the tutor at the start.  Non-attendance of the employer at these meetings could result in the apprenticeship being extended or even terminated.

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