What and Who does it Involve?
An apprentice is an employee,16 or over, who is following a structured, work-based training programme within a particular occupational area. An apprentice can be a new recruit (or an existing member of staff) working full time or part time. The National Apprenticeship Service expects that this is for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
This is the actual structured training programme, referred to as a framework, which an apprentice follows – a mixture of on and off the job learning leading to nationally recognised and accredited qualifications. An Apprenticeship must include the following components:
- a knowledge-based element commonly referred to as a Technical Certificate (although frameworks are not confined to this qualification). This is a nationally recognised, vocationally related qualification (VRQ) which provides the essential knowledge to do a job. It is most often taught off the job and leads to the award of a diploma or certificate such as those offered by BTEC or City & Guilds
- a competency-based element commonly referred to as an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) (although frameworks are not confined to this qualification). competency based elements cover practical, work-related tasks designed to develop the skills and capability to do a job effectively. They are based on national standards which specify what a competent person in a job could be expected to do; competence is assessed by comparing skills against these standards
a Functional Skills element - This includes the mandatory subjects of Communication (developing and demonstrating speaking, listening, reading and writing skills) and Application of Number (skills in interpreting information involving numbers, carrying out calculations, interpreting results and presenting findings). It may also include Information Communication Technology, Working with Others, Improving Own Learning and Performance and Problem Solving, and a module on employment rights and responsibilities.
The Training Provider
Training providers are organisations which hold a contract to deliver Apprenticeship frameworks and can be local colleges or specialist training organisations. Training Providers deliver the knowledge requirements of the Apprenticeship qualification and / or assess an apprentice’s competence in a workplace setting. All contracted Training Providers receive regular Ofsted inspections to quality assure their delivery of Apprenticeship frameworks.