Apprenticeships provide an employer-based route for developing industry recognised skills. They are open to all age groups over 16. Sector Skills Councils made up of business representatives and others from that sector area have designed the course content within their own sector to ensure that apprenticeships meet business needs.
Apprenticeships The Proven Way to Train Your Workforce explains how your business can benefit by recruiting apprentices. In addition apprenticeships has more information.
Apprenticeships typically take between one and four years, although there is no set time to complete as Apprenticeships vary widely in content and size. The length of time taken will depend on the ability of the individual apprentice and the employer's requirements. Apprentices work towards an appropriate work-based qualification.
As an employee the apprentice will be in the workplace for the majority of their time, as most training takes place on the job. The rest usually takes place at a local college or a specialist training organisation. Apprentices can complete this off-the-job training on day release or over a number of days in a block.
Apprenticeship funding is available from the National Apprenticeship Service. The size of the contribution varies depending on the sector and the age of the candidate. A National Minimum Wage for apprentices was introduced on 1 October 2010. The wage (currently £2.65) applies to all apprentices aged under 19; and apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their Apprenticeship.