We are proud to be supporting National Apprenticeship Week 2020. Organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, this special week will highlight the immense value of apprentices and apprenticeship schemes to everyone involved.

“The ‘Look Beyond’ themed week will celebrate the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers, apprentices and communities across England today. From highlighting the breadth of industries and roles available to the talent and energy apprentices bring into the workplace.”[1]

National Apprenticeship Week is always a great time to learn more about the diverse array of apprenticeships available, and this year there is a particular emphasis on the benefits of having a diverse workforce which includes apprentices, how apprenticeship schemes can offer an alternative route into employment and the need to dispel old preconceptions around apprenticeships. The focus is on diversity in all its forms.

What is an Apprenticeship?

The first thing to know is an apprenticeship is a job, and all apprentices are employed from the get-go. Apprenticeships combine both practical on the job training, alongside an element of study. Apprentices learn from experienced staff, gain skills specific to certain jobs and get paid for their work (including holiday pay).

Why should I apply for an Apprenticeship?

You will get the opportunity to earn a real wage while also receiving training in the skills that employers want and need. Successfully completing an apprenticeship will likely result in permanent employment and a salary increase, and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see their earnings increased by as much as an estimated £150,000 over their working life[2]

Am I eligible for an Apprenticeship?

If you are over the age of 16 and live in England then you are eligible. There is no upper age limit so you can become an apprentice at any stage of your life. There are different entry requirements with different industries, job roles and apprenticeship levels. 

Where can I find Apprenticeship vacancies?

There are many ways! Check out these websites for more information on apprenticeships and vacancies.

  • www.apprenticeships.gov.uk
  • www.gov.uk – once you are registered on “Find an apprenticeship”, email and text alerts will tell you about any new apprenticeship vacancies which may be of interest 
  • www.amazingapprenticeships.com – head to the vacancy snapshot for information on well-known employers, along with apprenticeship vacancies
  • If you would prefer to chat with someone directly, the National Apprenticeship Helpdesk can be reached on 0800 0150400. Their YouTube channel is also a useful resource for helpful advice on making a successful apprenticeship application. Search “apprenticeships/NAS”.

What support is available if I have a learning difficulty or disability?

You are entitled to any extra support you may need when it comes to the apprenticeship application process, as well as support during the apprenticeship itself. Support is provided through ‘reasonable adjustments’ and additional learning support is funded by the government. 

This funding is available to training providers and employers to ensure apprentices with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including those with a diagnosed disability or long term illness, a mental health condition and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and autistic spectrum conditions, successfully complete their apprenticeships.

If you have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) or a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) there may be some flexibility around the English and Maths qualifications you would need in order to complete your apprenticeship.

The government provides £1,000 per apprentice for training providers and employers with apprentices between the ages of 19-24 with an EHC plan. There is also further funding available to training providers to cover the costs of providing additional support for learning, or reasonable adjustments, as under the Equality Act.

The Access to Work fund provided by the Department for Work and Pensions is available for anything that isn’t covered by an employer making reasonable adjustments and is offered on a case by case basis, depending on the individual’s needs. This grant could cover the costs of special equipment, support worker services and other in work adaptations as needed. Any money paid via an Access to Work grant does not need to be repaid and does not affect any other benefits. 

Keep up to date with everything we’ll be up to during National Apprenticeship Week 2020 via our social media and website. If you have any questions regarding learning support specifically do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team.  

[1]    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/look-beyond-announced-as-the-theme-for-national-apprenticeship-week-2020

[2]    University education – Is this the best route into employment? AAT and CEBR Feb 2013