Q & A - Learner Guide

For those who want to train whilst in employment, Easton and Otley College offer a wide range of apprenticeships to choose from. With an apprenticeship you'll learn both in the workplace and at college, building up the skills and knowledge while gaining qualifications and earning money at the same time.

Easton and Otley College is committed to providing all apprentices with a consistently high level of support throughout their learning programme to help them achieve their full potential.

There are over 85,000 employers offering apprenticeships in more than 130,000 locations and there are more than 250 types of apprenticeships available.

What does being an Apprentice involve?

A minimum of 30 hours per week paid employment. The duration will vary depending on you, the industry sector and the level of apprenticeship that you are undertaking.

Generally your apprenticeship will be a 1-2 year programme. An apprenticeship includes the following components:

  • A competence based element e.g. Workbased Diploma or NVQ Diploma
  • Employment rights and responsibilities (ERR)
  • Personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS)
  • A knowledge based element
  • Functional Skills
  • Additional qualifications

There are 3 different levels of apprenticeship available:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeship
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeship
  • Higher Level Apprenticeship

How do Apprenticeships work in practice?

At Easton and Otley College we spend time with you to carry out an initial assessment of your knowledge, skills and abilities before completing an individual learning plan with you and your employer. You will be trained at your employer’s workplace, and then depending on the type of apprenticeship you will either attend college on a day or block release or it will be delivered entirely in the workplace.

An assessor will be allocated to you and will visit you in the workplace. They have the expertise to guide and support you through your programme and they will ensure that your employer is kept informed of your progress.

What is expected of me?

You need to be focused on the career you want and show dedication, commitment and a professional attitude towards your job and your apprenticeship. You will be expected to keep normal working hours with your employer to earn your wage. You will also need to show commitment to both on-the-job and off-the-job training as this will support you to achieve your qualifications.

How will I benefit from completing an Apprenticeship?

At the end of your apprenticeship you will have gained practical experience, skills and knowledge from your chosen type of employment - all things that will help give you the edge in the job market. An apprenticeship is a nationally recognised qualification which can be used to progress quickly within the workplace or to access further or higher education.

I've already got a job, can I do an Apprenticeship?

Yes as long as the employer agrees you can complete your apprenticeship where you are currently working.

What support will I receive in finding employment to complete an Apprenticeship?

Easton and Otley College’s dedicated staff will help guide you through the application process and give you advice on potential employment opportunities.

How long do Apprenticeships take?

There is no set time to complete an apprenticeship because each one is different. However, the 'Intermediate Level Apprenticeship' takes approximately 12-18 months and the ‘Advanced Level Apprenticeship’ takes approximately 18-24 months.

Am I entitled to holiday?

Like most other employees you are entitled to at least 20 days paid holiday per year plus Bank Holidays. Some employers may enhance this entitlement.

What are my entry requirements?

The majority of apprenticeships at Easton and Otley College require 4 GCSE’s at A-E, including Maths and English. However employers will be looking for a variety of skills and attributes and may impose their own entry requirements for their apprentices.

What is the eligibility criteria?

  • You must be living in England and not be taking part in full-time education
  • You must be aged 16 or over and have reached the legal school leaving age

Is there an upper age limit?

No. Apprenticeships are suitable and available for anyone aged 16 or over. However, government funding maybe limited for candidates aged 19 or over and an employer contribution maybe required.

What will it cost me?

There is no cost to the apprentice. While you are on an apprenticeship programme your employer pays you a wage / salary and supports you whilst you undertake your training. Depending on your age at the start of your apprenticeship
programme, your employer may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of your training.

Do I get paid?

Yes apprentices are entitled to be paid an hourly wage which employers have to pay. The apprentice national minimum wage applies to all 16-18 year olds, and to those aged 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages - in fact, research shows that apprentices aged 16-18 earn an average of £170 net pay per week!

Do I have to pay tax and national insurance?

Yes as this is the case for all employees aged 16 and over, apprentices must pay tax and national insurance based on their income and the current personal tax allowance rate.

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Advice Day

28 Aug 18