Apprenticeships are a valuable part of the learning and development package. Available to all staff regardless of age and length of service. They also ensure that your team has the practical skills and qualifications it needs now, and in the future.
The mixture of on and off job learning ensures that those employees on an apprenticeship learn the skills that work best for our business. Warwickshire County Council is one of over 130,000 companies who offer apprentice places because we all understand the benefits that apprentices bring to our businesses:
- Increased productivity
- Improved competitiveness
- A committed and competent work-force and
- Enabling young/inexperienced people to start their careers in a constructive and positive environment.
Warwickshire County Council have created an apprenticeship policy for Warwickshire and work with the National Apprenticeship Service to grow apprenticeships both within the Council and within companies throughout the sub region. The policy clearly sets out our intentions around apprenticeships and shows the value we place in them.
Warwickshire County Council Apprenticeships Policy Statement (DOC, 940 KB)
What is an apprentice?
An apprentice is an individual who undertakes a formalised and accredited training programme, in a work based environment. The training programme must be recognised as an apprenticeship framework. The individual can be a new or existing employee and will meet the following eligibility criteria:
- 16 years of age and over
- Lives in England
- Is not in full time education; and
- Must have a contract of employment.
What is an apprenticeship?
Whilst apprenticeships have been in existence for hundreds of years, here we are referring to the apprenticeship programme which has a framework of work-based learning and accredited training that includes the following components:
- A minimum of 30 hours per week paid employment
- A knowledge based element
- A competency based element
- Transferable or key skills, communication (mandatory), application of numbers (mandatory), Information Communication Technology, working with others, improving own learning and performance and problem solving
- A module on employment rights and responsibilities.
The completion certificate is awarded by the National Apprenticeship Service, who also fully fund the training for 16-18 year old and part fund it for adults.
Apprenticeships are available in three levels
- Level 2 (Apprenticeship) which is equivalent to GCSEs
- Level 3 (Advanced apprenticeship) which is equivalent to A-levels
- Level 4-7 (Higher apprenticeship) which is a vocational alternative to University achieving qualifications from Foundation degree to Masters level.
The Apprenticeship Framework
An Apprenticeship Framework is developed by the Sector Skills Councils (SSCs). SSCs are licensed by government to represent employers in developing National Occupational Standards and design and approve Apprenticeships Frameworks. Contact details for all the SSC’s. There are more than 200 Apprenticeship Frameworks, ranging from accountancy, carpentry and joinery, health and social care, IT services and development to youth work.
The National Apprenticeship Service website has overviews of the types of apprenticeships www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
How long does an apprenticeship take to complete?
The length of an apprenticeship varies depending on prior skill levels of the apprentice and the qualification being obtained. Generally, apprenticeships take between one and three years to complete.
What next? What assistance is available?
Who’s who in apprenticeships
The key players:
- Apprentice: An employee undertaking an apprenticeship programme
- Employer: The company that employs the apprentice (Warwickshire County Council)
- Line Manager/Supervisor: This person is here to support the apprentice in their job
- Mentor: Usually from a different area within the workplace, the trained Mentor is available to provide advice, guidance or just an ear to listen
- Training Provider: A private training company or FE College who delivers the apprenticeship programme
- Assessor:A specially trained, fully qualified Assessor who is responsible for the training, assessment and support of the learners in regards to the qualification
- Verifier: Verifies the assessors’ work against agreed standards of competence using a range of assessment methods and supports and guides the assessors, providing feedback on assessment decisions
- National Apprenticeship Service (NAS): Part of the Skills Funding Agency, a next steps agency of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. NAS has end to end responsibility for apprenticeships in England.
- Sector Skills Council: State-sponsored, employer-led organisations that contribute to the development of National Occupational Standards, the design and approval of Apprenticeship Frameworks.
Apprenticeship salaries within the Council
Apprenticeship Salary review for April 2017
Rates of Pay for Apprentices
Apprentices have their own lower National Minimum Wage (NMW) to reflect the investment employers make in their development. The current National Minimum Wage for apprentices is now £3.50 an hour. This rate is NOT a standard rate of pay, it is the minimum.
|Current rate||April 2017 rate|
|Apprentice||£3.40||£3.50 (3% increase)|
|16 – 17 year old||£4.00||£4.05 (3.4% increase)|
|18 – 20 year old||£5.55||£5.60 (4.7% increase)|
|21 – 25 year old*||£6.95||£7.05 (3.7% Increase)|
|25 year old and above*||£7.20||£7.50 (3.7% Increase)|
Warwickshire County Council Apprentice rates of pay:
|Level||Apprentice Salary bands from April 2017|
|Point 1 WCC|
(Rate used for all Apprentices recruited via Hub following previous discussion)
|£4.05 per hour|
£149.85 per week
£ 7,813.61 per annum
(equivalent to NMW for 16-17 yr old)
|All New Starter WCC Apprentices|
|Point 2||£5.60 per hour|
£207.20 per week
£10,804.00 per annum
(NMW for 18-20 yr old)
|19th birthday and have completed 12 months of the scheme|
|Point 3||£7.05 per hour|
£260.85 per week
£13,601.46 per annum
(NMW for adults)
|21st birthday and have completed 12 months of the scheme.|
Fixed term salary point for higher Apprentices
|Point 4||£7.50 per hour|
£277.50 per week
£14,469.64 per annum
(NLW for adults)
|25th birthday and have completed 12 months of the scheme.|
*Please note that pay per week and per year in this table are based on an apprentice working 37 hours per week (1.0 FTE). The pay will scale down accordingly for apprentices working less than 37 hours. An apprentice must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week.