What is an apprenticeship?
The traditional apprentice role has changed. It's now recognised as a developmental tool for staff. Any member of staff can access an apprenticeship, if appropriate.
An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying skills development programme. Through their apprenticeship, apprentices gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills they need for their immediate job and future career. The apprentice gains this through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practice new skills in a real work environment.
20% off-the-job learning
Learners are expected to spend at least 20% of their total working hours on off-the-job learning. Learning can include training that’s delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal ‘work duties’. Other learning can include virtual learning, face-to-face visits and work-based projects. Download the off the job examples. Apprentices who haven't yet achieved English or Maths qualifications at A - C or equivalents must undertake these as part of their Apprenticeship. Time to study for these will be in addition to the 20% OJT. Off-the-job training: Myths v Facts
Apprentices must have a contract of employment which is long enough to complete the apprenticeship successfully and the cost of the apprentice’s salary must be met by the employer. Newly recruited apprentices have a specific type of contract for this purpose; their main terms and conditions are similar to permanent staff.
Apprentices must have a job role that provides the opportunity for them to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to achieve their apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships must be genuine opportunities for recruitment and retention of staff through training and support, not considered as casual or temporary staff. When the apprenticeship is achieved, the apprentice should remain with the employer where a job opportunity continues to exist and where the apprentice wishes to remain. Where this isn't possible, the apprentice must be supported to seek other opportunities. The council’s redeployment policy should be followed.
Apprenticeships in Council schools
Apprenticeships are available in many job roles. Derby City Council has an Apprenticeship strategy to support the Council Plan with the aim of raising achievement and skills. If you have an employee who's interested in apprenticeship training as part of their continuous professional development (CPD), we can source suitable training or keep their details until they're ready to go ahead. If you're looking to recruit a new apprentice, we can discuss your needs.
Derby Adult Learning Service is our main training provider for apprenticeships. We also use other agreed providers who've been through our procurement process and are our preferred suppliers. Managers can look at any skills gaps during Great Performance Conversations (GPCs). The apprenticeship team will then source suitable training providers. Please see the Manager’s guidance page.
The Levy applies to all employers with a pay bill of over £3 million (including local authorities) and we are required to pay an apprenticeship levy of 0.5%. This is a mandatory government tax. The council is responsible for paying the levy in community maintained schools where we employ the staff and pay NI contributions. The cost of this levy is passed on to schools.
Central Government requires public sector bodies to meet an average target of creating apprenticeship starts equivalent to 2.3% of their workforce headcount.
The council can use levy funds to buy training for newly recruited apprentices and for existing staff to re-train or upskill. Individuals can undertake an apprenticeship provided the training will allow them to acquire substantive new skills. The content of the training must be materially different from any prior training or a previous apprenticeship.
Accessing apprenticeship funding and training to support your existing staff is a fantastic way to develop new skills and boost motivation and retention amongst employees. The Apprenticeship levy offers access to the apprenticeship training budget available for the council providing it’s for an approved apprenticeship standard
Where the council is the employer, schools can access funding for apprenticeship training and assessment via the Digital Apprenticeship Service. The Guide to apprenticeships for schools Nov 2019 provides wider information about using the levy. Available funding can be used to meet the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment against an approved apprenticeship. This can be used to enhance the skills of existing employees as well as new starters.
Here is the link to the Standards . If you open the link, you can search for qualifications you are interested in by using keywords such as ‘management’, ‘teaching’ or ‘admin'.
We negotiate training and assessment costs with our preferred suppliers training providers and use a digital voucher system. The funding pays for apprenticeship training costs and end-point assessments. A few apprenticeships will have exam fees and retakes, travel expenses for off-the-job training, professional registrations or licences. Please don’t engage with any training provider without our agreement otherwise the apprentice will not be able to start training.
An employee needs to work a minimum of 30 hours a week to complete a qualification in the estimated time, due to the 20% off-the-job learning requirement. If they work less than 30 hours a week, this will proportionately extend the length of the qualification. For schools, one year equates to 4 terms due to the number of holidays.
Apprenticeships are available in many job roles within schools, including teaching assistants, teachers, business administration, finance, catering, team leading and management, caretaking, science and ICT technicians. The LGA apprenticeships in schools toolkit Dec 2019 gives information about planning new apprenticeships, school roles and the standards that are aligned to them.
Standards and End Point Assessments
All standards have an End Point Assessment (EPA) at the end and are marked distinction, pass or fail. The EPA takes place once the apprenticeship training has been fully completed and the learner is deemed ready for EPA. The assessment could include interviews, presentations, online assessments, observations and or a review of portfolios.
Employers are helping to develop new apprenticeships through Trailblazers from level 2 to level 7 in many occupations. Some standards are still in development until they’re ready for use. If there’s no standard for an occupation, a manager could join a trailblazer group to help develop the apprenticeship.
For further information on school apprenticeships or to discuss a possible vacancy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01332 642633.