Apprenticeships

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is job with training. The apprentice will gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills and behaviours they need for their immediate job and future career. The apprentice gains this through formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practise these new skills in a real work environment. (Education & skills funding agency).

Apprenticeship programmes are;

  • A structured programme of learning developed by the sector and approved by the institute of apprenticeships and Technical Education
  • Designed by the sector e.g. schools, nurseries, local authorities and the Department for Education (DfE).
  • A set of skills, knowledge and behaviours identified by the sector as being essential for the successful performance of a qualified apprentice in a particular role. Orange Moon Training always embed formal qualifications in the programme where it is not mandated.
  • Regulated by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE).
  • Funded by the government through apprenticeship funds held by either an employer directly, your trust or your local authority (if you are a school) or central government. An apprentice must not be made to pay for any element of the delivery of the apprenticeship programme.
  • A contract between employer, learner and training provider
  • Bound by a key legal requirement that the apprentice must be given 20% of their paid time for their apprenticeship training. How this is allocated is agreed by the apprentice, employer and training provider at the start of the programme.
  • Accompanied by a grant of £1,000 is available to the school to provide additional support for young apprentices aged 16-18.

Apprenticeships that fit

We recognise the need to customise and contextualise our apprenticeship programmes so that they meet the specific needs of both the apprentice and the organisation but within the overall framework of the apprentice programme. This recognises that different organisations will have different profiles of children, operate in a variety of socio-economic climates, have specific developmental targets and a specific and distinctive ethos.

Apprentices working with children with special educational needs

There are a range of mandatory and optional units in each programme. We will work with the setting to design the programme to support specific roles e.g. those working with children with learning difficulties, behavioural disorders, physical and mental disabilities, etc., so that on graduation the apprentices is better equipped to support the widest variety of need. Where there is a particular special needs training requirement that cannot be delivered as part of the apprenticeship, we will add this learning to the programme.

Apprenticeship: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding apprenticeships. If these do not answer your query please send us your question using the button at the bottom of this page.

  • All apprenticeships have a minimum duration of 12 months.
  • Most of our programmes are set at 12 -14 months. The level 3 Early years educator is an 18 month programme.
  • If we agree an apprentice can work less than 30 hrs a week, the duration of the apprenticeship will be extended accordingly.

Employers with an annual payroll that exceeds £3m are subject to a levy of 3% of their payroll bill that can only be used to fund apprenticeship programmes. These employers are known as levy paying employers.

All other employers are referred to as Non-levy paying employers. Apprenticeships for non-levy employers are funded by the government using a Co-investment model whereby the government contributes 95% of the cost and the employer must contribute the remaining 5% cost of the training. The training provider is responsible for collecting the employer contribution and reporting sums collected this to the government.

Apprenticeships are funded by the government, funds are held in a digital account. Since January 2020 all small (SME) employers including nurseries and pre-schools can set up and use a digital account. The account is used to request funds to cover the costs of apprenticeship training and to select a training provider to deliver the training. If you are part of a larger, levy paying organisation e.g. you are maintained by a local authority, then the authority would hold the funds and you can request some of these to be allocated to support your apprentices training programme.  

If you are a levy paying employer the cost of the apprenticeship is paid in full from funds in your digital account.

If you are a non levy paying employer the costs of apprenticeship training is met in full by the government for any apprentices aged between 16 and 18 years old. For apprentices aged 19 or over, the government will fund 95% of the training costs. The employer must may the additional 5%. Foe example the Early Years Educator apprenticeship costs £6,000, the employer has to contribute £300. The contribution is paid directly to the training provider who must report collection to the government. 

 

If the funding is required to upskill existing staff members, it may be that that person already has some of the skills and knowledge due to them being in post for a period or having achieved some qualifications relevant to the job role e.g. short CPD courses. We will assess this prior skills and knowledge and reduce the cost of the apprenticeship training accordingly.  

In addition to using apprenticeship fund to train new apprentices, the government encourages employers to use apprenticeship programmes to upskill existing staff. There is no upper age limit and it does not matter how long a staff member has been in post. The question is whether the training can provider new skills, knowledge and behaviours that increase the effectiveness of the staff member will provide career progression opportunities? 

Yes, your apprentice funds can be used to fund a wide range of job rolesTypical roles in your organisation might include: Business administration, Marketing and Digital Marketing, Management, Team Leader/Supervisor, Management. The Institute for Apprenticeship and Technical Education website lists all available apprenticeships. 

To be eligible to become an apprentice an individual must;

  • Be aged 16 or over. There is no upper age limit
  • Have a contract of employment for a minimum of 30hrs per week. Individuals working less than 30 hours may be admitted at discretion.
  • Have lived in the UK for a minimum of 3yrs
  • Have the right to work in England and have an eligible residency status.
  • Pass an initial literacy & numeracy assessment at level E3 to be eligible for a level 1 course or pass at level 1 to be eligible for a level 2 course.

In addition to the apprentice receiving a contract of employment, each apprentice must be given an apprenticeship agreement as defined in section 32 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, which is a 3 way agreement between the apprentice, the employer and the training provider in which,

The employer: Provides employment paid at least at the apprenticeship minimum wage, a safe environment and mentoring support to the apprentice to ensure the skills and knowledge obtained during training can be developed in the workplace. The employer will also enable 20% of the apprentices paid time to be spent receiving training that is part of their apprenticeship. Most importantly the employer will work with the training provider and apprentice at the beginning of the programme to design the course to meet the needs of the apprentice and the employer.

There is no obligation on the employer to retain a newly recruited apprentice ones the apprenticeship programme is complete however it is expected that if an employer recruits an apprentice their intention is to keep that apprentice once the apprenticeship is complete and conditions allow.

The apprentice; confirms they will; regularly attend teaching sessions, complete assessments set in a timely fashion, receive mentoring support and guidance from their employer and tutor. Complete addition study in their own time as required. Regularly record time spent completing activities on their online portfolio. Communicate regular with their tutor as required.

The training provider; delivers the training to the apprentice ensuring they are given the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to complete the programme and add value to their employer.

Apprentices are employees and as such are governed by National Minimum wage rules. There is a special rate for apprentices which for fiscal year starting April 2020 is set at a minimum of £4.11 per hour. Employers can set whatever pay rate is appropriate based on affordability, market conditions and good practice as long as it is at or above the minimum wage.

The apprenticeship minimum wage is valid for the duration of the apprenticeship whilst the apprentice is aged between 16 and 18 yrs old inclusive. An apprentices who is aged 19 or over can be paid the apprenticeship minimum wage for the fist 12 months only, after this they must be paid at least the national minimum wage for their age.

We recommend that where possible, apprentices are paid at least national minimum wage for their age group not the apprenticeship wage.

It is recognised that young apprentices (16-18), typically require additional mentoring and support from both employer and provider. This is especially true for school leavers and for those where this would be their first job. To support this additional input both the employer and provider receive a grant of £1,000 each to support apprentice in this age range. £500 is paid after the apprentice has been on programme for 90 days, the balance if the apprentice remains on programme after 365 days. The training provider draws down the funds form the government and will make the payment directly to the employer.

  • 20% of the paid time spend on programme must be reserved for off the job training (OTJT). This is a vital part of the programme and ensures the apprentice is able to dedicate time to academic study and receiving focused mentoring support. It is a key component of the legally binding apprenticeship contract.
  • During the enrolment phase the apprentice employer and training provider will agree how the OTJT training element of the programme will be delivered and the activities that can be counted as OTJT.
  • The course tutor will monitor tis at least monthly to ensure it is being delivered.
  • The training provider is responsible for ensuring the OTJT is taken place.
  • The apprenticeship cannot be completed unless all the agreed OTJT hours have been completed.
  • It is envisioned that the majority of the OTJT this will be completed whilst staff are working from home during the current COVID-19 crises.
  • It is acknowledged that there will be some apprentices, particularly those who have been working in a role for some time, who will have naturally acquired skills and knowledge for existing CPD programmes and prior qualifications. The training provider will assess and record these knowledge and skills before the programme commences. This will be recorded as recognised prior learning (RPL). The level of skills & knowledge will be assessed as part for programme recruitment process.
  • If the funding is required to upskill existing staff members, it may be that that person already has some of the skills and knowledge due to them being in post for a period or having achieved some qualifications relevant to the job role e.g. short CPD courses. We will assess this prior skills and knowledge and reduce the cost of the apprenticeship training accordingly.
  • and the course for that learners designed accordingly which could include a reduced duration, exemption from certain modules and special “stretch & challenge” modules being introduced.
  • RPL would normally result in a reduction of course fees.

End point assessment (EPA) was introduced as part of the recent apprenticeship reforms designed to improve the quality and integrity of apprenticeships. Once an apprentice has completed their training programme they are referred to an external End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) to assess the knowledge and competence of the apprentices following a specification approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE).

  • Apprenticeships are governed by The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE)
  • Component qualifications are regulated by Ofqual
  • The awarding body is Pearson/Edexcel for maths & English qualification and either the diploma or certificate qualifications as required.
  • All apprenticeship courses are designed to ensure learners achieve an accredited qualification at level 2 (GCSE 4/5) in both English and Maths if they have not already achieved these.

We recognise the need to work with each organisation to customise and contextualise our apprenticeship programmes so that they meet the specific needs of both the apprentice and the organisation but within the overall framework of the apprentice programme. This recognises that different organisations will have different profiles of children, operate in a variety of socio-economic climates, have specific developmental targets and a specific and distinctive ethos. At the beginning of each apprenticeship wil work you to ensure and your apprentice.

We can work with you to develop an Early Years CPD programme which meets the individual needs of a particular staff member or staff groups, or one which is designed to meet an organisation need. Some of these programmes can be funded depending on what is required and other the eligibility of individual staff members.