Apprenticeships: Applicant Queries

An apprenticeship is when an individual works and learns at the same time. Apprentices are employed with a contract. They get paid a salary and are entitled to all statutory benefits like holiday and sick pay.

What makes an apprenticeship different is that you work towards a set of professional competencies alongside your job. These are skills, knowledge and behaviours which will be directly relevant to the job that you are doing, whatever role you are working in.

Apprenticeships can be a suitable option for anyone wanting to learn while working and earning. You can even achieve a full HND Bachelor’s or Master’s degree on a higher apprenticeship. You can achieve ambitious career goals by following the apprenticeship pathway.

Yes, anyone over the age of 16 who has completed year 11 or the equivalent can start an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships start at any point in the year. You can become an apprentice at any working age.

Yes. If you already have a job and wish to gain a nationally recognised qualification in that role, an apprenticeship is a great way to do it. 

There are different levels of apprenticeship: Intermediate, Advanced, Higher, and Degree-level.

There are different factors to consider when working out which level you will start your apprenticeship at. It will depend on your qualifications, how much experience you have, and what the job role is. Your Trainer and employer will help you determine which level to start at.

During your apprenticeship, you will work towards a nationally recognised apprenticeship standard. This is accredited by relevant industry regulatory bodies and will help further your career. Depending on the type of apprenticeship, you may also have the chance to work towards other recognised qualifications and functional skills in maths and English.

A higher apprenticeship is different to getting a degree as you are employed in a job whilst you study. Depending on the type of higher apprenticeship that you undertake, you could be working towards a degree, or you could be working to achieve other professional qualifications. It might take a bit longer to achieve than if you were studying full time, but the benefits are that:

– You will still be earning a full-time salary whilst you study

– Your employer is likely to cover the cost of any Higher Education fees for you

– You will still be paid if you have to attend any classroom-based learning

Degree apprenticeships are at levels 6 and 7 and will include a Bachelors degree at level 6 and a Masters degree at level 7.

All apprenticeship applicants complete an initial assessment in both maths and English. If you have previous qualifications, such as GCSEs at a C grade or above, you will not need to complete any further maths and English qualifications. If you do not have a previous qualification, you must achieve the relevant level of functional skills for your apprenticeship before your gateway. We aim to have all functional skills completed in the first three months of any apprenticeship with the support of our expert maths and English teachers.

The length of an apprenticeship can vary because it is flexible to meet the requirements of the individual and the employer. It also takes into account the prior skills levels of the apprentice, so if you have already achieved some of the requirements, your apprenticeship might be shorter. The length also depends on the apprenticeship standard you are doing. Generally, apprenticeships take at least 12 months to complete and can take up to 4 years at higher levels.

This depends on the type of apprenticeship and your job role. Some qualifications are quicker to achieve than others. For example, an LGV apprenticeship can normally be achieved in 13 months, whereas an Engineering apprenticeship might take up to 4 years to complete.

Once you have secured an apprenticeship, a representative from TRS Training will speak to you and your employer about your job role and the skills you would like to develop. We will be responsible for ensuring that you are put on the correct apprenticeship level. We will provide you with support throughout your apprenticeship.

TRS Training offers a flexible delivery model for apprenticeship training, including online classroom learning, self-directed study and one-to-one support.

The apprenticeship is a work-based qualification. Your Trainer will work with you through teaching sessions face-to-face or virtually and support you in building an apprenticeship portfolio of evidence throughout your programme. 

The majority of our apprenticeships consist of on-the-job training with no requirement to train offsite. The exception to this is the LGV apprenticeship, where you will need to visit a local driving school. The majority of our delivery models use online classrooms.

Across the length of an apprenticeship, you have teaching sessions every four to eight weeks.

Towards the end of your apprenticeship, you will meet with your Trainer and manager to determine whether you are ready for your End-point Assessment (EPA). The EPA is completed to assess the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you have learnt throughout the apprenticeship. You will practice parts of the EPA assessment throughout the apprenticeship. Remember, you will only take the final assessment when you feel ready. The content of the EPA will vary, depending on the course you are completing.

The main difference between the two are:

On-the-job: this is where you learn whilst you work. You will develop your skills through instruction by work colleagues, for example, who will show you how to carry out specific tasks. This training could be formal (in a structured session) or informal (where it might be unplanned).

Off-the-job: this is when you learn and develop your skills and knowledge away from your daily job, by attending online learning sessions, for example.

End Point Assessment (EPA) is the last phase of an apprenticeship. The EPA process assesses that the apprentice has met all the knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements to achieve the apprenticeship standard.

Each apprenticeship has a standard. This is a short document setting out the main purpose of the apprenticeship, the job roles linked to the standard and the expected knowledge, skills and behaviours that the apprentice should have achieved. There are more than 600 different apprenticeship standards available.

To reach EPA, the apprentice will have completed a series of activities and tasks with their employer and training provider. They will then jointly agree that the apprentice is ready to move forward for their End Point Assessment. This stage is called ‘the gateway’.

The process of EPA is different for each apprenticeship standard. It could include a range of different activities such as:

  • Presentation of a portfolio
  • Professional discussion
  • Test
  • Practical demonstration

The whole process of EPA is coordinated and conducted by a third-party organisation not connected to the employer or training provider. This organisation is called the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO).

If you have not passed any elements of your EPA, you will usually be able to re-take the necessary parts.

You will have achieved your full apprenticeship when you have successfully completed your EPA. You will receive a pass/merit/distinction grade (this varies between apprenticeships). You will then receive your apprenticeship certificate, issued by the Education & Skills Funding Agency on behalf of the Department for Education.

Credit: some of the material in these FAQs has been developed by Amazing Apprenticeships.