The College of West Anglia

Students & Parents – Apprenticeships FAQ

So you, or your child, are thinking about an apprenticeship? We have compiled frequently asked questions from students and parents/carers for your reference.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace. At college, usually on a day-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications. More and more apprenticeships are being run in the workplace, which means college staff visit learners to observe practical work and set assignments.

Who are they for?

All apprenticeships are for 16+ year olds. There may be different entry requirements for apprenticeships depending on the occupational sector. You need to be living in England and not taking part in full-time education.

Competition for places with employers can be fierce, so you/they will need to show commitment and awareness of responsibilities to both yourself and the company who employ you. Apprentices also need to be happy to work as both part of a team and individually, and be able to theiryour own initiative.

What do I/they learn?

An apprenticeship framework usually includes an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification), a technical certificate (competency and knowledge based) and functional skills in English and maths. Please see each individual course detail for specific details on the framework for each subject.

Where do they take place?

Most of the time is spent in the workplace, with additional training taking place at college, either on a day or block release basis. More and more of our courses are delivered solely in the workplace.

Do I have to pay?

There are currently no fees payable by young people on apprenticeship programmes. Fees may be payable by the employer if you are a 19 or older.

Do I/they get paid?

All apprentices must receive a minimum wage, set by government. However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages – in fact, research has found that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week. As is the case for all employees aged over 16, apprentices must still pay tax and national insurance on their income.

What do I/they get from college?

Our job is to ensure that your training fits your personal requirements, offers the skills needed for the job and satisfies national standards. We also offer personal and learning support, including promotion of equality and diversity.

What levels of apprenticeship are available?

We offer intermediate level apprenticeships (level 2) and advanced level apprenticeships (level 3) in a variety of subjects.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Our apprenticeships range from 1-4 years depending on the level and subject.

How will I/they get to college?

For apprentices who live too far away to travel to college on a daily basis, assistance may be available. Please contact student services at your campus of study.