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What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an employee who whilst working, studies towards nationally recognised work based qualifications which are designed around the needs of employers. Apprenticeships are offered in a vast range of qualifications and can be used for both new and existing members of staff.

Apprenticeships offer a structured learning framework for job relevant skills in a particular industry or sector. These ‘frameworks’ vary in capability and can assist candidates from the very start of their career right through to their more advanced stages.

Depending on the sector and job role, an Apprenticeship can take anything between one to four years to complete and may require the apprentice attending some time at the local college or specialist training organisation.

Apprentices need to be employed for at least 16 hours per week, which includes any time with the provider.

A majority of the training takes place in the work place, though this is dependent upon on the apprenticeship framework. Some training for the technical element will take place at a local college or a specialist training organisation, which can be done on day release or over a number of days.

The Apprenticeship Framework consists of a Vocational qualification and knowledge based learning:

  • A competencies qualification (QCF or NVQ); the apprentice must demonstrate competence in performing the specific skill, trade or occupation in which the framework relates in the workplace.
  • A technical knowledge qualification where the apprentice demonstrates an achievement of the technical skills, knowledge and understanding or theoretical concepts, as well as knowledge and understanding of the industry and its market relevance to the skill, trade or occupation to which the framework relates.
  • Depending on the occupational framework e.g. health and Social care the knowledge is achieved through the QCF units dedicated to the knowledge requirements.
  • Essential Skills Wales (ESW) which consist of Numeracy, Literacy and Digital. These can be achieved through the medium of Welsh or English
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