Information for parents and carers

Apprenticeships: What parents and carers need to know.

So, what is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are designed by employers to ensure that the training undertaken is matched to the skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need for that role and career.

Apprenticeships allow people to gain both the practical skills and experience as well theoretical knowledge required at the same time.

All apprentices spend a minimum of 6 hours per week working towards a nationally recognised qualification, paid for by the employer.

Apprenticeships are no longer solely for engineers or craftspeople; there are now over 600 different types of apprenticeship across every industry and sector, with this number growing each year.

Apprenticeships are continuing to grow in popularity, with over 75% of young people now considering an apprenticeship as the best way to shape their future career.

Apprenticeships are no longer a second-choice option to going to university; in fact, apprentices can now undertake Degrees and even Master’s, all funded by their employer.

Apprenticeships are more than achieving a qualification, they give individuals valuable work experience and a great insight into how a business works.

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone who is:

  • Aged 16 or over by the end of the school summer holidays
  • Has lived in the UK for 3 years+
  • Is not in full-time education*

If you are in full-time education you can apply for an apprenticeship, but you must either finish or leave before starting the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship levels

Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 to Level 7 and are categorised as:

  • Intermediate – level 2 – equivalent to 5 GCSEs at 4/C and above.
  • Advanced – level 3 – equivalent to 2 A-levels passes.
  • Higher – level 4-7 – Foundation degree and above
  • Degree – level 6-7 – Bachelor’s or master’s degree

How is the training delivered?

Apprentices are employed full time and as part of this are paid to study towards their qualification. Depending on the type of apprenticeship this study could involve either day or block release to a college or training provider or delivery on the job or virtually by the training provider. Apprentices are given a minimum of 6 hours per week to study so that they are able to complete the requirements to achieve their qualifications.

Who funds apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are funded by the employer, so there is no cost to the apprentice.

Are apprentices just given basic tasks?

Some people still mistakenly think that the role of the apprentice is to make the tea, sweep the floor and undertake basic tasks that others don’t want to or don’t have the time to do.

This may have been the case many years ago, but apprentices are a key part of us training the next generation talent and to do this we ensure that they are given a wide range of tasks and supported to fulfil their potential. 

How are apprentices supported?

We recognise that for many people an apprenticeship will be their first experience in the world of work and this may come with some nerves about what to expect and the support they will receive.

In addition to the support our apprentices will receive from their manager and team, they also have a dedicated Apprenticeship Officer that will work with them to provide:

  • Pastoral care and mentoring
  • Access to additional learning and development opportunities
  • Career advice and guidance
  • Employability support

The council also has a Young Employees Network ‘Generation CCC’ where they can meet other young employees and apprentices to socialise, provide mutual support and access to further development opportunities.

Do apprentices go into jobs when they finish?

Apprenticeships are a key part of our plans to train the Council’s workforce of the future so we do all we can do to ensure our apprentices stay with us after completing their apprenticeship.

Due to this approach over 95% out of 10 Council apprentices who finished in 2021/22 went into employment.

If you have any other questions that aren’t covered here, please see our ‘Your questions answered’ page or get in touch using the contact details below.