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What’s the difference between a Traineeship and an Apprenticeship?
Traineeships are aimed at giving 16-24 year-olds the opportunity to develop the skills they need to find, and succeed in, employment or progress onto an Apprenticeship. They are comprised of three main elements to prepare you for an Apprenticeship, including English and Maths, work preparation skills and a practical work placement with a local employer. Traineeships are unpaid (however travel expenses and costs of meals may be reimbursed) and should be viewed as a stepping stone into work. They can last anywhere between six weeks and six months. Apprenticeships are designed to enable an individual to progress within a business over a longer period of time whilst gaining nationally recognised qualifications. An Apprenticeship is a career, not just a job. Apprenticeships are for those aged 16 or over who are not in full time education and can last anywhere between one and five years.
How much will an Apprenticeship cost my child?
An Apprenticeship won’t cost you a thing. Apprenticeships are fully-funded between the government and your child’s employer so your only expenses will be getting to and from work or training. And with full employment benefits, apprentices earn a salary while they learn.
What can my child earn in an Apprenticeship?
As of the 1st April 2020, the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices is £4.15 an hour, but many employers pay more than this. In fact, some higher Apprenticeships can pay as much as £500 per week. However, more than just earning a salary, your child will receive training in the skills employers want, increasing their future earning potential. Apprentices receive marked salary increases on completion of their training and the roles often offer great opportunities for progression.
Isn’t university a better option?
While it is widely acknowledged that full-time education, such as college, sixth form or university is a proven route into employment, this route does not always offer the valuable work experience that an Apprenticeship can offer and there’s still no guarantee of a job at the end. Apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn, and give you the opportunity to develop the skills employers really want, including specific skills relating to your job, their company and your sector.
How do I know if my child is eligible?
If your child is aged 16 or over and not in full time education, then they are eligible to start an Apprenticeship. They can also apply for a position if they will be 16 at the commencement of the scheme.
How do I get involved?
Is an Apprenticeship contract an employment contract?
Yes. Apprentices are employees just like any other, and they are entitled to be paid. They are also entitled to the other rights that employees enjoy. You should remember, though, that apprentices may be paid at a different rate to conventional employees.
Is the role permanent?
There is no guarantee of a job at the end of an Apprenticeship but it has been widely shown to be a highly effective means of entering a profession. Bear in mind that training an apprentice involves a lot of work for the company in question. They are unlikely to carry out this work unless they are keen to take someone on at the end of it. Similarly, you should remember that Apprenticeships provide employers with the opportunity to build a workforce with the specific skills that they require.
How much training will my child receive?
An Apprenticeship is a training scheme that focuses on ‘on-the-job’ work, rather than classroom-based learning. Apprentices are taken on by companies, and they are treated as employees. They learn a trade by doing it.
That is not to say, though, that there is no formal learning element. As well as the on-the-job training, apprentices may also carry out certain classroom-based activities.
How long will it take?
Apprenticeship training can take between one and five years to complete, but the length of an Apprenticeship depends on its level, the industry in question and the skills the apprentice already has.
What do the different levels mean compared to GCSEs, A levels and degrees?
- Intermediate Apprenticeship – Level 2; equivalent to five GCSEs at grade C or above
- Advanced Apprenticeship – Level 3; equivalent to two A level passes
- Higher Apprenticeship –
- Level 4: equivalent to an HNC
- Level 5: equivalent to an HND or a Foundation Degree
- Level 6: equivalent to an Undergraduate Degree
- Level 7: equivalent to a Master’s Degree
- Degree: Degree Apprenticeships offer a full degree, paid for by your employer
How will an Apprenticeship affect child benefits?
For parents to continue to receive benefits (e.g. Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit) after their son or daughter has turned 16, the young person needs to stay in full-time education (at a school sixth form, college or on another approved training course). At the present, you cannot claim Child Benefit for a son/daughter who starts an Apprenticeship, although they will be earning their own wage, and any Tax Credits you receive will be affected by the loss of Child Benefit. For more information on how Apprenticeships may impact your government benefits, visit www.gov.uk/child-benefit-16-19.