Employer FAQs

If you are a learner looking for more information, please click here.

Apprentices aged 16 -24 can be fully funded so that there is no training cost apart from the apprentice’s wages.

We can also access other funds to help towards the cost of the course for anyone over the age of 19, subject to availability. Each Apprentice is assigned a qualified assessor to support them through their programme of study. The assessor will come into the workplace at least once a month to work with the Apprentice and complete the assessments and knowledge units.

Do you have questions about our Level 1 courses? Click here to find out more.

See below some FAQ’s about Apprenticeships and our Serco Funded courses…

Questions

Answers

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Approximately 12-18 months

What is the normal apprenticeship working week?

Apprentices work a minimum of 30 hours a week. The average is usually 37-40 hours a week, so it fits in with the industry they work in. Please note, this does not include night work.

How much will I get paid?

As of April 2022, the minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.30 per hour. This applies to any apprentice under 19 years of age, or anyone 19 and above who is in their first year of an apprenticeship. Anyone over 19 who has finished their first year is entitled to national minimum wage:

23 and over 21 to 22 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2021 £9.50 £9.18 £6.83 £4.81 £4.81

So, for example, a 24 year old apprentice doing the first year of their course is entitled to £4.81 p/h.

A 19 year old doing the second year of their course is entitled to £6.83 p/h

Of course, this is only the national minimum rates and lots of employers choose to pay their apprentices more than this.

What if I don’t like the course?

Starting an apprenticeship is a commitment, and you should not embark on one without giving it serious consideration. Of course, things can go wrong- maybe you’ve realised the industry isn’t the right fit for you, or you’ve decided you want to pursue a more academic route.  Neither of these is a reason to quit an apprenticeship- stick with it if you can. Within 12 months, you’ll have gained a nationally recognised qualification equivalent to 2 A levels (for level 3), and have a wealth of practical experience which includes many transferable skills if you choose to pursue something else later. Work readiness skills are not to be overlooked and many employers value this as highly as, or even higher than, academic skills.

Apprenticeships can also be changed. Let’s say you were doing a Level 2 Business Administration, based equally within two departments. If you do a few weeks and decide that one avenue is more focused to your interests or skills, talk to your line manager- you may find they are happy to alter your course for you. After all, employers want their employees to be happy too!

Can I do two apprentices at the same time?

It’s not possible to do two apprenticeships simultaneously as each contract is for full time positions, i.e. a minimum of 30 hours a week. However, there is nothing stopping you finishing one apprenticeship and then doing a different one- as long as it’s not the same as one you’ve already done. So for example, you can do a level 2 Business Administration, then a level 3 Business Administration, then maybe a level 2 Health and Social Care… etc.

How will an apprenticeship benefit me?

With the cost of university climbing higher and higher, and the job market becoming more and more competitive, apprenticeships are fast becoming a popular alternative, and for good reason. There are many benefits to being an apprentice, such as:

  1. Earn while you learn- gain knowledge and skills in your preferred industry, without accruing huge debts.
  2. Hands-on experience- learn the skills needed in your profession, in a practical rather than theoretical setting.
  3. Networking- starting work earlier than someone who chooses an academic route allows you to build relationships and connection with people in the industry. After all, it’s all about who you know!
  4. Self-confidence- many of our apprenticeships report that they feel very confident in their role, and have more faith in their ability.

Does the apprenticeship involve day release?

No, we provide our own bespoke, tailor-made training programmes to meet the needs of the employer and the young person so all training can be undertaken at the workplace.

What responsibilities will I have as an apprentice?

An apprentice is an employee, and is therefore subject to all the same rules as their colleagues. You will be expected to adhere to all company policies and procedures, and will be treated just as fairly as any other. Of course, you will not be expected to perform tasks with the same level of skill or speediness as someone who has being doing the job for years… but you will be expected to follow instructions, so always ask for help when needed! You’ll be given an induction to your role, and will have plenty of training- both on and off the job. As an apprentice, you will have someone assigned to oversee your work and support you in your role; the amount of independence you have in your role depends on how confident and capable you are.

As for particular duties, that will depend on the position you’ve applied for. Your responsibilities will be set out for you at application.

What can I do after an apprenticeship?

There are several routes of progression after completing an apprenticeship.

  1. Advance to a higher level of apprenticeship-

If you enjoyed your level 2 childcare, you could progress to a level 3 childcare and pursue a supervisory position with your own key children, for example.

  1. Stay with the company-

The vast majority of apprentices remain in employment once completing their course. Over two-thirds of these remain with the same company. After all, 1 in 5 employers say members of their higher management team are former apprentices.

  1. Work for another company-

An apprenticeship is a nationally recognised qualification, and is highly valued by employers. Upon completing your apprenticeship, if you find there isn’t a position for you at your current company, or you want to pursue different opportunities- go for it! With a minimum of a year of practical experience, plus a qualification, you’ll have an advantage over school leavers or graduates when applying for positions.

  1. University-

Having chosen to take the apprenticeship route, don’t think you’ve shut the door on higher education. A level 3 apprenticeship is considered equivalent to 2 A levels, and although not strictly awarded UCAS points, most universities will happily accept experience gained through an apprenticeship. Higher apprenticeships (level 4) can sometimes lead to a recognised foundation degree, and some even offer the opportunity to progress to level 7, which is equivalent to postgraduate degree level. Several universities have started to offer a new programme of Degree Apprenticeships; 3-6 years of a working with part time day release at university, in which you will qualify with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

What happens if I can no longer afford my apprentice?

This has never come up so far, we cannot offer you employment advice.

Do I have to treat an apprentice differently to my other staff?

Obviously an apprentice is not going to work at the same speed as an experienced staff member or have the same amount of knowledge, however they should follow instructions given to them as you would with the rest of your staff.

Do I have to give my apprentice extra breaks compared to what my current staff members get?

They get the same breaks as your other members of staff, minimum of 30 minutes if they are working over 6 hours.

Do they get holiday pay?

Yes apprentices will get a holiday entitlement that they are allowed to take.

Can I pay higher than the apprenticeship wage?

Yes of course you can, the minimum apprentice wage is only there to protect the apprentice to make sure they earn a reasonable wage, many employers like to reward their apprentice by paying higher.

Do I have to be there when the assessor comes out?

No, we like you to be there to meet the assessor during the sign up process and after that it is the learner that the assessor needs to see, some employers do like to be present when the assessor comes out to support the apprentice and to discuss any issues.

How can I support my apprentice?

Apprentices can be supported by their employer in many different ways, for example regular feedback, constructive feedback, buddying them up with more experienced members of staff are all popular ways of providing support to your apprentice. Supporting the 20% off the job training will also benefit your apprentice and ensure that it counts towards a quality apprenticeship.

Do I as the employer have access to the one file system to see my apprentices work?

Yes, an employer log in can be provided to the employer.

What experience do your assessors have?

All of our assessors are fully qualified, experience differs between assessors but many of our assessors have been with Aspire for many years.

What if I am not happy with my apprentice’s assessor?

This is incredibly rare, if an instance does occur it is always worth having a chat with the assessor and explaining why you are not happy. If this doesn’t resolve the problem we are able to change your assessor in extreme situations.

How long are the Serco Funded courses?

Up to 10 weeks although you can finish them quicker if you wish.

How many Serco Funded courses can my team do?

Your team members will only be able to do 1 at a time, on completion there might be an opportunity to choose a second course should if they wish.

Who are these Serco courses funded by?

They are funded by the European Social Fund (ESF)

Will my team receive a certificate for completing their Serco course?

Yes, they will.

Will my team need to go anywhere to complete their Serco course or is everything done online?

The great thing about these courses is that everything is done online so your team members can complete them from work or home.