Get ready for National Apprenticeship Week

Tuesday 27 February

National Apprenticeship Week runs from March 5th-9th.

The week long campaign is intended to promote and raise awareness of apprenticeships to employers, young people, parents and those seeking to upskill or change their career.

The theme for the week this year is ‘Apprenticeships Work’, showcasing how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers, the community and the wider economy

As usual, Myerscough College will use the week to extensively promote the range of apprenticeship, traineeship, and work-based provision available, sharing success stories and answering key questions about how people can get involved in a programme.

Apprenticeships are becoming more and more high profile, as Lee Price, Employer Services Manager at Myerscough College explains: “Delivering high quality apprenticeships that meet both employer and individual learner needs is something we are highly passionate about at Myerscough College.

‘’Recognised as one of the largest providers of workplace learning in the land-based sector, Myerscough College’s Apprenticeship training is focussed on delivering key benefits for employers and learners alike.”

What about wages?

“Employers are responsible for all wage payments to apprentices. All apprentices are employed, and must have an up to date contract of employment. Ideally, a salary should be offered that reflects the job role and the skills and experience of the candidate, whilst recognising the training opportunity being offered. All apprentices must be paid in line with national minimum wage rules.”

“From April, 2018, a minimum wage of £3.70 per hour must be paid to all apprentices who are under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. Individuals not falling into these categories should be paid the National Minimum Wage. Apprentices must be employed for at least 30 hours per week and for a sufficient period of time that allows them to complete their apprenticeship.”

How long do apprenticeships take to complete?

“The duration of an apprenticeship depends on the standard or framework being followed and the ability of the individual Apprentice. An apprenticeship can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of apprenticeship, their ability and the industry sector. As our apprenticeships are tailored to individual need completion time can vary from candidate to candidate. No apprenticeship can last less than 12 months. “

What exactly is an apprenticeship?

“Apprenticeships develop practical and theoretical skills designed to help employees reach a high level of competency and performance in a particular job role and sector.  They can now be Standards or Frameworks and apprentices will work to a learning plan and then at some stage be required to demonstrate the competence and skills required to complete the programme.“

Who pays for the training?

“Apprenticeships can be funded in a number of ways, and this can range from part funding to full funding depending on the size of your employer. Currently funding is available through the Skills Funding Agency to support the delivery of training, and can be accessed to support the development needs of new or existing employees. Employers with 50 staff or more are expected to contribute a min 10% towards the negotiated cost of the apprenticeship training. Those with a payroll in excess of £3million will fund apprenticeships through their levy account within the Digital Apprenticeship System (DAS).”

Explain the much publicised Apprenticeship reforms?

“The government has set a challenging target of recruiting three million Apprentices by the year 2020. Reforms to apprenticeships continue to grow momentum and we are now seeing the introduction of a new range of Apprenticeship Standards which will replace the apprenticeship Frameworks currently available. Current frameworks will be phased out as apprentices move across to the new Standards when ready for delivery.”

What is the Apprenticeships Levy?

“Businesses whose annual payroll costs exceed £3 million will be required to contribute 0.5% of their payroll.  Levy monies will help fund the recruitment of enthusiastic young people into the UK workforce as well as support the skills development of your existing employees. Levy funds can only be spent on the delivery of Apprenticeships, Frameworks or Standards.”

What about apprenticeship funding for small businesses that do not have to pay the levy?

“From May, 2017, employers with 49 staff or less, who offer apprenticeships to 16 to 18 year olds, will receive 100 percent of the cost of the training from the Government up to the maximum funding bands.“

“Employers will have to pay 10% of the cost of the apprenticeship training for those aged 19 and over and the government will pay the remaining 90 per cent, up to the maximum funding bands. This support applies to all age groups.”

Employers with more than 50 staff who are not levy payers will be expected to pay a min 10% of the negotiated apprenticeship training costs.

Are there any cash incentives for Employers?

“There is currently a £1,000 incentive for taking on an apprentice aged 16 to 18. The incentive also applies to care leavers, and those with an EHCP (Educational Health Care Plan), who are aged 19-24. The incentive is paid in two instalments; 50% after 3 months and then the remainder after 12 months of programme attendance.”

What are Apprenticeship ‘Trailblazer’ standards?

“Following a series of consultations the way apprenticeships are delivered are gradually changing as apprenticeship standards are introduced. Under the new system employers will play an enhanced role in the planning and deliver of apprenticeships.”

“New apprenticeship standards are gradually being introduced across a range of programmes. Myerscough College became the first land-based college to introduce a standard, enrolling the first learner onto the New Golf Greenkeeping Apprenticeship.”

“We now deliver against the new standards in horticulture, greenkeeping and groundsmanship. This includes the new IOG Sportsturf Operative Level 2 Standard.”

How do I find an apprentice?

“College’s and training providers can support you every step of the way.  Myerscough College offer a FREE recruitment service for any employer in England who’s apprentice enrols onto programmes with us.”

If you need any further information please contact Employer Services at Myerscough College on 01995 642255 or email

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by Dave Salmon

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