An apprenticeship is a nationally recognised training programme combining real work with learning and training, both on and off the job. An apprentice may receive a wage whilst training and working towards the full apprenticeship. If an apprentice does not receive a wage they will receive an allowance from the Government. All apprentices undertaking a level three apprenticeship will be paid by their employer.
Apprenticeships are available to anyone from the age of 16, subject to minimum entry requirements, and are often available at both level 2 and 3.
The apprenticeship programme consists of a number of component parts. Through the programme an apprentice will develop and demonstrate their knowledge and skills and prove their occupational competence whilst also demonstrating that they have met the standards in key skill/functional skill areas such as numeracy, literacy and communication.
The remaining part of the apprenticeship is being aware of, and having an understanding of employment rights and responsibilities. Whilst these individual parts may be assessed separately, only when all parts are successfully achieved will an apprentice receive an apprenticeship certificate.
An apprenticeship framework is based around an NVQ (national vocational qualification). These qualifications are developed and approved by people who work in the industry, and are designed to measure practical skills and job knowledge by assessing work on the job.
An apprenticeship comprises the following:
- national vocational qualification (NVQ)
- relevant technical certificate
- key skills or functional skills qualifications, and
- employers rights and responsibilities briefing.
The sector skills council or sector body with responsibility for the occupational sector develops the framework for the apprenticeship, which is then delivered by training providers. As an employer of an apprentice you will be expected to pay a training salary, provide opportunities for on-the-job training and allow time to attend classes.
Many apprenticeships are suitable for school support staff. To find out more and how to become involved, please visit the Apprenticeships website, which includes a list of programmes available.
The TDA manages the apprenticeship for supporting teaching and learning in schools. There is an Apprenticeship (national qualification framework level 2) or Advanced Apprenticeship (national qualification framework level 3).
This apprenticeship applies to:
- teaching classroom assistants
- learning support assistants
- special needs assistants
- additional needs assistants
- behaviour support assistants/coordinators
- pastoral/welfare support
- bilingual support assistants
- foundation stage assistants
- cover supervisors/ managers
- teaching assistants with exam invigilation responsibilities
- learning guides
- learning coaches