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What is an apprenticeship?

Kyle Moulding, HR Central Recruitment

An apprenticeship is a work-based method of training that involves job shadowing and performing tasks under direct or indirect supervision.

Apprentices are supported and guided by their departments as they work through their apprenticeship qualification, while also maintaining the benefits of being a full-time member of staff (i.e. annual leave, etc).

Apprentices are contracted to work for a fixed term of 12/15 months on an Intermediate Apprenticeship, 18 months for an Advanced Apprenticeship or 24 or more months for a Higher Apprenticeship

All apprenticeships are full time so you will be required to work 37.5 hours per week.

Apprentices get paid Apprenticeship wage for the first twelve months of their contract (£240 per week), or the Enhanced Wage (£259.84) if they are required to work weekends. For the remaining time on the programme, they are paid national minimum wage for their age. These figures are accurate as of April 2024.

Apprenticeships include the following:

  • Learning on the job and carrying out training which is relevant to your job role.
  • Spending 20% of your working hours completing off the job training. Please note: working hours are capped at 30 hours a week for funding purposes only. For a full-time apprentice working more than 30 hours a week, this is an average of six hours a week over the planned duration of the apprenticeship.  This can include:
    • Completion of coursework
    • Undertaking the Cavendish Care Certificate within the first 12 weeks of employment (if a Healthcare Apprentice)
    • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, working with other team members
    • College monthly workshop days or personal study days
  • Having an assessor from an external training provider who will visit you once every four to six weeks to set work and observe you at your workplace. They also provide support and guidance throughout.
  • Getting the chance to learn about different roles within your department and the Trust as a whole. Also, getting an insight into the different career pathways we offer and where you might like to progress to in the future.
  • Completing an End Point Assessment during the final stages of your apprenticeship to achieve a grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction.

End Point Assessment 

As part of the new Apprenticeship Standards, all apprentices will have to complete an End Point Assessment (EPA) towards the end of their Apprenticeship. This is to ensure that an apprentice is fully competent in their subject before being given an Apprenticeship certification and that they can demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the apprenticeship standard that they are completing. 

Apprentices will be fully supported and prepped to enter their End Point Assessments and will not be made to complete it until the employer, assessor and apprentice all feel it’s a suitable time. 

For each apprenticeship, the EPA can vary however they all follow a similar structure. They can include the following components:

  • Multiple choice tests
  • Interviews
  • Observations in practice
  • Portfolios of Work
  • Professional discussions 

After passing the End Point Assessment, the apprentice will achieve either a Pass, Merit or Distinction. It is possible to fail, however the apprentices will be supported with retakes.