Apprenticeships update
Apprenticeships are a great way of being up-skilled whilst in employment. Dozens of staff across CAST have completed apprenticeship training, or are in the process of doing an apprenticeship at present.  It's important to stress that staff are still able to enroll on and start apprenticeships in the current work context.  This is because certain apprenticeship training providers have moved to a training model which can be delivered 100% remotely, with support from tutors. 
Two members of staff in primary schools are nearing completion of their Teaching Apprenticeship Level 6, and will become fully qualified teachers in July 2020. Two other members of staff in one of our secondary schools are about to start the Learning and Skills Teacher Level 5 apprenticeship, which is equivalent to a Diploma in Teaching. We also hope to be one of the first trusts to enable a cohort of staff to do the brand new Masters in Inclusion Level 7 apprenticeship (including SENCO qualification), starting in September 2020.
If you are a school leader and are aware of staff in your school who would benefit from engaging in apprenticeship training, or if you are a member of staff who is interested in doing an apprenticeship, please contact diana.taylor@plymouthcast.org.uk for more information.
If you're a Classroom Support Assistant, there are several Apprenticeship options, including:
If you're a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, there are several other apprenticeships that you might want to consider. 
 If you work in school support roles, such as care-taking, administration, finance, HR or central support, the following apprenticeships may be relevant:
Once you know the name and level of the apprenticeship you want to study, how do you find a training provider that can offer training at your school location? The link Find an apprenticeship training provider will list all the training providers who can deliver an apprenticeship at your workplace, and identify the different methods of delivery.

If you would like to do an apprenticeship, please contact Diana Taylor, Trust Development Officer, diana.taylor@plymouthcast.org.uk.


Please be aware that misunderstanding still exist about apprenticeships. It is important to be aware of the following: 

Myth: Apprenticeships are only for young people aged 16 to 18.

FACT: Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages; anyone over the age of 16 living in England can apply. There are different entry requirements depending on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level.  If a school takes on an apprentice aged 16 to 18, the school may qualify to receive an additional grant of £1000 from the Government as a 'thank-you'. If a school employs a teaching apprentice the school may qualify to receive an additional grant of £4000 to support the salary cost.


Myth: Apprenticeships cannot be used for existing staff.

FACT: Apprenticeships can be used to up-skill and/or retrain employees of any age, including older workers or existing staff, as long as the apprenticeship is giving them new skills to enable them to achieve competence in their chosen occupation.


Myth: Staff have to work at least 30 hours a week to be eligible to do an apprenticeship.

FACT: It used to be the case that you had to work at least 30 hours a week to do an apprenticeship, but not any longer. The length of an apprenticeship is calculated on the basis of working for 30 hours per week. However, as long as you work 15 hours per week or more, you can still do an apprenticeship, it just takes longer. For example, if your apprenticeship course normally took 12 months for working the equivalent of 30 hours a week, if you worked just 15 hours a week, it would take you 24 months to complete the apprenticeship, because you need to complete the same number of ‘work hours’ over the duration of the course. If you worked 20 hours per week, it would take you 18 months to complete your apprenticeship.


Myth: Apprentices have to do 20% off the job training. Does that mean an apprentice has to attend college one day a week?

FACT: Off-the-job training does not have to involve one day a week spent in college. It can be delivered in a way and place that suits the apprentice and the provider, allowing the apprentice to learn the new knowledge, skills and behaviours required. The style and timing of the learning is very varied. Apprenticeship providers deliver training in a variety of ways, including online learning, using a trainer/assessor to visit your workplace every four to six weeks to deliver training and assessment, day release or half day release to college, or block week release to college during school half-terms in order to minimise disruption on direct time with children in school. An average of 20% of an apprentices’ time per week must be allocated to ‘off the job’ training, but this can be arranged in a variety of ways.


Myth: Apprenticeships are only entry level and for low skilled people.

FACT: Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) right through to Levels 6 and 7 (equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree).



Teaching Apprenticeships

Plymouth CAST currently has two employees who are undertaking a Level 6 Teaching Apprenticeship at Plymouth Marjons University. They started their training in June 2019, and will complete their apprenticeship in July 2020 by achieving QTS.


What qualifications does someone need in order to do a Teaching Apprenticeship?

A teaching apprentice either needs to be a graduate, holding an Honours degree or equivalent, or they need to have attained a Level 5 Teaching and Skills Apprenticeship or a Foundation* degree plus complete a further year of study (via Open University or an appropriate conversion course) to 'upgrade' their Foundation degree to the equivalent of an Honours degree. In addition, they must have the equivalent of GCSE Grade C or above in English, Maths and Science.  


*Foundation degrees are not equivalent to Honours degrees. Foundation degrees are at the same level of study, but are equivalent to 2/3 of an Honours degree. They are normally studied as a part-time process while working with an employer who sponsors that Foundation course, and they focus on a particular occupational domain. A Foundation degree can typically be extended to an Honours degree with an additional year or more of study.


How does the Teaching Apprenticeship work in practice? 

If a school has a Teaching Apprenticeship vacancy, the post needs to be advertised, and suitably qualified candidates can apply. Successful teaching apprentice applicants need to be school employees, and so have to be offered an employment contract. Teaching apprenticeships take a year to complete, so an apprentice starting a teaching apprenticeship in July 2019 would need a contract that lasted until at least 31st July 2020. The salary for the teaching apprentices is met by the school, and the training element of the apprenticeship is funded from the Apprenticeship Levy.  Teaching apprentices are paid on the unqualified teacher pay-scale. A teaching apprentice typically spends one day per week at college, and the four remaining days per week teaching at school. This route into teaching is most similar to the Salaried School Direct trainee teacher scheme. 


National Apprenticeship Service publications: