“…there are many opportunities across a range of specialisms, enabling staff across the Trust to access exceptional CPD, whilst improving skills, knowledge and experience.”
Apprenticeships are a great way of being up-skilled whilst in employment. They also provide a way of offering an employment and training opportunity to a new employee. Dozens of staff across CAST have completed apprenticeship training, or are in the process of doing an apprenticeship. 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 have recently started the Learning and Skills Teacher Level 5 apprenticeship, which is equivalent to a Diploma in Teaching. From Autumn 2020 we also have a cohort of staff who will undertake a three-year Senior Leader Masters Level 7 Apprenticeship. This will include gaining either a Masters in Inclusion and SEND or a Masters in Values Led Leadership.
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.
Current Government Incentives
If a school takes on an apprentice aged 16 to 18 between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021 the school should receive an additional grant of £3000 from the Government. If a new apprentice is taken on aged 19 to 24 between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021, the school should receive an additional grant of £2000 from the Government. For new apprentices aged 25 and over taken on between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021, the school should receive an additional grant of £1500. If a school employs a teaching apprentice a school should qualify to receive an additional grant of £4,000.
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.
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.
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.
Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) right through to Levels 6 and 7 (equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree).