“…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. 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.
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 £4,000 to support the salary cost.
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).