Apprenticeships Guide - Find Your Place

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2 Contents 03 07 05 10 04 08 06 18 17 11 Welcome Fact File Benefits Our Apprenticeships Employer Partners SP Energy Networks Pre-Apprenticeship Programme Higher and Degree Apprenticeships Our Apprentices Apprentice Journey Finding and Applying for an Apprenticeship 2 Apprenticeship Guide FINAL WENT TO PRINT 28 January 2022.indd 2 31/01/2022 14:44:21


I am delighted that you are considering studying your apprenticeship with Cheshire College.

Our College brings together the talents and experience of staff who deliver high-quality education, training and skills development to over 11,000 students, 1,000 apprentices and 500 employers. All our courses are designed to ensure our students leave us with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to make their next steps.

Whether you are exploring your post-16 options or returning to education as a mature student, wishing to change career or enhance your current career opportunities, or simply wanting to develop your knowledge and skills in a subject or specialism, there is an apprenticeship for you.

This guide gives you a flavour of the apprenticeships we have to offer and the support available to you throughout your studies. I hope you find the information helpful. To get an even better feel for life as an apprentice at Cheshire College, visit one of our Open Events and speak to a member of our expert teams.

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An apprenticeship combines a job role where you learn whilst gaining experience. It is fully-funded by the government and the employer. A typical apprentice spends 80% of their time working at their place of employment and 20% working towards nationally-recognised qualifications, studying the theory behind what they do as part of their job role.


The duration of an apprenticeship depends on the length of the course but must last for a minimum of 12 months.


You will be employed as an apprentice and typically work four days a week and attend College once a week. You will be expected to work the normal working hours for your industry and paid by your employer.

Whattypesofapprenticeshipare available?

There are four types of apprenticeship and each one has an equivalent education level:

• Level 2 (Intermediate) is equivalent to GCSE

• Level 3 (Advanced) is equivalent to A Level

• Levels 4 and 5 (Higher) are equivalent to Foundation Degree or above

• Levels 6 and 7 (Degree) are equivalent to Bachelor’s or Master’s Degrees

Once you have completed your apprenticeship, the level you achieve will be based on the qualification you take as part of the programme.


Each level of apprenticeship has different entry requirements. Depending on the level of apprenticeship, entry requirements may include previous qualifications, e.g. GCSE English and Maths. You

must be 16 years old or over and demonstrate that you have the ability to complete the apprenticeship. As long as the entry requirements are met, you can start an apprenticeship at any level.


There are different rates of pay for apprentices and this depends on your age and what year of the apprenticeship you are in.

If you are aged 16 to 18, or 19 years or over and in your first year, you will be paid the National Minimum Wage rate (or above at the discretion of your employer).

If you are aged 19 years or over and have completed your first year, you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for your age (or above at the discretion of your employer).

Visit to view the current national minimum wage rates.

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Study from GCSE to Degree level

industryapproved qualifications
while you learn Excellent progression opportunities Get hands-on experience
alongside professionals
varied learning experience
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An apprenticeship could be your route into a range of careers, some of which may surprise you. Have you ever considered working as a Dental Technician or IT Network Engineer? If you are currently working in a particular industry, an apprenticeship may enable you to gain qualifications and a possible promotion to a more senior role!

Here is a flavour of some of the courses we offer:


• Business and Administration

• Customer Service

• Human Resources

• IT, Software or Infrastructure

• Marketing

• Team Leader/Supervisor

Childcare and Education

• Children and Young People’s Workforce

• Early Years Educator

• Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools


• Trowel Occupations

• Carpentry and Joinery, Bench and Site

• Electrical

• Plastering

• Plumbing


• Automotive Design

• Electrical and Electronic

• Fabrication and Welding

• Maintenance and Installation

• Mechanical Engineering


• Hairdressing

Health and Social Care

• Adult Care Worker

• Dental

• Healthcare Support Worker

• Pharmacy

• Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care

Hospitality and Catering

• Chef de Partie

• Commis Chef

• Senior Production Chef

• Production Chef

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Employer Partners

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SPEnergyNetworks Pre-Apprenticeship Programme

This electrical engineering course will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to apply for the SP Energy Networks Apprenticeship Programme.

The course is based in both the workshop and classroom ensuring you get a combination of practical and technical skills providing an introduction to the knowledge and skills to start your career as an SP Energy Networks

Apprentice or as a starting point for other apprenticeships or routes into electrical engineering.

You will attend training sessions with SP Energy Networks at their training centre on the Wirral and, at the end of the course, may be offered a place on their apprentice programme. You will receive a Safety Passport and gain Emergency First Aid qualifications as part of your programme. You will even receive a monthly allowance of £200 as a contribution towards travel and course expenses.

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Ellis Garrett-Jackson


SP Energy Networks Engineering Pre-Apprenticeship Programme

Employer: SP Energy Networks

“I left school looking for something different. I wanted to gain experience alongside studying qualifications, so the SP Energy Networks Engineering Pre-Apprenticeship Programme was perfect for me.

Throughout the programme, I got to train with experts at the College and Engineers at SP Energy Networks, which enhanced my knowledge and practical skills, and enabled me to learn something new each week.

The course has helped me focus my future career goals and opened up a wide range of exciting engineering opportunities for me to pursue.”

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Higherand Degree Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a viable alternative to university, with the qualifications to match. Higher and degree apprenticeships range from Level 4 to 7. If you choose to complete a higher or degree apprenticeship you will graduate with many years of experience gained in the workplace. These apprenticeships are developed by employers, universities and professional bodies. By combining work and education, higher and degree apprenticeships increase skills and enhance employability. Apprentices are employed during their education, spending their time either at university or at their workplace and the programme can take between three to six years to complete.

There are a range of higher and degree apprenticeships to choose from, including Business & Administration, Care Services, Engineering & Manufacturing and Protective Services. Degrees earned through an apprenticeship route are awarded by universities and are of an equivalent standard to degrees earned through the full-time undergraduate route. A unique feature of the apprenticeship is that it is funded by employers and the government and therefore you will not have to pay course fees on your HE qualification.

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James Millington


Level 6 BEng (Hons) Manufacturing Engineering with Electronics Degree Apprenticeship

Employer: Bentley Motors Ltd.

“I have learnt so much since starting my apprenticeshipandcontinuetodosoevery day.CompletingmyHNCandHNDintwoyears allowedmetofurtherdevelopmy understandingofspecialistsectorknowledge, whichhasprovedtobeastrongfoundation forthenewlearningIhaveembarkeduponthis year.

Whilststudying,I’vealsobeenabletoworkin manyareaswithinBentleyMotorsandbuilda strongcontactnetworkwhichhashelpedme developtheskillsandtoolsIwillneedformy futurecareerintheindustry.Completingmy DegreeApprenticeshipwithCheshireCollege hascomewithsomanyaddedbenefitstohelp meprogressfromfull-timeeducationintothe worldofwork.”

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Danny Milton


Level 3 Marketing Assistant Advanced Apprenticeship

Employer: West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce

“I’ve learnt more about how businesses operate asweworkwithmanylocalcompaniesand helpsupportthemtothrive.Ihavealsolearnt andimprovedmymarketing-relatedskills toosuchasphotography,emailmarketing, videoediting,design,communicationand organisationalskills.

I’dencourageanyyoungpersontoconsider completinganapprenticeshipasitgives youreal-worldexperiencewhilstgaininga qualification.Mostemployerswilllookatyour experienceandthatcouldbethekeytoyou gettingthejobyouwantoverothercandidates.”

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Emily Grieve


Level 3 Business Administration Advanced Apprenticeship Employer: Great Bear Distribution

“When I left sixth form, I had the UCAS points to go touniversity,howeverIknewIwantedtoleavethe educationsystemandgointowork,sodoingan apprenticeshipwasgoodformeasIcouldearn andlearnatthesametime.

Ilookedonlineforsomethingrelatedtobusiness adminandtheapprenticeshipforGreatBear cameup.Iwasaskedtocometoaninterview andthiswentsowellthatIwasofferedthejobon thesameday.Istartedmyapprenticeshipa weeklaterandsinceIstartedI’veexcelledand donereallywellinthecompany.

Myapprenticeshipwasmeanttobe18months longbutIhavecompleteditwithin12months, andfollowingthisIwasofferedafull-timejob inthePlanningDepartmentwithinGreatBear. I’mreallyenjoyingmyjobandhopefullyIcan progresswithinthecompanyinthefuture.”

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Ollie Jenkins

Apprenticeship: Level 3 Carpentry and Joinery Advanced Apprenticeship

Employer: Brownlow Furniture

“I first came across Brownlow Furniture through familyanddecidedtohandinmyCVtothe companyowner.Ichoseanapprenticeshipas Iwantedtogetintoaproperlineofworkand didn‘twanttostayonatschoolforanextra coupleofyears.Thereisalsothebonusof gettingpaidwhilstdoingthework.

WhenIfirststartedthejob,Ibeganworking onlesscomplexjobslikedoorsandmaking thedrawersbutasI’veprogressedI‘vestarted makingmorecomplicatedjoinerypieces, suchasspiceracksandcutlerytrays,aswell asconstructingthecabinetsandfittingthe doors.Theapprenticeshiplastsforthree yearsandwhenIfinishI hopetobeemployed atBrownlowFurnitureasafull-timeCabinet Maker.”

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Oriana Paraschiv

Apprenticeship: Degree Apprenticeship in Software Engineering

Employer: Vodafone

“I’ve always known I wanted to do A Levels and I was thinking about going to university. After reading about university I started looking at Degree Apprenticeships instead and realised that they would be the best choice for me in Engineering.

College is fun and I’ve had a great experience. Gaining a Degree Apprenticeship with Vodafone means I get paid and I’m able to go to university which is great for me, and this will result in me achieving my career aim of being a Software Engineer.”

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The College and your employer will both support and guide you through all elements of the apprenticeship programme.

Experience Cheshire College

Your first step is to experience what College is like and if being an apprentice is right for your career goals.

We hold Open Evenings and Taster Days throughout the year where you can experience all the College has to offer, explore your options for study and talk to our knowledgeable staff about your career options and the support available.

You can also arrange a Campus Tour with a member of the team so you can see our impressive facilities for yourself.

Go online at to find out more and register your place.


This is completed with the College. You will need to complete the enrolment process which includes a qualifications and skills check. You won’t be able to get started on your apprenticeship until you have completed all parts of the enrolment process.

Your Apprenticeship Programme

Your College Assessor will support you during your apprenticeship programme. They will monitor your progress, set targets and milestones, and ensure the skills, knowledge and behaviours you are gaining in the workplace are appropriate and what you need to complete your apprenticeship. They will either come to your workplace or meet you at the College.

Gateway and End Point Assessment (EPA)

Once you, the College and your employer all agree that you have completed the practical elements of the apprenticeship (known as the ‘Gateway’ stage), the organisation identified to complete your EPA will check that you’ve completed all the elements required for your apprenticeship.

w x y


After you have successfully completed your EPA, you will have officially completed all elements of your apprenticeship. This typically happens within two months of going through Gateway. During this time, you will also receive your apprenticeship certificate. If you don’t pass your EPA first-time, you may be able to re-sit certain elements of it.

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FindingandApplying foranApprenticeship

There are three ways you can find and apply for an apprenticeship:


All of our apprenticeship vacancies can be found on and you can apply directly online.


Our dedicated Apprenticeship Coordinators manage our Talent Pool and will match you with a suitable apprenticeship and employer. If you're not quite ready to apply straight away, you can also join the Talent Pool and get support with careers advice, CV writing and interview skills, and you will be the first to hear about new apprenticeship vacancies.


If you work for an employer and would like to become an apprentice or know you would like to do an apprenticeship at a company that offers them, you can contact them directly.

An apprenticeship is a paid job which offers hands-on work experience alongside off-the-job training. This means that the application process for an apprenticeship will often be the same as it would be for any form of employment. Typically, an employer would ask you to:

• Complete the application (this could be online or paper-based)

• Send a CV or covering letter

• Attend an interview, if your application is successful and you are shortlisted

Many employers will have different recruitment practices, so it’s important that you research the employer’s website and read the job advert carefully before applying.

To help get you started, take a look at some of our top tips opposite. Don’t forget, you can also join our Talent Pool to get personalised support!

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Top Tips: Making an Application

a Add the closing date to your calendar and send your application in on time

a If the application includes specific questions, make sure you read these clearly and answer them correctly

a Double check you have provided all the information requested before you send it

Writing your CV

a CVs are usually no more than two sides of A4 paper

a Tailor your CV to the vacancy and include your most relevant skills for the specific vacancy

a Pay attention to detail and double check your punctuation and grammar

The Interview a Research the company

a Prepare answers to some questions you know you’ll be asked, such as “Why would you like this apprenticeship?” and “What skills can you bring to the role?”

a Ask them questions too, whether it’s “What would a typical day look like?” or “What’s your favourite part of working at the company?”

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01270 654654 - Crewe Campus

01244 656555 - Chester and Ellesmere

Port Campuses or

Crewe Campus

Dane Bank Avenue



Ellesmere Port Campus

Off Sutton Way

Ellesmere Port

CH65 7BF

Chester Campus

Eaton Road


Chester CH4 7ER

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