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Apprenticeships A pa r e n t s ’ g u i d e

The best of both worlds More and more young people are choosing Apprenticeships than ever before. Skills Solutions explains why…

Call 0161 233 2656

As a parent you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. With so many options out there Skills Solutions has first hand experience of the benefits of choosing an Apprenticeship. We hope this guide will give you the facts and help young people leaving shcool or college make the right career choice.

What is an Apprenticeship? An Apprenticeship is an occupationally specific job with an employer where young people are paid and work towards a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeship qualifications are developed in partnership with employers so young people will learn lots of different skills that are valued by other employers. Apprentices mostly learn ‘on the job’ and when they attend their ‘off the job’ training, they gain a deeper understanding of the theory and technical knowledge which underpins their Apprenticeship occupation. Apprenticeships are made up of three major components: • A competence element leading to a Level 2, 3 or 4 qualification • A taught, knowledge based element leading to a qualification usually referred to as a Technical Certificate • Functional Skills such as working in teams, problem solving, literacy and numeracy. There are three entry points and progression routes for an apprentice:

1 Intermediate


Why choose an Apprenticeship? Put simply, an Apprenticeship is the best way to learn the specific knowledge, skills and qualifications required for a chosen occupation along with valuable skills for starting a career. In todays increasingly tough job market, an Apprenticeship connects young people to employers who are looking for people with the desire to learn and who have an ambition to grow into their chosen career without delay.

Did you know...? •C  areer progression is excellent for apprentices, and over the course of their careers, those with an Apprenticeship earn, on average, £100,000 more than those without •T  here are over 100,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in more than 250 different occupations •T  he average student starting a three year university course is expected to leave university with debts of £53,000. (‘The Push’ university guide 2011) •A  lmost half of recent graduates are working in jobs which don’t require a degree. (Office for National Statistics 2013) Given these facts, it’s no wonder that more and more young people are now choosing to earn while they learn.

Level 2 – equivalent to good GCSEs

ADVANCED Level 3 equivalent to ‘A’ levels

3 HIGHER APPRENTICESHIPS Level 4 – equivalent to Degree

Call us on 0161 233 2656 or visit

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FAQs The government is ‘Raising the Participation Age’, does an Apprenticeship count as staying in education or training? Yes it does, and so do all our courses and programmes for young people.

How long does an Apprenticeship take? The length of an Apprenticeship varies, depending on the existing skills of the young person, the qualifications that they are working towards, and the sector they are working in. Generally, it will take between one and four years.

What holidays does an apprentice get? Like most other employees, apprentices will be given at least 20 days paid holiday per year as well as bank holidays.

How many hours does an apprentice work? All apprentices work full time, between 30 and 40 hours per week.

How much is an apprentice paid? All employed apprentices are paid a salary directly by the employer. The average apprentice earns around £9,000 per annum. Depending on the chosen industry and employer they may earn less than this or more if they are an Advanced or Higher Apprentice.

Where will an apprentice train? Most apprentices attend some off-the-job training at one our training centres or one of our partner colleges local to them. This might be day release or a block of training all together. Some apprentices will complete all of their training in the workplace so are based in the workplace with their employer all of the time.

How does an Apprentice progress to a Higher Level qualification? Skills Solutions offers clear progression pathways to Higher Level qualifications in a broad range of trades and professions including Management, Accounts, Manufacturing, Business, Teaching and many more.

What happens at the end of an Apprenticeship? Once your son or daughter has completed their Apprenticeship they continue in their job,get promoted or go on to higher education in a college or university.

Apprenticeships with Skills Solutions… At Skills Solutions we provide a wide range of Apprenticeships and Levels and offer new pathways each year.

About us We are the largest Apprenticeship provider in Greater Manchester, and one of the largest providers of work based training in the North West, with a track record stretching over 20 years. We’re a not-for-profit organisation and are part of the Economic Solutions Group of companies. • Every  year, we place over 1000 young people into jobs! •W  e have direct access to more live vacancies than any other training provider in the region •W  e have an unrivalled network of well equipped training centres •W  e can offer a guaranteed job or training course to young people who meet certain criteria*

* Conditions apply

Progress to Higher Apprenticeships and Higher Education with Skills Solutions At our Churchgate Academy we offer a range of higher education programmes and courses and many of our apprentices have gone on to study higher level qualifications up to and including degree level with us. University validated, our Foundation Degree programmes are all delivered on a part time basis and provide a great progression route from an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Traineeships A Traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience that is focused on providing those leaving education or young unemployed adults with the skills and experience that employers are looking for. Traineeships last for a flexible amount of time, from six weeks to a maximum of six months depending on what’s right for the trainee, and will increase their chances of securing a job.

Career progression is excellent for apprentices, and over the course of their careers, those with an Apprenticeship earn, on average, £100,000 more than those without.* *National Apprenticeship Service – A parents guide to Apprenticeships 2014

Call us on 0161 233 2656 or visit

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‘It’s your choice’ Young people have a choice and that’s official. Young people do have to stay at school until they are 16, but they don’t have to ‘stay on’ until they are 17 or 18. The government has ‘Raised the Participation Age’ but this doesn’t mean the school leaving age has changed. After Year 11 they can get a job with training, they can do a Traineeship, they can do an Apprenticeship. They aren’t forced to stay on in school of college along with other students who do not really want to be there.

Apply now! Applying is easy, contact our friendly Recruitment Team to apply for an Apprenticeship with Skills Solutions. You can start your application over the phone, apply online or download an Application Form from our website. So get in touch today, and open up a brighter future for your children…

Call us on 0161 233 2656 or visit or come and visit us at the Like Apprenticeship Shop, Mosley Street, City Tower, Manchester, M1 4BT

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