Apprenticeships are not just for young people or for those learning a trade. They cover most, if not all, industry sectors and are available to people of all ages. Apprenticeships are available at different levels, from entry level right through to management positions. Some of our advanced and higher level apprenticeships are recognised by professional bodies such as the Association of Accounting Technicians and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
An apprenticeship is a valuable qualification. It shows that you have achieved a nationally recognised standard for your area of work. It also shows your employer that you are committed to your job and that you want to develop your skills.
Apprenticeships are not an easy option – they require commitment both in work and outside work. This is why they are so well regarded by employers and, increasingly, by universities. This is also why apprentices have been proven, over time, to earn more than people who do not have apprenticeships or other similar qualifications.
Apprenticeship standards always take at least a year to complete and have three distinct stages:
- Teaching and learning - You work with your Damar tutor and your employer to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours;
- The gateway - The point at which the employer, Damar and the apprentice come together to agree that the apprentice is ready for the external end-point assessment;
- End-point assessment - You demonstrate your knowledge, skills and behaviours to an external assessor. Your end-point assessment could include a test, interview and/or portfolio presentation.
English and Maths
As part of your apprenticeship, you may need to take functional skills in English and maths.
The delivery method varies according to the needs of the apprentice, the employer and the qualification. Increasingly, we use a model which combines 1:1 tutorial and review visits from the Damar trainer with online learning, webinars and e-tutorials delivered via our virtual learning environment, Damar Open Learning. This gives apprentices access to more specialist teaching content and the flexibility to access learning materials at times that suit them and the employer. Most apprentices need to spend around 20% of their time on their studies.
For many apprentices, the apprenticeship is a stepping stone towards additional responsibility at work or, for some, further qualifications including university. As well as celebrating achievement, we always discuss progression with apprentices and their employers to ensure that the benefits of the apprenticeship are maximised.