An apprenticeship is an on-the-job training programme that develops an employee's knowledge, skills and behaviours in order to perform in their job role. They are used to train both new and existing members of staff, allowing individuals to gain a qualification at the same time as gaining work experience and earning a wage. The training is designed to be flexible in order to meet the needs of the individual and their employer.
Types of Apprenticeships
There are hundreds of different apprenticeships available, across all sectors and industries. At Damar Training, we specialise in the business and professional sector, offering apprenticeships in administration, customer service, law, management and accounting. This specialism allows us to really understand the requirements of each apprenticeship standard, and the industries and employers that we work with.
You can access more information about each type of apprenticeship from the menu.
Over the last few years apprenticeship frameworks have gradually been replaced with apprenticeship standards. This involved a shift in focus from assessing to learning, with the new standards developed by employer-led groups, to better suit the needs of employers and the industry within which they operate. Each apprenticeship standard has a set of knowledge, skills and behaviours which the apprentice would need to become competent in, in order to achieve their qualifcation and perform in their job role. Competency is assessed during an end-point assessment, which is conducted by a different organisation to the training provider.
We deliver intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships. An intermediate (level 2) apprenticeship is broadly equivalent to five good GCSEs. An advanced (level 3) apprenticeship is the vocational equivalent of two A-Levels. We also offer higher apprenticeships (level 4 and above) in areas including management, accountancy and law.
Apprenticeship standards always take at least a year to complete and have three distinct stages:
Teaching and Learning
During this part of the apprenticeship the apprentice will work with their Damar coach and their employer to develop their knowledge and skills and put these into practice. Some apprenticeships have qualifications embedded within them (accountancy and law for example) and so the apprentice may need to take exams.
The exact delivery method varies according to the needs of the apprentice, the employer and the qualification but all of our apprenticeships involve blended delivery model, which combines 1:1 meetings and group workshops with Damar coaches and expert tutors with online learning, webinars and e-tutorials delivered via our virtual learning environment, Damar OpenLearning. This gives apprentices access to more specialist teaching content and the flexibility to access content at times that suit them and the employer. Most apprentices need to spend around 20% of their time on their studies.
Towards the end of this part of the apprenticeship the apprentice will assemble a portfolio of work showing how they are applying their skills and knowledge. They will also prepare for the interview and/or exam that usually forms part of the end-point assessment.
When the apprentice is able to show they are meeting the standard, there is a formal review meeting with the employer and Damar. This “gateway” meeting is 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 that is the final stage of all apprenticeship standards.
This is the apprentice’s chance to demonstrate their skills and knowledge to an external assessor. Appointed by the Institute of Apprenticeships, the end-point assessment organisation will carry out a final, independent review of the apprentice’s competence. Each apprenticeship has a slightly different end-point assessment but, in many cases, it includes:
- A test (often online)
- A review of the portfolio
- An interview
All apprentices must spend 20% of their apprenticeship on off-the-job training. This can be a challenge for some busy employers so if this is a concern, we can guide you through how to manage this and provide you with further information on what does and doesn't count as off-the-job training. Generally, any activities that fall into the below categories would contribute to the 20%:
- Theory – such as lectures, role playing, online learning and simulation exercises
- Practical training apprentices wouldn't usually do during the week – such as shadowing, mentoring, industry visits or competitions
- Learning support and time spent writing assignments
Upon successfully passing the end-point assessment, apprentices have achieved their apprenticeship qualification. Some apprenticeships also involve other accredited qualifications. For example:
- ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) and CMI (Chartered Management Institute) management qualifications
- Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualifications
- CILEx legal units or qualifications
Some apprentices also undertake functional skill qualifications in English and maths.
If you are looking to recruit a new apprentice for your business, the government are currently offering additional incentives - £3,000 for a 16-18 year old apprentice, £2,000 for 19-24 year olds and £1,500 for 25+.
After we agree the job description and which apprenticeship standard is going to be the best fit, we advertise your vacancy and manage the initial recruitment process. We can screen candidates over the phone, ensuring that they have the right skills, qualifications and personal qualities that you are looking for. After you've selected which candidates you would like to see, we can also arrange these face-to-face or online interviews for you.
Once you have appointed the successful apprentice, we can manage the feedback process for the other candidates. We will also arrange the start date of their employment with you, and the launch visit for their apprenticeship qualification.
We have a dedicated recruitment team who have supported SMEs recruiting one apprentice, as well as large levy payers recruiting over 100 apprentices at one time. We have continued to run large-scale recruitment campaigns throughout 2020 and can support and advise on how you can conduct a socially distanced recruitment campaign. Whatever your apprenticeship recruitment needs, please get in touch to find out how we can support you.