Apprenticeship FAQs for supervisors and departments

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Apprenticeships offer an opportunity for departments to think strategically about to hard-to-fill posts and implement a 'grow your own' model for developing talent. The nationally-recognised apprenticeship frameworks are designed by and for employers to provide tailored training so apprentices develop the specific skills required for their role.

Apprentices can bring vitality and fresh perspective to the work environment. Staff within your department will be able to develop their own professional and interpersonal skills through supervising and mentoring apprentices.

Employing apprentices can be an excellent way to increase your department's public engagement with the local community by providing accessible career opportunities.

Apprentices are paid employees of the University. There a few conditions which must be met when employing an apprentice:

  • they must be employed for at least 30 hours a week
  • their contract must last for a minimum of 13 months

Your department will need to identity an appropriate role which could be filled by an apprentice. Many roles in the University's support and technical grades could be suitable to offer as an apprenticeship. Please contact the Apprenticeships team to discuss any roles you have in mind.

The Apprenticeships team will be able to help identify possible training providers and guide you through the process of selecting the most appropriate provider to meet your deparmtent's needs. They can also assist you should you need to change provider part-way through an apprenticeship.

Yes, it is possible to switch to a different apprenticeship course, but it is by no means ideal!

You can help to prevent this by spending time beforehand thinking about the needs of your department and the training opportunities you can provide, and designing your selection process to find apprentices who are best suited to the role.

Yes – an apprentice is your employee. See the Budgeting section for details on the salary, which is fixed on a bespoke Apprenticeships scale.

Not specifically, no. An apprentice is your employee, who is performing work while training.

The cost of 'Off-the-job' training is paid for through the Apprenticeship Levy. See the Budgeting section for details.

Yes, the University has developed a specific contract for apprentices based on the current support staff contract, which reflects their special status.

Please see the Templates tab on the Recruiting an Apprentice page.

New entrants

A new entrant apprentices does not count towards the department's headcount, for the duration of their apprenticeship contract. This means an apprenticeship can be an ideal solution for succession planning.

Existing staff

For headcount purposes, the apprentice's hours will be counted as 0.8 FTE for the duration of the apprenticeship, to recognise that they are undertaking off-the-job training for the remaining 20% of their time. This means the department can backfill some of their day-to-day work should they need to.

Yes! The Work Learn Develop apprenticeships programme is specifically designed to be accessible for existing staff as part of the University's wide range of professional development opportunities.

More information can be found in the Existing Staff section.

Completing an apprenticeship

Successful completion of an apprenticeship requires the apprentice to:

  • complete the appropriate training period
  • attend the course of study and attain the appropriate qualification(s)
  • demonstrate satisfactory competence in the role

When the apprenticeship has been completed, the Apprenticeship team will issue a completion certificate on behalf of the University to recognise this achievement.

Appointing to another role

If there is a suitable post available in the same department and the apprentice has demonstrated that they are competent to perform the new role (at the appropriate grade), they may be considered for direct appointment to the post. In such cases, please follow the University’s guidance on Recruitment without Advertising.

If the apprentice is successfully appointed to another role, either in the same department or a different one, a new contract of employment should be issued. Unless the individual has previous unbroken continuous service with the University, the start date of their apprenticeship should be used as their continuous service date for the new contract. This date is used to determine eligibility for certain entitlements, such as sick pay and family leave benefits.