What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a government funded work based training programme that leads to nationally recognised qualifications for people who are aged 16 & over. As an apprentice, you will earn real wages while you learn. With a mix of on and off the job training it will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to progress in your chosen career. They are real jobs for real people.

Am I eligible?

Although there are no entry requirements for most apprenticeships, they are not just based on academic achievement, you will have to show you are eligible to receive government funding. The basic requirements are that you are 16 or over, you live and predominantly work in England and you are not undertaking any other funded programme. Your full eligibility will depend on your individual circumstances and our expert team are standing by to advise you.

You must however be committed to completing the Apprenticeship, be prepared to study, accept your responsibilities, are able to work as part of a team, be willing to learn and try new things, and can use your own initiative

Will I get paid?

Yes, all apprentices are employed and receive a wage from their employer. The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is currently £3.90 per hour (subject to change) and applies to all 16 to 18 year olds and to those aged 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Please see National Minimum Wage or a Guide to Apprenticeships for more details.

If I have a grievance at work who do I speak to?

As an employee, you have rights. If for any reason you feel you have issues about your employment you should raise your concerns with your employer and use your company handbook. Further advice on your rights and responsibilities can be found at ACAS.

Should my training be included in my hours of work?

Yes. Your Apprenticeship is a work based qualification that must be completed during your normal paid working hours. This includes off the job and on the job training, assessment, and research. You should not be asked or told you have to complete your apprenticeship on your days off.

Do I get holidays?

Yes. Although your holiday entitlement will depend on your terms and conditions, for example if you work part time you will be entitled to a minimum entitlement. An overview and holiday calculator is available at gov.uk

Are apprenticeships available at different levels?

Yes, apprenticeships with Release Potential are available at intermediate (level 2), advanced level (level 3) and higher levels (4 & 5). You can progress further all the way to a level 7 Higher apprenticeship and you will receive advice and guidance on this throughout your time with us.

What is the structure of an apprenticeship?

The apprenticeship framework (e.g. Intermediate Apprenticeship in Customer Service) consists of…

  • a knowledge based qualification (sometimes called a Technical Certificate)
  • a competence based qualification that provides the underpinning knowledge of the subject
  • Functional Skills (Level 1 Mathematics, English and in some cases ICT)
  • a Technical Certificate
  • and Employees Rights and Responsibilities (ERR).

If I already have some qualifications will they count?

We will ask you to tell us about your previous learning and all certificates you hold so we can explore with you the best options for your Apprenticeship and ensure we recognise your accomplishments so far.

Who can I turn to for help?

Throughout your apprenticeship you should consult your employer for help in the first instance, but you will also have access to a tutor from Release Potential who will support and guide you. You will also be provided details of the awarding body, Education and Skills Funding Agency and the Apprenticeship service helpdesk.

Do I get a certificate?

Yes, you will receive a certificate for each qualification you successfully complete and once you have completed your apprenticeship you will receive a framework certificate.

What is NAS?

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) supports, funds and co-ordinates the delivery of apprenticeships throughout England, and are responsible for increasing the number of apprenticeship opportunities and providing a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners.

How long will it take to complete an apprenticeship?

The length of your apprenticeship will be dictated by its level, type and the industry you are working in and this will be planned at the start of your learning. An Intermediate Apprenticeship will typically take at least 12 months.