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Apprenticeships consist of nationally recognised qualifications, developed by industry and offers the chance to learn on the job.
The world is changing fast, with fierce competition for jobs, there has never been a better time to become an apprentice:
As an apprentice you earn while you learn and gain recognised qualification as you work.
You usually study one day a week at College and train in the workplace the rest of the week.
If you are aged 16 – 18 there will be no charge to your employer or yourself.
Apprenticeships can range between 12 – 36 months dependent upon the chosen occupational area, the level of the course and the ability of the learner.
To become an apprentice you will need a job in a company in the same line of work that you want to train in, ie if you are working for a plumber you would take a plumbing apprenticeship and likewise if you worked as a junior accountant/book keeper you would take an accountancy apprenticeship.
In the majority you will need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week and your employer should pay you at least the minimum apprenticeship wage of £2.65 per hour aged 16 – 19 and must allow you have additional training for one day a week, at College or in the work place.
What is the difference between studying on a full-time course and an apprenticeship course?
Generally when attending a full-time vocational course, you work towards a technical certificate. This is a qualification in its own right, where you learn the theory and the practical side of a trade whilst at College.
Apprenticeships are made up of a framework of qualifications. When taking an apprenticeship course, you will work towards a technical certificate (as in the full-time course), but also work towards an NVQ. An NVQ requires you to build a portfolio of evidence gathered whilst at work, to show that you can carry out what you have learnt at college in the working environment. An NVQ can be an advantage when looking for employment as it shows you have had work experience.
Functional skills is another qualification you will gain through an apprenticeship, generally numeracy and literacy but sometimes other skills such as working with others, team building etc. These are valuable skills that will be used within your trade and is an essential part of the apprenticeship.
Most apprenticeships start in September but some can be started at other times of the year.
One of the ways North Notts College support local businesses is by providing training for Apprenticeships in a variety of sectors and through this process we are informed of any new apprenticeship vacancies available in the Bassetlaw area.
If you are interested in applying for an apprenticeship post, kindly fill in an application form and send into the College or ring 01909 504500 for further details.
Wilkinson is a leading high-street retailer of family and home living products, with an emphasis on good value for money. Founded in 1930, it is now in its third generation of family ownership, with 368 stores across the UK and around 24,000 staff.
To keep the business running smoothly, Wilkinson’s distribution centre in Worksop needs employees who are skilled in everything from dispatching and replenishment of stock through to health & safety and product fulfilment. The company also needs staff trained to a first-class standard in areas that include management, customer services, electrical installation, logistics and admin.
Having used North Nottinghamshire College’s business services in the past – including for health & safety training – Wilkinson looked to the college when setting up its Apprenticeship programme. Wilkinson’s Learning & Development Officer Sandra Jackson says: “As our local partner college and one with whom we already had a successful relationship, North Notts was the natural place to go”.
Today, Wilkinson is one of the College’s longest-running and biggest partners in Apprenticeships, with the two organisations working together on them since 1999. The training partnership has won an East Midlands National Training Award.
North Notts College’s services
Wilkinson has an on-site learning centre, accessible 24/7, where North Notts College supplies experienced tutors “around the clock” to deliver workshops and course components and teach key skills. The company has 58 current apprentices and 52 who have completed the programme.
Sandra says the apprenticeship link with North Notts College is helping Wilkinson to develop its people “in a more rounded way”.
“There is an obvious financial advantage to Wilkinson in working with North Notts College on Apprenticeships”, says Sandra. “As the company can train its staff to a high standard without incurring high costs, even when factoring in the employer’s contribution.”
Boosting employees’ skills with an Apprenticeship is good for morale and staff confidence too. Paul Marshall, who has completed two years as a Wilkinson apprentice, says: “I’ve now got the opportunity to do a twelve-month secondment in the promotions department at head office – something I couldn’t have dreamed about doing before”. And fellow apprentice Kallum Cooke says: “I enjoy the fact that through the apprenticeship I am earning personal pride, and respect from others”.
The company’s Operations Manager John Bower says he enjoys seeing Wilkinson’s apprentices advancing in their careers.
“The Apprenticeship journey is a long one but the dividends are clear to see – we now have four previous apprentices who have gone on to take up junior management roles in the company, and we expect that number to grow even further over the next few months.
“This really inspires and motivates the rest of the Apprenticeship team, as well as those who are just starting their journey with us.”