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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Need help? Take a look at some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.

How much will it cost me? / Is there a financial contribution I have to make?

There is no contribution payable by you for your apprenticeship funding. If you are aged 16-18 your apprenticeship is fully funded (for employers with less than 50 employees) and if you are 19+ then your employer may have to pay a contribution towards your learning (see page 1).

What will be the rate of pay while I'm in training as an apprentice?

There are different minimum pay rates depending on how long you have been an apprentice and your age. Go to www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates to find the latest information. Once you have been on programme for 1 year and are over the age of 19, the national minimum wage is applicable for your age.

Do apprentices have to be full-time?

No, there is no minimum number of hours for an apprentice to work. However, if you work less than 30 hours per week over the 52 weeks a year then the minimum duration of the apprenticeship is required to be extended.

Do apprentices have set length contracts?

Not always, but the minimum contract must be for 372 days.

How much time is needed to complete the work for the apprenticeship?

This is very difficult to identify as it all depends on the job role, the type of assessment which can be used and the confidence of the apprentice. That said it should take 5-6 hours each week for the duration of the apprenticeship to gather the evidence required for their portfolio. This does not include the training you will cover whilst 'on the job'.

How much time will my employer have to allow me to complete the apprenticeship?

It is a funding requirement for the employer to allow the apprentice 20% of their time to focus on their portfolio assignments knowledge and skills requirements of their apprenticeship. For example, the time can be allocated on a weekly basis, with one day out of each week set aside, or for one week a month. This will include time for the Tutor to meet with the apprentice and work through the programme, facilitate assessments and set new tasks.

What resources / equipment will I need to supply?

You will not be required to supply any additional equipment or resources. Everything you need will be provided by the employer, found in the workplace or will be provided by the tutor. You will need reasonable access to IT equipment and the internet. This can be discussed with your employer.

What resources will the employer need to supply for me?

Your employer will need to provide you with all of the tools you will need to carry out your job role safely within the company.

How much of the apprenticeship can I do online?

This depends on the qualification and units being taken.

Exactly what will I learn during my apprenticeship?

You will be learning about a job role, relevant to your apprenticeship. All apprenticeship standards require level 1 or 2 Functional skills in English and Maths if you have not already achieved this at GCSE level 4 (grade C) or above or have not already achieved Functional Skills at level 2; the rest of the apprenticeship really depends on which Standard you are on and with which employer you are employed by. Your apprenticeship will cover the requirements of the Standard and so you will have to meet certain Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours in order to gain the skills required to go through to the End Point Assessment.

How will I know I'm on the right apprenticeship / qualification?

We carry out an induction with you and the employer and through assessments ensure that you are on the right Standard and level for your job role and ability.

How will the apprenticeship benefit me in the future?

You will be trained in a specific job role; you will have gained work experience; the apprenticeship may lead to full time employment, to list a few of the benefits.

Why do I have to do Maths and English exams again?

You will only need to complete Functional Skills in English and Maths if you have not achieved these qualifications at GCSE level 4 (grade C) or above or have not already achieved Functional Skills at level 2, for either a level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship.

How can my current qualifications or exams help me complete the apprenticeship?

You may have prior learning which you could use to help you complete assignments and work towards the apprenticeship. Also, if you have achieved English and Maths at GCSE grade 4 or above you will not need to retake them for your apprenticeship.

Will Profile find me a job or help find me a job if my employment ends?

Profile do not find jobs for apprentices but will work with you and as part of your apprenticeship. Your tutor will discuss job seeking, CV creation and cover letters etc. Also, if appropriate you may be able to move to a higher-level apprenticeship.

What happens if I move jobs?

You can continue with your apprenticeship as long as the job you move to is the same or a similar role and the new employer is agreeable and willing to engage with the apprenticeship programme as your new employer. There are restrictions on timing which would need to be thoroughly investigated before any move was made to ensure that funding can continue.

What happens if I need to take time out?

Depending on the circumstances we are able to suspend your apprenticeship.

What happens if I do not meet deadlines?

It is your responsibility to work with your tutor to meet the deadlines of the tasks set. If you do not then formal procedures will be put in place by your tutor and employer. If for any reason you cannot meet a deadline, you should communicate with your tutor to discuss the issue.

Can I quit the apprenticeship if I want to?

Yes you can, although it is strongly advised not to as any future funding applied for may be denied and will mean that you can not achieve the qualification/apprenticeship.

What happens if the training provider goes out of business?

The Education and Skills Funding Agency will do everything they can to support you and find you another training provider.

Why Work with Profile?

We are the provider of choice for numerous businesses in the South East. Our unique and bespoke delivery model promotes loyal customers and repeat business. We hold the Matrix award for Information, Advice and Guidance. We were graded as a 'good' provider in our full Ofsted inspection in November 2018. We are the KCC chosen provider for the new level 3 Teaching Assistant apprenticeship standard.

Who employs the apprentice?

You are the apprentice's employer and it is therefore your responsibility to pay the wages of the apprentice, as you would any member of staff. They are your trainee employee.

How much will it cost me?

The current apprenticeship minimum wage can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

Once the apprentice has been on programme for 1 year and is over the age of 19, the national minimum wage is applicable until the completion of the apprenticeship.

Please see here for more information about national insurance contributions: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-insurance-contributions-forunder-25s-employer-guide/paying-employer-national-insurance-contributions-for-apprentices-under-25

How many hours does an apprentice have to work?

The minimum recommended is 30 hours per week. However, we would expect the job role to be full-time and around 37-40 hours per week. If the apprentice works under 30 hours per week, pro-rata based on a 52-week year, then the minimum duration of the apprenticeship has to be extended and the apprentice has to be on programme for longer.

How do we recruit our apprentice(s)?

As the employer, you are free to recruit your apprentice as you would any member of staff. However, we are able to help with the recruitment by placing your vacancy on the .gov Find an Apprenticeship service website, the recruitment website Indeed and our Social Media platforms.

Is there a contribution I have to make?

The amount an employer contributes depends on whether you are a Levy or Non-Levy paying employer.

More information can be found at: - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/apprenticeship-levyhow-it-will-work#pay-apprenticeship-levy

Levy Payers will contribute the full cost of training, however any additional training costs incurred, may be eligible for 90% funding from the Government, subject to meeting their criteria.

For non-levy paying employers, the level of funding available from the Government depends upon the number of employees in your organisation.

If your apprentice is 16 - 18 years old and you have less than 50 employees, all of the training costs are funded. If your apprentice is 19 years of age or over, this is part-funded, and an employer contribution is required. (With the exception of apprentices, aged 19-24, who have an Education & Health Care Plan or are currently or have been in local authority care. These apprentices are also eligible for full funding. More information on this is available on the Government website.)

For employers with more than 50 employees, a 5% contribution is required for all apprentices, irrespective of age with the remaining 95% being funded by the Government.

All employer contribution amounts listed are exclusive of VAT at the standard rate.

Apprenticeship Standard Level 2 Level 3
Teaching Assistant Standard N/A £250
Early Years Practitioner £200 N/A
Early Years Educator N/A £300
Business Administrator N/A £250

Please note that is we reduce the length and price of the apprenticeship at initial assessment, and associated employer contributions will be reduced accordingly.

What incentive payments (grants) are available?

Currently, there is a £1000 incentive payment available for every apprentice that you employ that is between the ages of 16-18 years old for all employers. In addition to this 19-24-year-olds who have an Education & Healthcare plan or are currently or have been in local authority care, are also eligible for an incentive payment.

Do apprentices require a Contract of Employment?

Yes. As with all of your staff, they must have a contract of employment which covers the duration of their apprenticeship. As our programmes are individually designed around your company and your apprentice's needs, the length of programme can vary from 13 months to 24 months, and therefore the contract would need to reflect this. The contract must cover the period from the start to the completion of End Point Assessment and we would suggest an additional 3 months to cover resits or a flexible end date to run until the completion of the apprenticeship. This ensures the apprentice is secure in their employment until they are fully qualified.

How long does the apprenticeship last?

The timeframe for an apprenticeship with Profile can vary but must be for a minimum of 372 days but can be up to 24 months depending on the apprenticeship programme, job role and the person's needs and prior knowledge and qualifications. The apprenticeship standards are split up into two periods: the practical period and the End Point Assessment period. The practical period is the period in which all learning will take place and where the apprentice must complete everything they require for the End Point Assessment including their 20% Off the Job Training. Once this period has been completed, there will then be a Gateway review where all parties will confirm the apprentice is ready for the End Point Assessment. The next period is the End Point Assessment. This can last up to 3 months, depending on how long it takes the End Point Assessment Organisation to organise the assessments.

How much time is needed to complete the work involved by the apprentice?

The majority of the work is 'on the job' training - this is where the young person is guided and supported in the job role. It is a funding requirement for the employer to allow the apprentice 20% of their time to focus on their portfolio assignments, knowledge and skills requirements of their apprenticeship. The time should be allocated as per the hours outlined on the personalised commitment statement. Additionally time will be needed for the Tutor to meet with the apprentice and work through the programme, facilitate assessments, Functional Skills support and set new tasks.

How much time will be needed by the employer to support the apprentice?

This can vary depending on the complexity of the job role and the experience of the young person. However, we would expect the young person to be supported by a workplace mentor in their role until you are confident they can be left to complete the task competently. As with all new members of staff the level of support is usually more intensive at the start of the Apprenticeship and the Apprentice should be given guidance on how to complete tasks within their role, appropriate behaviour and conduct etc. whether this is as a formal induction process or not, will depend on individual company procedures. Some of this time will be part of the off the job training as they learn new skills in their role.

What resources / equipment will I need to supply?

You would need to supply the equipment and any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the young person to complete their job effectively, as you would for any new member of staff. In addition to this, apprentices require access to a room/area in which they can meet their tutor, either virtually or in person. A good internet connection is essential, as is access to a suitable device e.g. laptop.

Exactly what will be learned by the apprentice?

All apprenticeship standards are different and have different requirements. They will all require the apprentice to have, at least, level 2 functional skills in English and Maths but beyond that there are different requirements depending on the standard being delivered. For instance, the Early Years Educator Standard the learner must have completed Paediatric First Aid and the Level 3 Diploma for the Children's Workforce (Early Years Educator).

How will the apprentice benefit my business?

By having an apprentice you are developing a new member of staff to help with the productivity and growth of your business. The young person will develop their skills in your working practices which will be used now and in the future. An apprenticeship allows you to grow your future talent. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-guide-for-employers

What happens if the training provider goes out of business?

The Education and Skills Funding Agency will work with a local provider to find the right provision for your apprentice to continue on their programme.

What can an employer reasonably expect an apprentice to do?

An apprenticeship is a real job, so it is expected that the apprentice is supported and given the appropriate level of responsibility for their qualification, understanding and competence. This could be limited when they start the role, but with the right level of support, it is expected that before the end of the apprenticeship they will be a productive member of the team.

How many hours contact with tutor/tutor?

The 'off the job' training is dependent on the programme and the level of support required. However, as previously mentioned it is a requirement of the programme that the apprentice is given a minimum of 20% of their work hours, away from their normal work to work on their portfolio and tasks each week. This also includes work shadowing and in-house training. The tutor meeting is normally every 4 weeks, with email and phone contact as and when required. During the weeks between tutor face-to-face contact, tasks and work is set and access to their e-portfolio is unlimited.

Course work - how much and how long to spend on it each week?

This is very difficult to identify as it all depends on the job role, the type of assessment which can be used and the confidence of the apprentice. That said, it should take 5-6 hours each week, for the duration of the apprenticeship, to gather the evidence required for the portfolio. Hopefully, much of your apprentice's evidence will be generated and captured while performing their normal work duties.

Does an apprentice get paid holidays?

Yes. As with all staff, an apprentice will accrue holiday in the same way that all staff do, and they are entitled to take it as per your company's rules.

What should a mentor do?

A mentor is the key person who will be supporting the apprentice in the workplace. They will work with the tutor and the apprentice to ensure that the work is being carried out as required in the workplace. The mentor will also liaise with the tutor to help plan the requirements of the qualification.

Can the apprentice work alone?

It is the responsibility of the company to make sure the young person is safeguarded, and a risk assessment is carried out to ensure that the young person is not put at risk.

If you can't find the answer to your question and still need help? Contact Us.