Ladder for Shropshire: Key questions surrounding apprenticeships answered

Common questions about apprenticeships have been answered by the Ladder for Shropshire.

All About Apprenticeships event held at Shrewsbury Town Football Club
All About Apprenticeships event held at Shrewsbury Town Football Club

The Ladder wants to provide people with a clearer understanding of how apprenticeships can provide the first steps to successful careers.

It comes following the success of the All About Apprenticeships event held recently in Shrewsbury where hundreds of people attended to find out more about the opportunities available in the county.

Amanda Carpenter, project officer for the Ladder, said: "Standholders from colleges, universities, training providers and employers representing many occupations provided help and advice.

"The standholders were delighted with the level of interest and reports from visitors indicated that they had gained a much clearer understanding of how apprenticeships provide the first steps to successful careers.

"Organisers, the Ladder for Shropshire and the Marches Skills Provider Network, have collated some of the questions being asked at the event and produced them in a handy guide."

Do I have to pay to go on an apprenticeship?

No there are no fees, not even for a degree apprenticeship. The apprentice is employed by the employer and receives a wage, meaning you could graduate without paying tuition fees or taking out student loans.

I am unsure what I want to do, how can I find out what apprenticeships are available?

Regularly check the ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ website. You can search by postcode and distance and it will give you an idea of the opportunities available. During the week of the apprenticeship event there were 176 live vacancies in Shropshire in numerous sectors.

I am in year 11, when should I start to apply for apprenticeships?

If you are a school leaver you are unable to start an apprenticeship until the last Friday in June. You should start looking at apprenticeship vacancies after Christmas. If the start date is soon it is worth making an application outlining how soon you could start and perhaps offering to do a few days work experience in the holidays. Many employers will wait for a good applicant.

Are there apprenticeship vacancies available all through the year or just September starts?

Apprenticeships are available throughout the year, though some are dependent on the of job training starting in September. However, colleges and training providers operate differently and the entry points will differ. Many have multiple entry points or roll on roll off.

I am much older and looking to change career, can I have an apprenticeship?

Definitely, many apprentices are older and have decided on a different career path. Apprenticeships are a perfect way of retraining into a new sector.

Am I better undertaking an apprenticeship with a large employer?

Apprenticeship standards are set at national level. Whether you are with a large or small employer you must be trained and meet the same standards to complete the apprenticeship. Your apprenticeship is therefore transferable as you progress your career.

Will an apprenticeship lead to a full-time job?

More than 90 per cent of apprentices stay in permanent employment and progress with the employer.

Is an Independent Training Provider (ITP) the same as a college?

A. An ITP could be described as a private college and is approved and regulated to provide the training and qualifications required by an apprenticeship.

How many UCAS points is an apprenticeship equivalenting to?

Apprenticeships do not have a UCAS tariff. However, you can still go to university afterwards. UCAS ensures you can apply with a variety of qualifications and achievements.

Where can I find apprenticeship vacancies?

The majority of apprenticeships are advertised on the 'National Apprenticeship' website. This is a very important tool to use in looking for an apprenticeship. You can also visit:

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