About apprenticeships

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship involves undertaking a job role which is accompanied by training and the development of technical / essential and transferable skills. It is a way for people of all ages to ‘earn while they learn’, and to achieve a qualification as part of this. Apprentices must be aged 16 or over and be in paid employment for the duration of their apprenticeship.

What are Trailblazers?

Trailblazers are employer led apprenticeships developed to replace existing apprenticeships. Each apprenticeship is made up of a ‘Standard’ that includes the knowledge and skills required for a specific job role. This is accompanied by an Assessment Plan which details how the apprenticeship must be assessed, and the quality assurance associated with this. CMI apprenticeships are all Trailblazer apprenticeships developed by employers led by Serco, in liaison with CMI and a number of Providers.

What will happen to existing apprenticeships?

New apprenticeships are being developed based upon the guidance given to Trailblazers and will be based upon the Standard developed by employers. As and when these are developed they will replace existing apprenticeships (though apprentices on existing apprenticeships will be allowed to complete). In England all apprenticeships offered from 2017/18 should meet the new Trailblazer standards.

What is happening to apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

The new Trailblazer apprenticeships apply only to England. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the existing apprenticeships will continue to be offered. These are based upon National Occupational Standards (NOS).

What other Trailblazer apprenticeships are available?

All Trailblazer apprenticeships which have been approved for delivery can be found here

All Trailblazer apprenticeships under development can be found here

How are apprenticeships funded?

Under the Trailblazer funding model, the Government currently contributes two-thirds for training and assessment (including that for Chartered status) up to a cap, with employers contributing the other third. Employers must also pay the apprentice’s salary. There is a national minimum wage rate that applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age. Many employers however choose to pay the apprentice more than the minimum wage.

The apprenticeship funding rules for 2016-17 can be found here

How much will the training cost?

The cost of the training will depend on the price of any training, assessment and qualifications for each apprenticeship. Employers will negotiate bespoke training packages with their chosen Provider.

How will funding work in the future?

The way that apprenticeships are funded will be changing. Government is introducing an apprenticeship levy that will come into effect on April 6th 2017. This system will replace the current funding system. The levy applies to UK employers in both the private and public sector with a paybill of more that £3 million each year. The levy will be charged at 0.5% of an employers entire annual pay bill. However employers will have a levy allowance to offset against this. The levy allowance is worth £15,000 for each tax year, which means the levy is only payable on pay bills over £3 million (because 0.5% x £3 million = £15,000).

It is intended that the levy will be collected by HMRC through monthly payments through PAYE. It is anticipated that less than 2% of employers will actually pay the levy.

Employers in England who pay the levy and are committed to apprenticeship training will be able to get out more than they pay in to the levy through a ‘top up’ of 10% to monthly funds entering levy paying employers digital accounts, for apprenticeship training in England, from April 2017. All funds entering a levy payer’s account will be increased, so every £1 will be increased to £1.10 in value.

Detail around exactly how this will work is still evolving at the time of writing – information and examples can be found here

Who is responsible for the quality of apprenticeships?

With regards to the CMDA, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) regulates universities/ higher education providers. The Chartered Management Institute is responsible for the quality assurance around Chartered Manager. Employers are responsible for the quality of on the job training.

A new, employer-led body called the Institute for Apprenticeships will be responsible for ensuring the high quality of apprenticeships in England from April 2017. However, where Ofqual regulated qualifications are embedded within apprenticeship standards, Ofqual will continue to be responsible for regulating these. Where professional qualifications are included within apprenticeship standards, their regulation will remain with the professional body. Universities/ Higher Education Providers will continue to be regulated by the QAA.

What is a Degree Apprenticeship?

The Government is supporting a rapidly expanding Higher Apprenticeships programme, where Degree Apprenticeships are the newest model being developed by employer-led trailblazers. Degree Apprenticeships involve employers, universities/ higher education providers and professional bodies in partnership co-designing an apprenticeship to meet full occupational competency and with the inclusion of a degree that provides the full programme of training and assessment for the apprenticeship.

Apprentices are employed throughout, and spend part of their time at university and part with their employer; employers and universities will have flexibility to decide how best to structure this, e.g. via day release or block release.

Apprentices will complete a rigorous end assessment which tests both the wider occupational competence and academic learning required for success in that profession in this case incorporating a bachelor’s degree.

How do the new Trailblazer apprenticeships compare to the old (SASE) apprenticeships?

Old Apprenticeship Framework

New Trailblazer Apprenticeship

Initial assessment of potential apprentice

Initial assessment of potential apprentice

Work-based learning and off the job training

Mandatory qualifications

e.g. NVQ, Technical Certificate

English & Mathematics

Employment Rights & Responsibilities

Personal Learning & Thinking Skills

Work-based learning and off the job training

Technical qualifications not normally mandatory

English & Mathematics qualifications required

Assessment of behaviours

What are the benefits of Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships have a number of benefits for employers, apprentices, and Providers.

  • Apprentices can acquire the skills they need to work and progress within certain roles
  • Apprentices will be employed and paid a wage throughout, will gain a full apprenticeship certificate, and gain a head-start into their chosen profession compared with many of their counterparts
  • Providers can strengthen links with local employers and offer an apprenticeship that meets employer needs
  • Apprenticeships are a tried and tested way for employers to recruit new staff, re-train or up-skill existing staff
  • Productivity is increased over time
  • Training costs are presently co-funded by the government.

What apprenticeships do CMI offer?

CMI presently offer apprenticeships at three levels:

  • Team Leader/ Supervisor (level 3)
  • Operational/ Departmental Manager (level 5)
  • Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (level 6)