Thinking of starting an apprenticeship but not sure where to start?
We want to ensure 100% of our apprentices and the businesses who support them make informed, confident decisions about the apprenticeship journey. We are committed to ensuring the right apprenticeship is chosen for each individual.
It is only natural to have questions. Below we have answered many frequently asked questions, however if you can't find the answer you are looking for, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
What is an apprentice?
An apprentice is someone 16 or older who combines working with studying to develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours in a specific job role.
An apprentice can be new (recruited) for an apprenticeship or can be an existing employee who wishes to upskill.
An apprentice is paid, you are an employed member of staff with employee’s rights and holiday entitlements.
All apprentices complete a formal assessment which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.
Why should I do my apprenticeship with Straight A Training?
As an approved training provider Straight A are subject to the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) quality arrangements and Ofsted inspections.
We have over 24 years experience in delivering quality training and apprenticeships and were rated as 'Good' by Ofsted in our most recent inspection in 2020.
We are experts in our field and pride ourselves on ensuring we identify the right apprenticeship standard to benefit the individual's career progression and social mobility. Whilst also ensuring a good fit with an employer.
Ofsted describes our tutors as“highly-skilled” and “offering very effective advice and guidance to help ensure that learners work towards the qualifications best suited to their individual career aspirations."
What types of apprenticeship are available?
Straight A Training specialise in the following sectors: Business, Hospitality and Catering, Facilities Management, Learning and Development, Leadership and Management and Marketing.
We deliver apprenticeship standards at levels 2 - 5 (2 being equivalent to GCSE's, 5 being a foundation degree).
To view the list of apprenticeship standards we offer please click here.
Who can do an apprenticeship?
Anyone in England aged 16 years old and above, whether employed, unemployed or leaving school.
There is no upper age limit.
For the majority of apprenticeships there are no formal qualifications needed, however some employers may ask for GCSE Maths and English at a grade 4 and above or A-C. If you do not have the qualifications at these grades Straight A will work with you to complete Functional Skills Level 2 in both English and Maths.
A few apprenticeship standards Straight A offer do involve mandatory qualifications, the details for these are stated on the apprenticeship standards page.
To discuss your individual situation please contact us by clicking here and we can advise the best route based on your qualifications, skills and experience.
Is an apprenticeship right for me?
Apprenticeships offer the chance to earn a wage whilst you work and study and can be hugely rewarding.
Apprenticeships have a vast range of benefits:
- They offer the opportunity of hands-on experience and skills development
- Exposure to industry professionals, mentors and a manager/company who want to invest in you
- A paid wage with employee benefits
- A nationally recognised qualification
- No tuition fees
- A dedicated tutor from Straight A providing one-to-one training and guidance throughout your apprenticeship
How does an apprenticeship work?
The company you are employed by pays your wages and gives you 'on-the-job' training to perform your role in the workplace (the exact details of your role and training will depend on the job, on the apprenticeship standard and on the sector/industry).
Your 'off-the-job' training is provided and structured by Straight A Training. You will be assigned a dedicated tutor, who you will work with for the duration of the apprenticeship on a one-to-one basis.
The off-the-job training is completed during your normal working hours for the purpose of achieving the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSB's) within the apprenticeship standard you are working towards. Off-the-job training can include the teaching of theory, practical training, shadowing, mentoring and time spent completing learning support activities and writing assignments.
The minimum requirement for apprentices working 30 hours (or more) per week is an average of 6 hours (20%) of off-the-job training per week over the duration of your apprenticeship.
How is the training delivered?
All learning takes place online; we use an e-portfolio, (One File), therefore communication and correspondence is constant and can be undertaken via this method as well as telephone, WhatsApp, virtual Teams meetings and face to face meetings. Tutors support and work with apprentices to build a robust relationship, to teach them throughout the programme and to prepare them for their End Point Assessment (EPA).
Straight A supports the learning by working with apprentices and their line managers to put the necessary learning into place and practise within their job role, and to achieve the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSB's) of the apprenticeship, and ultimately EPA.
How long does an apprenticeship last?
The length of your on programme learning and associated end point assessment process is determined by the specific apprenticeship standard.
A fully funded apprenticeship will take a minimum of 12 months on programme learning. Some apprenticeship standards take 15 months or 18 months. Visit our apprenticeship standards page to learn more about each individual qualification or get in touch to discuss them.
How will I be assessed?
All apprenticeship standards culminate with an End Point Assessment (EPA). It's the final assessment that apprentices have to pass to gain their qualification. The assessment process and length vary by each standard, but it is always performed by an End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), often an independent Awarding Body. Straight A make the necessary arrangements between the apprentice and the appropriate EPAO for each standard.
Assessment methods vary from multiple choice tests, practical observations and professional discussions to work-based projects and portfolios. Click here to view the apprenticeship standards Straight A offer and the associated assessment information.
Where can I take on an apprenticeship?
The number of companies and sectors who work with apprentices are vast. The sectors and associated apprenticeship standards Straight A specialise in can be viewed by clicking here.
Straight A provide a recruitment service for some of the employers we work with, if you are interested to view any of these opportunities, please get in touch and we will discuss these with you directly.
Do I have to pay fees to do an apprenticeship?
No, apprentices cannot be asked to contribute financial to the cost of training or end point assessment.
Straight A have a huge amount of knowledge about funding and apprenticeship levy's simply ask your employer to contact us.
How much will I earn?
Your employer will decide your rate of pay.
The government minimum rate of pay for an apprentice depends on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you’re in. However, for all apprenticeships you have to be paid for:
- Your normal working hours
- Training that is part of your apprenticeship (at least 6 hours of your normal working hours)
- Study towards English and Maths if this part of your apprenticeship
Your normal working hours will be specified in your employment contract / apprenticeship agreement.
There are regulations about how many hours you can work and being paid overtime.
Straight A can give guidance and advice to apprentices and employers on subjects such as this.
What qualification will I gain?
The qualification you will earn is dependent on the level and type of apprenticeship standard you choose.
Apprenticeships have the equivalent educational levels:
- Intermediate - Level 2 - GCSE
- Advanced - Level 3 - A-Level
- Higher - Level 4 & 5 - Foundation degree
To view the full list of apprenticeship standards Straight A offer please click here.
What do I do when I've finished?
As your apprenticeship training provider, we are very much involved in your career progression and will discuss your next steps with you.
Your employer may offer you a permanent position or a promotion, or you may wish to consider other opportunities with your new qualification and experience. Every situation is individual but ultimately you will have benefitted vastly over the duration of your apprenticeship and there will be many more career opportunities now open to you.
How and when can I start?
We can start apprenticeships at any time throughout the year. Therefore, please get in touch or ask your employer to via the details on our contact page.
We look forward to you starting your apprenticeship journey with Straight A Training.