Cambridge Regional College - Centre of Vocational Excellence

FAQs for Adult Learners

An apprenticeship is an excellent way of gaining qualifications, skills and knowledge whilst in a job. The programme is made up of occupationally-relevant qualifications that measure and enhance your skills, competency and knowledge; as well as transferable skills such as English, maths, IT, employment rights, health and safety, and personal learning and thinking skills.

Apprentices can be any age over 16 as long as they are not on any other government-funded training programme. There is no upper age limit meaning that it is an option for adult learners and existing employees.

You may be looking for a career change – an apprenticeship will give you the skills, knowledge and opportunity to learn a new trade. Or you may already be in a job but don’t have the qualifications that match your position and want get that all-import training certificate to increase your future job prospects.

It depends on your job role. Generally, Intermediate Level Apprenticeships are suitable for those starting their career or in a more junior position. Advanced Level Apprenticeships are suitable for those working in a technician, supervisory or middle management position. Higher Level Apprenticeships are level 4 or 5 and equivalent to a foundation degree / degree and are suitable for those wishing to progress further in their chosen field at management level.

They are widely recognised by industry professionals and employers. They can be tailored to your job role and your employer’s business needs. You will receive expert tuition with plenty of support via monthly assessment visits and reviews at your place of work. It is a flexible training programme that works with your time schedules.

The length of your apprenticeship depends on the type of programme you are doing and your existing qualifications, but in general it takes between one and two years. (Engineering can take much longer; for example, the Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Engineering is a three year course.)

The major part of an apprenticeship programme is work-related and you will be assessed regularly against set targets. Depending on your programme you may also spend a day each week during term-time at college to develop your technical knowledge and literacy, numeracy and IT skills if necessary.

It depends on the Apprenticeship programme you are on; many apprenticeships require college attendance for a full or half-day a week during term time. (Hair, Barbering and Beauty apprentices are required to attend college throughout the year except during December when it is their industry’s busiest period.)

Yes, maintaining a good level of maths, English and ICT is essential for the successful completion of the programme and they develop valuable transferable skills that you can use in other areas of life. There are exemptions depending on your prior qualifications (for example if you gave a GCSE grade A-C achieved in last five years in English Language, maths and IT or equivalent you are exempt) and these will be discussed with you at the application process.

The entry requirements are dependent on the programme you are applying for, but most require at least:

Level 2: 4 GCSEs at grade D (3) including English and maths

Level 3: 4 GCSEs at grade C (4) including English and maths or a Level 2 apprenticeship or vocational qualification with Functional Skills at Level 2

All apprenticeship programmes require you to be in a suitable job role with an employer that will support you through your apprenticeship programme. You will need to hold a contract of employment and not be self-employed, working a minimum of 30 hours per week.

You will need to have a job to do an apprenticeship. We can give you advice and guidance on how to get a job and we work with employers who regularly want to hire new apprentices. We list and update all our current apprenticeship vacancies on our website: visit The National Apprenticeship Service also have an online vacancy matching service on their website where you look for apprenticeships jobs across your region with all training providers. Just register your details on

Each programme will be assessed and delivered depending on the individual requirements of that area. This may include classroom or workshop delivery or assessments through theoretical and practical tests.

However, all learners will be assessed in the workplace via regular assessor visits. During these visits, the assessor will assess you using a variety of methods including observation, questioning, professional discussions, witness testimonials and candidate work products and statements and also complete a review with you to make sure you are on target to complete and to give you the opportunity to discuss any problems or issues.

You do not have to pay but depending on the size of the company your work for there is an employer contribution.

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