Cambridge Regional College - Centre of Vocational Excellence

Apprenticeship FAQs

An apprenticeship is an excellent way to develop the skills of your new or existing staff, giving them the opportunity to gain industry-recognised qualifications relevant to their job role. Apprenticeship programmes are a framework of qualifications usually made up of:-

  • Certificate/Diploma – a competency-based qualification which is assessed against a learner’s current job role
  • Technical Certificate – gives the learner knowledge and understanding of the subject
  • Transferable Skills – ensures a learner’s English, Maths and ICT are operating at a level linked to the overall qualification, develops their understanding of their employment rights and responsibilities and develops their personal learning and thinking skills.

The apprentice works alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills and also receive training at college, usually on a day-release basis. Assessors will visit the apprentice on a monthly basis to assess their work, set targets and review their progress. We ask the employer to be involved in the reviews to make sure all parties are satisfied with the progress of the Apprenticeship.

Apprentices can be any age over 16. There is no upper age limit meaning your existing staff can benefit as well.

As an employer you will benefit from, value-added training that is tailored to your business requirements. You will also gain from having motivated and well-trained staff with essential skills, enhanced staff morale, better employee retention and improved efficiency and productivity. Your staff will receive relevant industry training that can have an immediate impact on your business. You will be involved in every step in the planning of their training programme.

The length of your Apprenticeship depends on the type of programme but in general it takes between one and two years.

It depends on the apprenticeship programme; some 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.) However, many apprenticeships are delivered completely in the workplace so there is minimal disruption to your business.

Apprentices must be aged over 16 years old. You will need to provide them with a contract of employment, working a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Apprentices get paid a minimum of £3.70 per hour for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship. Apprentices aged 19 and above in the second year of study will be entitled to the age-related rate. However, many apprentices get paid much more than this. Apprentices must also be paid for the time they spend studying at college. For more information on the National Minimum Wage visit

Costs vary according to the company size and age of apprentice. Please contact us for further details.

Yes. Like other employees, apprentices should be given at least 20 days paid holiday per year as well as bank holidays.

No problem, Cambridge Regional College can help you recruit a new Apprentice. We provide a free recruitment service which includes advertising your vacancy on our website, interviewing applicants, and testing their literacy and numeracy skills. We are part of a large Further Education College with an extensive vocational full time programme meaning that we can identify suitable candidates from an existing pool of full time students. We can be as involved as much or as little as you wish and can take the stress out of recruitment for you.

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