We Are Usually Asked About

Q. How do I recruit an apprentice?

A. Optimum Skills Offer a complimentary bespoke recruitment service ensuring you get the best candidate for you role. We have an extensive recruitment process, including posting the job role, contacting potential clients and registration interviews followed by an initial assessment. After which an interview pack will be submitted to the employer, this will include CV’s and candidate information.

Q. Are apprenticeships only applicable for new recruits?

A. No – Apprenticeship training can be accessed both by new recruits and existing staff to improve their skills and performance. All employees aged 16 years or over can access the training although individuals with a Level 4 (degree equivalent) qualification, are not eligible to receive funding for an Apprenticeship.

Q. How long does an apprenticeship typically last?

A. This depends on the level of the Apprenticeship and any additional support that is needed for each person. Generally, Level 2 – Intermediate Apprenticeships 12 -18 months; Level 3 – Advanced Apprenticeships 15 – 18 months; Level 4 + Higher apprenticeships are a work based route into higher education 18 – 24 months.

Q. How long does the recruitment process take?

A. Once the candidate application pack has been submitted, employers are requested to contact Optimum Skills within 5 working days.

Q. Who is involved in the delivery of an apprenticeship standard / framework?

A. The Employer – who is responsible for creating and providing the job and issuing a contract of employment for the duration of the apprenticeship. The Training Provider (Optimum Skills) – are responsible for the training and supporting in the monitoring of 20% of-the-job training to the apprentice. The End Point Assessment Organisation – who is responsible for assessing the apprentice’s competence in line with the Assessment Plan.

Q. Do apprenticeships benefit businesses?

A. Yes and there’s research to prove it. According to figures from UKCES (UK Commission for Employment and Skills), 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make their organisations more competitive and 81% say they improve higher overall productivity. 92% believe that apprentices lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.

Q. What are apprentices entitled to?

A. Apprentices are entitled to most of the same benefits of other employees. They can not work more than 48 hours a week, or 40 hours if they are under 18. They are entitled to paid holidays, at least 28 days annually, sick pay, and any benefits or support the company offers. As of April 2018 the apprentice minimum wage is £3.70 for anyone under 19 or older, and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Q. Is there a limit to the number of apprentices an employer can have?

A. No – employer can take on as many apprentices as they can support.

Q. What is classed as the 20% off the job training?

A. Off the job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentices normal place of work, during work hours, but must not be delivered  as part of their normal working duties. This 20% off the job training requirement is measured over the course of an apprenticeship (as opposed to over an academic year). The off the job training is an essential part of an apprenticeship and therefore must take place during employed time.

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