Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about Apprenticeships

Questions from Employers

What can the Real Apprenticeship Company offer to help my business to support apprentices?

The Real Apprenticeship Company provides market-leading and innovative training solutions to public and private sector employers across the UK. We act as a business improvement partner supporting organisations to address issues. Through the development and piloting of successful and innovative training programmes The Real Apprenticeship Company is able to provide a truly employer responsive training offer linked to a range of pre-determined key performance indicators.

Each learning offer is bespoke to employer needs with The Real Apprenticeship Company recognising and supporting employers to optimise effective public /private funding opportunities that add value to the learning experience and support the creation of a world class workforce whose actions and behaviours drive business excellence throughout the organisation. The training offer also services the demand created by employers who, given the current economic climate, and the drive to introduce new efficiencies and working practices together with retaining skilled staff are able to use the innovative training programmes to underpin business growth and succession plans.

What training programmes can you offer?

At The Real Apprenticeship Company we work with a network of partners to offer a range of training programmes. Our offer includes apprenticeships, professional qualifications and bespoke programmes. The offer includes training programmes in effective leadership and management, coaching and mentoring, learning and development, engineering, logistics, retail, and customer service, international trade, business, digital and sales and marketing. We work with employers who are keen to work in a partnership approach with a forward thinking business solutions provider. All our programmes offer a blended learning training package using interactive virtual classroom technology and support on site tutorials, seminars and guidance. Learners are able to access a comprehensive video library and webinars to support their learning through virtual classroom. For a full list of our services, click here.

What do I need to consider when taking on an apprentice?

To ensure the success of an Apprenticeship programme, employers need to put the apprentice at the heart of your programme and design and build in effective and appropriate support mechanisms. In particular, very young apprentices with no prior experience of the working world need to receive a form of pastoral care from their line manager or mentor. Providing the right practical support and guidance to an apprentice will help ensure they settle in well, develop with your organisation and help contribute to its success.

Employers need to provide a well-thought-through induction which is valuable both for employers in helping an apprentice adapt to the workplace effectively; and also as a source of support that is generally appreciated by the apprentice themselves. A good induction should aim to:

  • Help the young person settle into the business and make them feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
  • Provide a good induction to the apprentice’s role and how they fit in the wider team.
  • Provide practical guidance in areas such as working time, breaks, pay, working conditions, dress codes and health and safety.
  • Help the apprentice understand their duties and clearly explain the line of authority, including an introduction to the roles of the supervisors and managers.
  • Provide reassurance about where they can go for help if difficulties arise.
  • Give the apprentice opportunities to get to know their colleagues and to integrate effectively into the wider workplace culture.
  • Provide plenty of opportunities for the apprentice to ask questions.

All apprentices require their employer to

  • Provide a clear outline of expectations and a safe supportive environment to learn and develop
  • Encourage them from the start to own and drive their programme targets and to seek regular feedback to self-assess their performance
  • Up-skill and develop line managers so they can coach their apprentice and act as a role model
  • Put a workplace learning mentor in place to further enhance the experience, adding and creating a proactive environment that builds on their eagerness, motivation and commitment.
  • Provide additional support to an apprentice who is new to the workplace environment or has a specific learning disability, this should be factored into the programme and additional support provided, for example one-to-one coaching, learning materials adapted or listening group sessions. Best practice shows that apprentices thrive when they see a joined-up approach and all parties involved working in partnership from the start of their journey. High-performing programmes are clearly outlined from the apprentice’s perspective and adopt a holistic approach, incorporating branding, tone and measures to enhance the experience, not hinder it.

What do I need to provide to the apprentice when delivering apprenticeships?

Most apprentices, unless they are part of your workforce already, will be relatively new to the world of work, so the way they are managed is crucial. Just like your other employees, good management and supervision will help the young person to develop more quickly, but this is also about providing support to the individual, in terms of building up their confidence and demonstrating that they can play a positive role in the world of work and become a trained professional. The apprentice’s manager should set clear work plans, provide informal coaching, ongoing feedback and evaluate tasks undertaken to aid the apprentice’s development. 5 steps to success are:

  • Communicate, review progress and meet regularly
  • Provide feedback, praise and recognition
  • Provide an appropriate level of autonomy and empowerment
  • Take an interest in the individual
  • Be available to talk if an employee has a question or a problem
  • Be approachable and understanding

It is important that apprentices are supported in making the sometimes, challenging transition from school or college into work. An apprentice, through naivety or lack of maturity, can fall foul of policies or standards of behaviour in the early days and it is vital that they have a support network in place to guide them through. They will not necessarily know the many things that you take for granted. Someone like a mentor needs to be able to act as an advocate, to step in and have those difficult conversations very early before any formal procedures are triggered. Good line managers with effective people management skills can also fill this role by picking up on any issues in terms of performance, behaviour or attendance as soon as they emerge, rather than waiting until they become a problem. Without this sort of support an apprentice can fall foul of disciplinary procedures because they lack skills, knowledge or self-awareness to turn things around.

Why should I choose The Real Apprenticeship Company as my business solutions provider?

The Real Apprenticeship Company has a genuine passion and enthusiasm for what it does.

We work in partnership with employers to strategise, co-ordinate and implement change in an environment that encourages and rewards creativity and success. Our business solutions programmes are developed through seeking an understanding of all employers’ needs, sharing knowledge and building relationships with employers through providing a first class service. We work with learners to change behaviours and to develop individuals that are able to drive through effective business improvement.

Whilst each business solutions programme is individual to an employer The Real Apprenticeship Company recognises that a range of core principles underpinned by bespoke key performance measures are critical to successful delivery.

Questions from Apprentices

What are the benefits of undergoing an apprenticeship?

1. Earn while you learn

2. Achieve recognised qualifications

3. Gain independence and respect

4. Benefit from ongoing and personalised support

5. Participate in real work experience

6. Improve your employability

7. Develop your skills

What can I expect from my apprenticeship?

Success from being prepared to work and study hard. You will work alongside experienced staff, building up knowledge, skills and responsibility, and gaining qualifications. Apprenticeships are also an excellent way of gaining general workplace experience, understanding how a business works, and improving your personal and social skills.

The employer pays your wages and gives you on-the-job training. You will also spend time with one of our network providers, gaining the knowledge, skills and behaviours to successfully pursue a career in your chosen occupational sector. On completion of your training programme you will undertake a final assessment and achieve an apprenticeship certificate. Apprentices earn £100,000 more over the course of their career than other less qualified workers.

How can I apply for apprenticeships?

There are 3 steps to applying for an apprenticeship.

  1. Search for an apprenticeship vacancy through the government website
  2. Create an account and sign in
  3. Complete and submit your application.

The National Careers Service has advice on writing applications and what to do at interviews.

What is an End Point Assessment, and how should I prepare for it?

The purpose of the end point assessment (EPA) is to test that an apprentice is fully capable of doing their job before they receive their apprenticeship certificate. It also helps to demonstrate that what an apprentice has learned can be applied in the real world.

Preparing for an end point assessment means practice, practice, practice by completing a series of mock assessments with The Real Apprenticeship Company’s network provider and with your employer covering all possible bases, so you know exactly what to expect on the day. This will help boost confidence in your abilities and knowledge, whilst highlighting any key areas which you need to develop.

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