Becoming an apprentice - what does that mean?
Published: 02 Oct 2015
A Modern Apprenticeship (MA) offers you the opportunity to gain an industry-recognised qualification through a combination of college and work-based training. This allows you to work, earn and learn at the same time.
You must be employed to enrol on an MA programme. Many employers recruit for Modern Apprenticeship roles and others offer existing employees the opportunity to undertake this training. This is a chance to achieve an industry-recognised qualification that will vastly improve your career prospects without having to study full-time.
An apprenticeship is an investment – both for you and your employer. The rewards are enormous on both sides. As you develop and strengthen your skillset, you are likely to grow in confidence, contributing more to your job role and bringing new ideas into the workplace.
An MA qualification will help you progress within your chosen field of work, and could also create opportunities for advanced college or university entry.
You must be over 16 and employed to be an MA and both you and your employer must be in agreement on the type of apprenticeship path you wish to take. Entry requirements vary according to the specific apprenticeship you choose. We have limited places in some sectors for those aged 20 or over.
Here are some of the questions North East Scotland College (NESCol) are frequently asked.
HOW IS MY TRAINING DELIVERED?
Your training will be provided over an agreed term, this typically ranges from two to four years. You will attend college initially on a day release (one day per week) or block release period (several weeks at a time) while also working towards a training plan at work. As your apprenticeship progresses, you will find that the time you spend at college reduces and your training becomes solely work based.
IS THERE ANY SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO ME?
Yes. For the duration of your apprenticeship, you will be allocated an assessor from the college. The assessor will meet with you every three months to discuss progress, witness assessments and review your training portfolio.
Your employer and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will meet the cost of Modern Apprenticeship employee training, so there’s no cost to you to learn new skills.
The only investment you need make is in terms of time – the effort that you put in will bring enormous rewards, in the form of improved self-confidence, competence, efficiency and motivation.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME AS AN MA?
You will be expected to carry out the required training and assessments whilst performing your day to day role for your employer.
I DON’T CURRENTLY HAVE A JOB – CAN I APPLY FOR AN MA?
You need to be in employment to enrol in a Modern Apprenticeship. However, there are employers who are looking to recruit individuals into a job role and then on to a Modern Apprenticeship programme.
WILL I NEED QUALIFICATIONS TO GET IN?
Not necessarily. While some industries want apprentices who already have qualifications up to a certain level, other employers don’t ask for any formal qualifications at all. As core skills are required for all Modern Apprenticeships, an existing core skills profile may be asked for on application.
HOW DO I APPLY?
We still have Modern Apprenticeship places available so if you’re already in a job, and you’re interested in starting an MA, you should speak to your employer to discuss which options may be open to you.
For more information or to request a copy of our Modern Apprenticeship booklet, contact MAteam@nescol.ac.uk or call 01346 586110.