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Organisational and Professional Development


The Queen Mary Apprenticeship Levy, which pays for the apprenticeship training costs, is maintained by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and as such they have strict funding rules in place which determine the eligibility for apprenticeship funding.

The role

  • Apprentices are employees and will have contracts of employment just like any other member of staff.
  • Apprentices (newly recruited or upskilling) must have a contract of employment for the full duration of the apprenticeship and End Point Assessment.
  • 6hrs per week (pro rata) of employed time must be made available for ‘Off-the-job' learning activities as directed by the training provider once enrolled.
  • The role must be able to provide the experience for the apprentice to meet the ‘Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours of the appropriate apprenticeship standard.
  • Can be full-time or part-time.
  • Must have an accessible line manager and mentor. 

A photograph of a white sheet of paper with three black boxes, one ticked in red

The Apprentice

  • Age: There is no upper age limit to be an apprentice, however they must be at least 16 years old at the start of the apprenticeship training.
  • Have the right to work in England.
  • Have been ordinarily resident in the UK or EEA for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship. However there are some exceptions to this rule which can be found in the residency eligibility section in Annex A of the Funding Rules.
  • Prior Qualifications and Experience: Apprenticeship opportunities should be designed to be as accessible as possible. However, each apprenticeship will have its own requirements for prior qualifications.

It is not possible to complete an apprenticeship at the same or higher level if the applicant has already obtained qualifications in the same vocational area. For example: If they already hold a degree (Level 6) in Business Management, then it is unlikely that they will be able to do a Business Administration (Level 3) apprenticeship. However, they would be able to complete an apprenticeship as a Lab Technician at any level because it is a different vocational area. 

English and maths are essential to supporting longer-term career prospects. This is why all apprentices must be supported to gain these essential skills and secure recognised qualifications. It is a requirement that all If the apprentice does not already hold a Level 2 (GCSE A-C / 4-9 or functional skill) they must gain this on the duration of the programme.  

If an apprentice has either an existing or previously issued education, health and care (EHC) plan, a statement of special educational need (SEN) or a learning difficulty assessment (LDA) then they are exempt from needing to achieve this requirement if it will be a barrier to their completion of the apprenticeship. However, they will need to work towards and achieve entry-level 3 functional skills instead. 

Managers’ discretion

Due to the Off-the-job learning requirement of apprenticeships, the line manager must agree to the apprenticeship enrolment and be part of the planning discussions. Whilst the 6hrs per week commitment does not necessarily mean that someone will be out of the office for this time (please see the Off-the-job guidance for more information about how this works) some adjustments of workload and access to additional experience to support the learning requirement may be needed. 

What is the right level of apprenticeship?

The level of apprenticeship is not necessarily determined by the apprentices' past educational achievements. It is a combination of the responsibility level of the job role and the apprentices' prior experience.

The Staff Apprenticeship Lead will support you with this decision.

Can I change roles/employers during the apprenticeship?

It is possible to change roles during the apprenticeship. However, in order to continue with the apprenticeship, the role must still be able to provide everything listed in ‘the role’ section above.

It may be possible to transfer to another employer, however this is at the new employer’s discretion.

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