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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the entry requirements?

  • You must have obtained a minimum of 5 G.C.S.E.'s Grade A*-C, including Maths and English. You will also be required to complete an assessment in literacy and numeracy.

How are Apprentices selected?

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  • Stage 1: On receipt of your completed application form, we will request references and suitable applicants will be short-listed. Please note: Due to the volume of applications we receive, you may be places on a waiting list. We will advice you in writing if necessary.
  • Stage 2: If successful in stage 1 you will be invited for an aptitude test and you will also be required to bring evidence (certificates etc.) of your qualifications.
  • Stage 3: If you meet the required standard in the aptitude test you will be offered a provisional place (subject to securing an employer).

At this stage we expect you to participate in job search activities such as; completion of application forms and sending your CV for posts as advised, attending job briefing sessions and attending any interviews we arrange.

We reserve the right to withdraw your application if you fail to participate in job search activities.


How long will it take to get employment?

  • There is no timescale on this part of the process as it depends on the number of job vacancies which arise within SMBC/local companies. When we receive a request for an Apprentice to join a department or other local company, we forward all applications that have gone through out application process.

    It is important you participate in any activities that will help you secure employment, you may be required to send a CV or covering letter, complete an application form or attend a briefing session about the post. The department/company will then short-list the applicants they would like to interview and make the decision as to who gets the job (we have no input into this part of the process).

    If you need help preparing for interview, you could visit a Personal Adviser at your local Connexions office (see: for further details).

Where will I be working?


  • That depends on where the employer s based, we work with employers based inside and sometimes outside the borough.

Will I be working for the council?

  • Apprenticeships are offered by a wide range of companies, this includes the council. you will be working for whichever organisation offers you employment to complete your Apprenticeship.

How much will an employer pay me?

  • Employers are expected to pay a minimum of £95 per week (£2.50 per hour). Apprentices joining aged 16-18 are exempt from the minimum wage. Apprentices aged 19 and above qualify for minimum wage after the first 12 months of the Apprenticeship.

How much holiday can I have?

  • As an apprentice you will be in an employed situation, so your holiday entitlement will be agreed by your employer. Basically, once you become employed you will be bound by your employers terms and conditions of employment.

Is there anything I can do to help me gain employment?


How long will it take to complete?

On average an Apprenticeship is usually achieved in 12-18 months, and an Advanced Apprenticeship in 18-24 months.