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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the entry requirements?

  • Preferably 4 GCSE’s at Grades A*-E and applicants will need to meet the required standard in an initial assessment.  You should ideally be working at Level 1 in Literacy and Numeracy to be considered for this programme, whilst demonstrating motivation and a keen interest in your chosen trade area. 

You must be prepared for site work in particular; working outside (sometimes in difficult weather conditions), working at height, travelling to various locations, early mornings and possibly working away from home.

How are Apprentices selected?

  • Stage 1: On receipt of your completed application form, we will request references and suitable applicants will be short-listed.
  • Stage 2: If successful in Stage 1, you will be invited for an aptitude test.
  • Stage 3: If you meet the required standard in the aptitude test, we will invite you for an interview. Successful applicants will be offered an Apprenticeship subject to completion of our Pre-Apprenticeship Programme (explained below).

When do Apprenticeship programmes commence?

  • Twice a year, normally July and September.

Induction/Pre-Apprenticeship Programme

  • Before formal acceptance onto the Apprenticeship you will attend a Pre-Apprenticeship Programme covering Health and Safety, Job Search and you will spend time in your chosen trade area learning the basics in readiness for entering employment.

Will I get paid during the Pre-Apprenticeship Programme?

  • With the abolishment of EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance), we are waiting for Government advice as to any future financial allowances.

Under what circumstances will an Apprentice be removed from the programme?

  • On your first week, we will explain and issue a copy of our “Code of Conduct”, failure to adhere to this at any stage throughout your programme may lead to you being subject to the disciplinary procedure or dismissed (depending on offence).  During your induction/pre-Apprenticeship we will be paying particular attention to your timekeeping, attendance, general behaviour and effort, and will determine whether you can progress onto the Apprenticeship programme based on your overall performance throughout the initial stages.

Employment

Do you find employment for Apprentices?

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  • We make every effort to find jobs for Apprentices and will work closely with you to help you gain employment, but it is not guaranteed. We advise all Apprentices to look for their own employer and offer help and advice with job search. During the Pre-Apprenticeship Programme, you will be allowed time off to attend interviews and/or trials with employers. We also integrate job search into the programme.

What if I do not have an employer after the Pre-Apprenticeship programme?

  • If by the end of the Pre-Apprenticeship you do not have an employer, we will discuss the options available to you, and will continue to source vacancies and offer advice and assistance on job search.  You will be expected to report to the centre regularly to discuss progress.

IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU LOOK FOR AN EMPLOYER BEFORE STARTING THE PROGRAMME

Will I be working for the Council?

  • We work with a wide range of local companies some of whom work on council sites/contracts but you will be employed by the company not the council.

Where will I be working?

  • This will depend on your employer. Construction is largely site-based so you will be required to work wherever your employer is working at the time.

Will I have transport to the sites?

  • Some employers provide assistance, travelling from one place to another but there may be times when you will be expected to make your own way.

What if I am unhappy with my employer?

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  • This should not normally happen because there are regular discussions with employers, instructors and Apprentices. If, however, you are unhappy you should raise it with your Training and Employment Liaison Officer who will investigate the matter.

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 the 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 with your employer. Basically, once you become employed you will be bound by your employers terms and conditions of employment.

What if I lose my employer?

  • If you lose your employer through no fault of your own (i.e. you are made redundant), then we will make every effort to help you secure another employer. However, if you are sacked (i.e. for attendance or punctuality, behaviour), we will remove you from the programme unless you are able to find another employer.

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

General Information

  • You will be issued a basic tool kit before entering employment (free of charge). Any additions or loss/damaged tools must be paid for by you. We will also provide you with protective clothing and safety boots on the first week of induction

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