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National Apprenticeship Week: #AskAnApprentice day

Posted by. Leeds Trinity University
Posted on 06 March 2019

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​​​Today is #AskAnApprentice Day as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019, so we've put your questions to our apprentices and Apprenticeship and Skills team at Leeds Trinity. Here are the responses…

How long do Apprenticeships last?

Apprenticeships can take between two and four years to complete. Our Higher and Degree Apprenticeships at Leeds Trinity usually take between three and four years.

What is a Higher Apprenticeship?

A Higher Apprenticeship is a Level 4 and above which involves part-time study at a college, university or training provider, alongside full-time employment. Our apprentices gain Higher Education Certificate (Level 4), Higher Education Diploma (Level 5) or a Professional Certificate (Level 6). Different providers may offer other qualifications such as NVQs, HNDs or Foundation Degrees.

We currently offer the following Higher Apprenticeships at Leeds Trinity – Children, Young People and Families Practitioner (Level 4), Children, Young People and Families Manager (Level 5) and Teacher (Level 6).

What is a degree apprenticeship?

A Degree Apprenticeship is a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification – gaining a full Bachelor's degree at Level 6 or a Master's degree at Level 7 – which involves part-time study at a university, alongside employment.

We currently offer six Degree Apprenticeships at Leeds Trinity – Chartered Manager (Level 6), Supply Chain Leadership (Level 6), Business to Business Sales (Level 6), Digital Technology Solutions (Level 6), Police Constable​​ (Level 6),and Senior Leader (Level 7).

Do I have to be employed to be an apprentice?

Yes – you will usually be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week, and have the support of your employer.

If you're not currently employed but want to explore apprenticeship options, have a look at the Government's Find an Apprenticeship website or the UCAS Apprenticeship search tool.

How much is an apprentice wage?

It varies. The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £3.50 per hour, but on average, higher and degree-level apprentices earn around £12-£16,000 in the first year. There is no maximum wage and your earning potential increases the more skills and experience you acquire.

Does the apprenticeship cost?

As an apprentice, you won't pay any tuition fees – these are covered by your employer and the government, meaning you get a debt free University experience – along with a full-time wage.

If you already have an undergraduate degree, can you apply for a Degree Apprenticeship?

Yes – as long as the degree apprenticeship is in a different discipline to the one you'd previously studied.

What is it like studying an apprenticeship?

We'll hand this one over to 21-year-old Casey Hammill – a Logistics Management Trainee at Royal Mail and Supply Chain Leadership apprentice at Leeds Trinity:

"It has been an extremely challenging yet rewarding experience so far. Inevitably, it was always going to require a good sense of time management, studying against a full-time job, however due to the relatability to my place of work, the two simply coincide. 

"I have enjoyed being part of a cross functional cohort and have gained an insight into how the degree can be adapted to suit all positions in the supply chain."

How does the University part of the apprenticeship support you in your job?

Joanne Croarkin is one of our Chartered Manager apprentices from Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. She says:

"When I started the apprenticeship I had just been given my first management role, I felt really out of my depth sometimes and needed to develop more confidence. 

"Since starting the apprenticeship I have been able to complete my job much more easily as I understand the different areas of management, I am much more confident and it has even helped me achieve a promotion. It has taken me out of my comfort zone and I feel like I am capable of achieving much more."

18-year-old Tom O'Meara from The Uniserve Group is one of our Supply Chain Leadership apprentices. He says:

"The degree apprenticeship means I take a deeper interest in my work and how I can better myself day-by-day. It's teaching me a lot about self-reflection. We look at how we learn, how it can be applied to our job and how we could have learned better."

And finally, what impact can a higher or degree apprenticeship have on your career?

Joanne says: "The apprenticeship has already enabled me to secure a promotion within my current department. Once I have completed the apprenticeship I think it will open up lots of opportunities for me to further my career, not just having a formal qualification but the confidence that comes with the knowledge I have gained."

Casey says: "The apprenticeship opens many more options both internally and externally to my place of work. The learning involved can be applied across multiple channels with a more general scope as opposed to a specific subject area, giving me the level of employability needed to progress and succeed."