FAQs

We understand that as a parent you have many questions about your child’s future and what is the right option for them, so below you can find answers to many of the questions that we're asked most often about our apprenticeship service and process.

If you have any further question or if you would like to have a chat about Apprenticeships, you can find your local Academy HERE or contact our head office on 0844 504 3174.


What is an Apprenticeship?

Essentially, an Apprenticeship is a full time job, with added training and assessment. This means that your child would be gaining on the job experience, while earning a wage, and gaining a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical experience, skills and knowledge which can be implemented straight into the workplace.

Over the years, the desire for university graduates has dwindled, with employers preferring those who have experience in an office/vocational environment and knowledge of the industry they are working in. An Apprenticeship both teaches you the theoretical aspect of the industry you’re working in (the academic side) as well as the practical experience you can only gain from actually working within that industry (the on the job learning). Being equipped with both skill sets means an Apprentice will be more of an expert in that particular field than any university graduate could be.

How much is this going to cost us?
Absolutely nothing! If your son or daughter is aged between the ages of 16 to 18, the training is completely funded by the government. If your child is 19 or over, government funding is limited, however if they still wish to carry out an Apprenticeship at this age no costs will be incurred by the Apprentice themselves. This is in stark contrast to the astronomical university tuition fees that have risen from around £3,000 per year to £9,000 per year. The average university graduate’s 3 year debt has increased from roughly £22,000 to around £55,000. With university degrees not being seen as a requirement in this current economic climate, this high level of debt may not be necessary for your child to get the career of their dreams.
You say they will earn while they learn, how much will they earn?
Alongside this, an Apprentice also earns a wage while carrying out their Apprenticeship. The minimum wage for apprentices at this point in time is £3.40 per hour as of October 1st 2016. The final wage of an Apprentice can vary, as many employers can pay more than this if they choose to do so. This is dependent on the industry, region and the level of Apprenticeship they are doing, for example some higher level Apprenticeships can pay as much as £300 - £400 per week!

Further to this, in the long term, an Apprentice will earn over £18,000 as a starting salary in their first job, whereas a university graduate will earn closer to £14,000 in their first job. As many university graduates are having to take non-graduate roles due to lack of experience, Apprentices are starting in a higher wage bracket due to their immeasurable industry experience.

Ultimately, an Apprentice is likely to earn £150,000 more over the course of their lifetime than a university graduate. With such a high financial incentive, it’s not surprising that Apprenticeships are growing in popularity.

How can my child apply to be an Apprentice?
Once our recruitment executives have spoken with your child and found out more about them, we will start to look for an employer that would be the perfect fit for them, personally and professionally. Not only that, but we will support them in finding their own employer if they wish to do so. Many employers appreciate the direct approach and so through our employability sessions job search we offer as much support and guidance as possible to help our Apprentices get their dream career opportunity.

What if my child has a problem at work, who can they speak to?
Each Apprentice will be visited by an assessor once a month, to fully assess their progress in the workplace. So throughout the entirety of their programme, 3aaa will be at hand to offer help, support and guidance to ensure they are never to their own devices.

At 3aaa we stress the importance of safeguarding, and all of our recruitment executives and apprentice intake executives adhere to our safeguarding policies. If your son or daughter are having any problems in work, they can speak to us at any time and we will make sure the problem is solved as soon as possible. The needs of our learners are of utmost priority, so support will be available throughout the entirety of their Apprenticeship.

What qualification will my son/daughter get at the end of this?
Ultimately an advanced Apprenticeship, once fully completed, will gain them a qualification that is the equivalent of a diploma, foundation degree level. With no cost and unlimited career potential, an Apprenticeship truly is an option which your child should consider.

Once the Apprenticeship is over, will there be a job waiting for them once they finish?
If they have performed well throughout the Apprenticeship, the vast majority of employers will indeed keep an Apprentice on as a full time employee. Around 90% of Apprentices stay with their current employer once their course has finished, however it is not guaranteed. If an Apprentice does not perform to the best of their ability then, like with any other employee, an Apprentice would be let go upon completing their course.

My son/daughter already has a degree, can they still do an Apprenticeship?
Sadly if they have already carried out a degree, they are not eligible to be on an Apprenticeship programme. However, if they were to carry out an Apprenticeship first, there’s no reason why they can’t go back into further education further down the line. Many Apprentices chose to carry on their Apprentice studies from level 3 to 4 and so on. In some cases an Apprentice is offered, by their employers, the opportunity to get a University degree as well, if it is of benefit.

My child is 16 years old so cannot drive yet, how will they afford transport?
As an Apprentice your son/daughter is entitled to a 16-25 young person’s railcard (£30 for one year, or £70 for three).

This railcard can save you up to a 1/3 off all rail fares, which means big savings when it comes to an Apprentices commute!

For Apprentices living in London, if you are aged 18 or over, live in a London borough and are enrolled on a 3aaa Apprenticeship you are entitled to an Apprentice Oyster card, which can save you 30% off tube fares.

Students tend to get a lot of discounts in places, do Apprentices get similar offers?
Yes of course! All Apprentices are eligible to get an Apprentice NUS extra card, which comes to £11 for an entire year.

The NUS extra card offers discounts in dozens of shops, restaurants and entertainment locations (Thorpe Park, Cinemas, etc.) and so it is well worth the £11 price tag!

What sort of holiday allowance will an Apprentice get?
As an Apprenticeship is a full time job, they will get the same holiday allowance as any other employee, which is roughly 23/24 days holiday, with additional bank holidays off.

Now that September has passed, do applicants have to wait until next year to start their course?
With 3aaa, Apprentices can start their course at any point during the year! Due to the nature of Apprenticeships, the majority of your time will be spent in the work place, and so your start date depends more on your employer and when they would like for you to start. So don’t wait, start your 3aaa Apprenticeship journey now!

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