What is an Apprenticeship?

  • A partnership between the apprentice, employer and training provider
  • Are available to learners of all ages
  • Apprenticeships are offered at two levels. Intermediate (level 2) and advanced (level 3)
  • Take between 1 – 3 years to complete, depending upon the industry and the level
  • Can be supported with public funding

Apprenticeships are a great way of bringing new talent into your organisation. They are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualifications. You can use Apprenticeships to train both new and existing employees who are moving into a new or changed job role and need to learn new skills.

An Apprenticeship gives quality hands-on experience and offers the apprentice the opportunity to develop their skills and a career in greenkeeping and golf course management.

Apprenticeships are designed by the Sector Skills Councils, while the National Apprenticeship Service helps to fund the training. Business representatives from the relevant industry sector work with the Sector Skills Councils to develop the course content.

Benefits of Apprenticeships to Businesses

  • An increase in productivity (80% of employers think so) and efficiency, overall improving your business performance
  • A more motivated and satisfied workforce (88% of employers think so) – Apprenticeships encourage loyal and enthusiastic members of staff as they feel more valued.
  • Provide new skills – 83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their Apprenticeship to provide the skilled workers they need for the future
  • New customers – after all 81% of consumers prefer to use a company that employs apprentices

As Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, most of the training is ‘on the job’ – at your premises. The rest can be provided by a local college or by a specialist learning provider, or you could deliver everything yourself.

As the employer you must give your apprentices an induction into their role and provide on-the-job training. You are also responsible for paying your apprentices’ wages.

Employment is expected to be for a minimum of 30 hours per week, except in the minority of circumstances, in these cases employment must be for more than 16 hours per week and the length of the apprenticeship will need to be increased accordingly to ensure the apprentice has gained the required level of skills and knowledge to do the job.

How Do I Select An Apprentice?

There are many ways to select an apprentice. All you need to do to is choose the right one for you. Here is a list of the options available;

  • Advertise, locally or on the BIGGA website and then contact your local land-based training provider.
  • Contact your local land-based training provider, as many apprentices will contact them asking if they know of any vacancies.
  • Contact the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) who can advertise on their website, free of charge and they will also help you find a suitable training provider. NAS has the Apprenticeship Matching Service.
  • Contact LANTRA, the Sector Skills Council, who will also advertise on their website, free of charge.

Is Funding Available?

Funding for an Apprenticeship is available from the National Apprenticeship Service and is accessed by the training provider. The size of the contribution varies depending on the age of the candidate.

  • 16–18 years old you will receive 100 per cent of the cost of the training
  • 19-23 years old you will receive up to 50 per cent of the cost of training. The training provider may ask for a contribution towards the cost of training the apprentice.
  • 24 years old or over, some providers may ask for a contribution toward the cost of training. However, from August 2013, there will be no funding available for apprentices over the age of 24. The Skills Funding Agency will expect employers or the apprentice to cover the cost of the training. There is also the opportunity for the apprentice to access a Professional and Career Development Loan or a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan. Details can be found in the guide, included in the downloads section.

Employer Grants

The Apprenticeship Grants for Employers of apprentices aged 16 to 24 aims is designed to secure an Apprenticeship job opportunity. It aims to assist employers new to Apprenticeship delivery, and those employers who had not been in a financial position within the last 12 months to commit to employing an apprentice to take on a young apprentice.

The National Apprenticeship Service is providing the Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (with up to 1000 employees) to help them to create new places and take on a 16 to 24 year old apprentice immediately. The grant has a value of £1,500.

The Grant is administered on behalf of the National Apprenticeship Service by one of the Training Providers funded to deliver Apprenticeships. On commitment to recruiting a young person and supporting them through their Apprenticeship programme, employers will receive the £1500 payment from the Training Provider following the apprentice completing 13 weeks of their Apprenticeship Programme. Further details can be found in the download section.

National Minimum Wage

A National Minimum Wage for apprentices was introduced on 1 October 2010. The wage applies to all apprentices aged under 19; and apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their Apprenticeship. The minimum an apprentice can receive is £2.65/hour.

Should you have any further queries regarding apprenticeships, please contact BIGGA’s Learning and Development department on 01347 833800 Option 3 or alternatively contact your local training provider. Details of training providers can be found in Education section, on the Greenkeepers Training Committee website or through the LANTRA List of Training Providers in the download section.

Here is a list of websites you find helpful;

National Apprenticeship Service

National Apprenticeship Service (Matching service)

LANTRA - Sector Skills Council

Greenkeepers Training Committee