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 ApprenticeshipsAn Apprenticeship at SGS Could Be the Course for You

If you want to earn while you learn, an apprenticeship at SGS could be the course for you.

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Apprenticeships at
SGS College

SGS offer a wide range of apprenticeships covering most employment sectors. We have very strong retention and overall achievement rates, ahead of national averages.

Our employers are supported by a dedicated account manager to steer them through every step of the apprenticeship journey.

Learners are supported by their training assessor to ensure they have every opportunity to thrive, achieve and progress to the next level.

We have flexible delivery models, including programmes at Filton, Stroud and central Bristol. We also offer workplace delivery for some apprenticeship programmes.

We support over 1000 employers a year with their apprenticeship programmes, recruiting over 600 new apprentices every year.

Employer Overview

Apprenticeships add real value to businesses. Engaging in apprenticeships is the best way to mould your next generation of staff to your business needs. Apprenticeship Standards are written by employers to ensure apprentices develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required in the workplace. Apprenticeships are also a great way to upskill your existing staff, as well as new recruits.

Apprenticeship Recruitment

At SGS, we recruit over 600 apprentices a year for our employers. We have an in-depth recruitment and selection process to ensure we only shortlist candidates that are a great fit for the employers’ requirements. The employer then makes the final selection. At 90% retention, this outperforms most paid-for recruitment services.

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Apprenticeships

A great way to gain qualifications and experience in your chosen trade.

Apprenticeship Funding and Incentives

Whilst employers cover the employment costs for their apprentices, there is funding available to support training costs, and there are also a number of employer incentives to encourage take-up of apprenticeships.

All employers with a payroll over £3 million already pay the apprenticeship levy, at 0.5% of their payroll. The levy funds can only be used on apprenticeship training, otherwise they are returned to the treasury after 24 months. For many levy-paying employers, the levy funds have become their training and recruitment fund, and engaging in apprenticeships is the only way to recoup the benefits of their levy investment.

For employers who do not pay the levy (all employers with a payroll under £3 million per year), the cost of training an apprentice is 95% funded by the government, with the employer only contributing 5% of the training costs.

Employer Incentives

The government provides a range of incentives to encourage employers to engage in the apprenticeship programme:

  • Employers do not make any National Insurance contributions for apprentices under the age of 25.
  • Employers with apprentices aged 16–18 at the start of their apprenticeship will receive a £1000 incentive, with £500 paid at 3 months and £500 at 12 months (assuming the apprentice remains on the programme).
  • For smaller employers with under 50 employees, the government will pay 100% of training costs for 16–18-year-old apprentices, and no employer contribution is required.

Types of Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are available at Levels 2, 3, 4 and Higher. A Level 2 apprenticeship will normally fit an entry-level role within the workplace.

A Level 3 apprentice will be expected to take on some areas of responsibility within their job role, and at Level 4 and above, apprentices will typically have some degree of management responsibility and decision-making within the business.

There are currently two types of apprenticeship: Apprenticeship Frameworks and Apprenticeship Standards. Apprenticeship Frameworks, which are qualification-based, are being phased out and no new apprentices will start on Frameworks after July 2020.

Apprenticeship Standards

Apprenticeship Standards are replacing Frameworks. Designed for a particular vocational area by a representative group of employers, Standards define the knowledge, skills and behaviours that an apprentice must meet to achieve their apprenticeship. The apprentice also has to meet minimum standards in maths and English.

The key difference between Standards and Frameworks is that Standards involve an independent End Point Assessment process, and the outcome is graded at pass, merit or distinction.

Apprenticeship Duration

All apprenticeships last a minimum of 12 months, although many take longer. Typically, a Level 3 Apprenticeship will take 18–24 months. Some technical apprenticeships take significantly longer. A Level 3 apprenticeship in the construction trade can take three years.

Your Apprenticeship Journey

We will appoint an account manager to support your business with apprenticeships. The account manager will arrange a visit to explain the process, establish your training and recruitment needs, and go through all the details, costs and incentives. We will carry out a skills scan to identify the apprenticeship programme that provides the best fit with your training requirements.

If required, we will then advertise your apprenticeship vacancy on the national recruitment site for a minimum of two weeks.

All applicants who meet your criteria will be invited for a college interview. We will ensure they have understood the job role and that they are a suitable fit for your business, and we will screen for basic skills. We will then send you a shortlist of applicants for your final selection.

Once your apprentice starts employment, the college assessor will arrange a start-up meeting with the apprentice and the workplace supervisor to map out the training and assessment programme. The assessor will also plan review meetings every 12 weeks to ensure the apprentice remains on track to succeed. The assessor will be your key contact for all issues relating to training, and the account manager will continue to support your business through the entire journey.

The 20% Off-the-Job Requirement

All apprentices are required to spend a minimum of 20% of their employment hours in off-the-job training. Some of this time will be spent at college and in one-to-one training with their assessor in the workplace. There is also lots of apprenticeship training in the workplace that can contribute to the 20% off-the-job requirement, such as:

  • health and safety training;
  • an employer induction programme;
  • learning about new equipment, systems or processes;
  • learning new IT systems;
  • shadowing;
  • mentoring;
  • industry visits; and
  • time spent within a supply chain or a different department.

It is permissible for some of the off-the-job training to take place within a live environment. Provided the activity is teaching new skills, knowledge and behaviours that are related to the apprenticeship, it will contribute to the off-the-job requirement.

Learner Overview

Apprenticeships offer the chance to earn while you learn. As an apprentice, you will be employed and have the same entitlements as other employees. You will also follow a structured training programme to ensure you develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by employers for you to succeed in the workplace.

Most apprentices stay with their employer at the end of their training; many progress into higher roles within the organisation and become highly valued senior employees.

Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (comparable to GCSE level) to degree level and above. They are a cost-effective way to achieve progression through to degree-level qualifications without incurring loans or training costs. Apprentices do not pay towards the cost of their training.

How to Apply

At SGS, we recruit over 600 apprentices a year for our employers. All our vacancies are advertised on the findanapprenticeship site. Follow the link to SGS vacancies and apply via the findanapprenticeship site.

If you meet the vacancy criteria, we will invite you into college for a supportive interview. At the interview we will check that:

  • you meet the requirements of the job role;
  • the apprenticeship is at the appropriate level for you;
  • you have researched the company and the job role and are well prepared for the employer interview; and that
  • you have the required levels of maths and English to succeed.

We will also ask you about any support needs you may have. Please ensure you bring copies of your certificates if invited to interview.

Types of Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are available at Levels 2, 3, 4 and Higher. A Level 2 apprenticeship will normally fit an entry-level role within the workplace.

A Level 3 apprentice will be expected to take on some areas of responsibility within their job role, and at Level 4 and above, apprentices will typically have some degree of management responsibility and decision-making within the business.

There are currently two types of apprenticeship: Apprenticeship Frameworks and Apprenticeship Standards. Apprenticeship Frameworks, which are qualification-based, are being phased out and no new apprentices will start on Frameworks after July 2020.

Apprenticeship Standards are replacing Frameworks. Designed for a particular vocational area by a representative group of employers, Standards define the knowledge, skills and behaviours that an apprentice must meet to achieve their apprenticeship. The apprentice also has to meet minimum standards in maths and English.

The key difference between Standards and Frameworks is that Standards involve an independent End Point Assessment process, and the outcome is graded at pass, merit or distinction.

Apprenticeship Duration

All apprenticeships last a minimum of 12 months, although many take longer. Typically, a Level 3 Apprenticeship will take 18–24 months. Some technical apprenticeships take significantly longer. A Level 3 apprenticeship in the construction trade can take three years.

Your Apprenticeship Journey

Once recruited by your employer, we will appoint a training assessor to support you through your apprenticeship. The training assessor will meet with you and your supervisor to design an Individual Learning Plan.

We will carry out a skills scan to identify the apprenticeship programme that provides the best fit with the job role and your training requirements.

The assessor will also plan review meetings every 12 weeks to ensure you remain on track to succeed. The assessor will be your key contact for all issues relating to training and will support you through the entire journey.


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