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Covid Update

On Tuesday 29 March, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, set out the next steps for living with COVID-19 in England from Friday 1 April.

Updated guidance advises:

  • Adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and no longer have a high temperature.
  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can return to college when they no longer have a high temperature, and are well enough to attend.
  • Adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice is 3 days.

For education and childcare settings from Friday 1 April:

  • Regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision and children’s social care settings. Therefore, we will no longer be able to order test kits .

Full-time applications for September 2023 are now open. Take your next step

Employer Information
Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships add real value to businesses. Engaging in apprenticeships is the best way to mould your next generation of staff to your business needs. You can employ apprentices at different levels, from school leavers and university graduates, to people who want to further their careers or change career direction completely. You can hire someone new or upskill an existing employee.

As an employer, you can get funding from the government to help pay for apprenticeship training. We will appoint an Account Manager (Apprenticeship Business Development Executive) to support your business with apprenticeships.

Employer Benefits

Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.

  • 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity
  • 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service

Other benefits of working with apprentices include:

  • you can adapt their training according to the needs of your business
  • they’re motivated to learn new skills
  • you can expand and upskill your workforce
  • you can solve your staff recruitment and retention problems in an affordable way
  • you can recruit to your own job specifications
  • it is a cost effective way to invest in your future managers and attract new talent

Funding

Whilst employers cover the employment costs for their apprentices, there is funding available to support the training costs.

All employers with a payroll over £3m 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 £3m per year) the cost of training an apprentice is 95% funded by the government, with the employer only contributing 5% of the training costs. So for a Business Administration Level 3 apprenticeship which would cost £5000, a non-levy employer would pay £250.

Recruitment

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.

We will then:

  • Advertise your vacancy to our talent pool which includes our full-time Further Education students, on social media, on our college website and through the government apprenticeship website (for a minimum of 2 weeks)
  • screen and pre-interview the candidates to check they meet yours and our entry requirements and assess their current levels of Maths and English
  • Send you a shortlist of applicants for your final selection
  • If there are many suitable candidates we can help you arrange a selection day for you to choose the best person for your business.

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.

Incentives

The government provide 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 will receive a £1000 incentive if they employ a:
  • 16-18 year old apprentice
  • A 19-24 year old with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP)
  • A 19-24 year old who has previously been in local authority care

The £1000 will be paid in 2 instalments (via SGS College) - £500 after 3 months and a further £500 after 12 months (assuming the apprentice remains on 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.

Off the job training

All apprentices are required to spend a minimum of 6 hours per week (irrespective of the hours worked by the apprentice) of their employment hours in off the job training.

Some of this will be their time at college and in one-to-one training with their assessor in the workplace. There is also lots of training in the workplace relating to the apprenticeship that can contribute to the off the job training, such as:

  • Health and safety training
  • Employer induction programme
  • Learning about new equipment, systems or processes
  • Learning new IT systems
  • Shadowing
  • Mentoring
  • Industry visits
  • Time spent within a supply chain or 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.

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.

Apprenticeship Standards

Apprenticeship Standards have been 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.

Standards involve an independent End Point Assessment process, and the outcome is graded pass, merit or distinction.

Apprenticeship Duration

All Apprenticeships last a minimum of 12 months, many take longer. Typically, a level 3 Apprenticeship will take 18 – 24 months. Some technical apprenticeships take significantly longer. A level 3 in a Construction trade can take 3 years.

Apprenticeships

Smart Assessor

Smart Assessor is an electronic collection of a learner’s skills and knowledge, which is assessed by their tutor against a training standard or qualification and replaces paper portfolios.


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Covid Update