Our new 'Meet Our Experts' blog is designed to give you a valuable insight into the different departments here at Wiltshire College. In the coming months we will be hearing from those members of staff who deal with Higher Education, Work Experience, Apprenticeships, Student Services, Exams and more. Stay tuned for insightful blogs from our heads of departments too, as well as key subject areas explored by various experts within the college.



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I believe that apprenticeships are the best way for students to learn and for employers to future proof their business.  They give students real life experience in their chosen field and offer the opportunity for employers to mould staff into efficient and productive employees, uniquely trained to fit the needs of the their employer.

I have worked in the apprenticeship department at Wiltshire College for over 6 years; supporting apprentices to achieve, recruiting apprentices and matching them to suitable employers and more recently managing an excellent team of Training Consultants and Students Recruitment Consultants to increase apprenticeship opportunities throughout Wiltshire and surrounding counties. 

My role as Business Development Manager at the College is made easier by the excellent teams we have working here, from support staff who process applications, enrolments and oversee exams to our expert tutors and assessors who teach and mentor apprentices throughout their training.  All staff work closely to ensure a joined up approach to engagement, training and achievement, putting student and employers needs at the heart of everything we do.

Wiltshire College are expanding the range of apprenticeships we deliver, offering a wide range of opportunities to train in different sectors, including many higher and degree level apprenticeships.   

Apprenticeship FAQ

What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a combination of paid work and training. Being an apprentice means that you can gain a recognised qualification whilst earning a wage.

Why study an apprenticeship?
You will work alongside experienced staff members at your place of work and gain nationally recognised qualifications as you go. Many skills you learn will be transferrable to other job roles should you decide to change career direction. Employers recognise and value apprenticeships as they show that you have been trained in the skills they need.

Why study an apprenticeship at Wiltshire College?
Wiltshire College offer apprenticeships throughout Wiltshire and neighbouring counties. Some are assessed wholly in the work place and others require attendance at either our Trowbridge, Chippenham, Salisbury or Lackham campuses.  We offer apprenticeships in a wide range of subjects, have excellent training facilities and dedicated tutors and assessors, who will support you through your apprenticeship programme.

What kind of things can I do an apprenticeship in?
Wiltshire College offer apprenticeships in more than 30 different occupations, including:
• Business Administration, Customer Service, Accountancy, Social Media & Digital Marketing and IT
• Construction – Plumbing, Electrical, Painting & Decorating, Trowel and Carpentry (Bench and Site)
• Motor Vehicle – Light Vehicle and Heavy Vehicle
• Engineering – Welding, Civil Engineering, Engineering Technician, Manufacturing Engineering and Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician
• Health & Social Care, Children & Young People’s Workforce and Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools
• Hairdressing and Beauty
• Hospitality and Catering
• Land-based – Horticulture, Agriculture, Land-Based Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Construction Plant Maintenance
• Veterinary Nursing and Horse Care
• Design, Live Events, Technical Theatre and Cultural Heritage

For the full range visit the website: http://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/study/apprenticeships/

What qualifications can I get?
Upon completion of your apprenticeship you will receive a relevant nationally recognised qualification in your chosen subject.  If you haven’t already achieved a grade 4 /C or above in Maths and English, you will also complete these as part of your apprenticeship programme.


Will I get paid?
Yes, you’ll be treated like any other employee and will also be entitled to sick pay and paid holidays. If your apprenticeship requires attendance at College then you’ll also get paid for these days.

How much?
The Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage is £3.50 per hour (£3.70 from 1/4/18) although many of our employers pay more than this. If you are 19 or over and have completed 12 months of your apprenticeship then you will be entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage for your age.

Will I get a job afterwards?
Most apprentices stay with their employer in a higher skilled role after they have completed their training.  An apprenticeship makes you appeal to other employers as it shows that you have gained a qualification and relevant experience.

Why should I choose an apprenticeship over full time study?
An apprenticeship lets you put into practice what you have learnt. Opportunities can be limited if you are doing full time study but by doing an apprenticeship you will gain competence in your chosen field. You’ll also get paid for learning.

Do I have to find my own employer?
We can offer support and guidance to help you find an employer.

How do I sort my apprenticeship out?
We advertise all of our apprenticeship vacancies on http://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/study/apprenticeships/current-apprenticeship-vacancies and https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch. Many of our vacancies are also advertised on our Facebook page https://en-gb.facebook.com/wiltshirecollege/.

We also recommend contacting local employers directly and sending them your CV and a cover letter as there can be lots of competition for the vacancies that we advertise. If you find an employer this way then please contact us at apprenticeships@wiltshire.ac.uk and we can then get the enrolment process started.

For help and advice on applying, please go to http://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/study/apprenticeships/apprenticeship-help.

Are there exams?
Many of our apprenticeships have ‘End Point Assessments’ where you will be assessed on the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you have learnt throughout the apprenticeship. Your Assessor will only enter you for this when they feel you are ready for it. Others apprenticeships are assessed throughout the course and you’ll gain a ‘knowledge’ qualification (often delivered through day release at College) and a ‘competence’ qualification (generally delivered through workplace assessment).

If you don’t have GCSE grade C / 4 or above in English and Maths then you would need to take Functional Skills in these subjects alongside your apprenticeship.

Can I continue studying afterwards?
Yes. You may want to progress on to the next level of the apprenticeship or do an apprenticeship in another area.

Will my apprenticeship be five days a week?
Most apprenticeships are for a minimum of 30 hours a week which would include any College attendance.

How long will the apprenticeship last?
The minimum time on programme must be 12 months in order to gain the relevant skills. Our level 2 intermediate apprenticeships are typically 12-24 months and a level 3 advanced apprenticeship will take 12-48 months depending on the specific apprenticeship.

What’s the maximum age I can start an apprenticeship?
There is no maximum age to do an apprenticeship. Anyone who is 16 or above, employed in a suitable job and not enrolled on a full time study programme can enrol on an apprenticeship.

How much will it cost me to do an apprenticeship?
You may need to purchase some equipment and books for your apprenticeship but 100% of the tuition costs will be met by the employer and/or Government depending on your age and the size of the business.

Can I do an apprenticeship if I already have a degree?
Yes. As long as the apprenticeship will teach you a different set of skills and knowledge to those you learnt in your degree you will receive funding. 


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