Frequently Asked Questions for Employers

1. What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is one of a family of qualifications available for young people aged 16-25 although, as with other qualifications such as GCSEs, A Levels and Degrees, there is nothing to stop more mature candidates from signing up.

An apprenticeship is a vocational qualification which mixes formal education with a structured programme of work based learning to meet agreed standards of competency.  

There are nearly 200 types of Apprenticeship within a variety of industry sectors ranging from accountancy and engineering to veterinary nursing and floristry.

For more detail see the “What is an apprenticeship?” page under the Apprenticeship tab.

2. What is an Advanced Apprenticeship?

An Advanced Apprenticeship is for people with at least five GCSEs including Maths (at grade B), English and a Science subject (grade C or above) who are aspiring to take up highly skilled roles within a company.

3. What is an Advanced Technician Apprenticeship in Civil or Building Services Engineering?

These qualifications will allow apprentices to fulfil the requirements of the competence based component of the apprenticeship framework, along with appropriate underpinning knowledge and the acquisition of professional attributes. They will also meet the requirements for Technician Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers or Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, (for ICE -subject to success at a subsequent professional review)

The advantages of these qualifications are that:
• They conform to the requirements of the Training Agreement already in place with ICE or CIBSE.  Its format is therefore familiar to engineering mentors within the company
• The competences are described in broad enough terms to allow for them to be achieved in a wide variety of engineering occupations.  This means that there can be a coherent delivery mechanism across the company.
• They offer natural progression routes, for those that want to pursue them, to Incorporated and Chartered Engineer with the appropriate formal education and training input.
• Their professional credentials mean that they are an attractive alternative for bright young people and their parents to consider.

4. What will it cost?

Provided the young person is under 19 when they start the college course all training costs are covered by public funding.  Salary costs are borne by the company.  Between 19 and 24 the funding reduces to 50%.  There will also be the cost of time to mentor the apprentice.

5. How much time will an apprentice be in training?

As part of the apprenticeship the apprentice will attend college on a day release basis.  In the company, the achievement of the competences should be part and parcel of their daily work.  Support will be given to help the apprentices with evidence collection which will be assessed and signed off on a regular basis by company and college staff.  Typically, the college course will last two years with the work based element continuing for a further year – three years in all.

6. How do I go about recruiting an apprentice?

There is a list of colleges under the College tab on the TAC home page which already work with consortium companies to deliver and assess the various elements of the civil and building services apprenticeship frameworks.  The named contact will be more than happy to help you with the process of advertising for and recruiting an apprentice.  In England this is free if you advertise on the Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching website. If you are a member of TAC the vacancy will also be advertised on the TAC website.  

In the case of any problems then please contact the TAC Contacts

7. How do I join the consortium?

The consortium exists at national and a local level.  At national level the 20 companies that currently belong have a say in the strategic direction of the consortium such as apprenticeship frameworks that need to be developed or adapted in particular occupations, the quality control of college provision, the development of progression routes beyond the Advanced Technician Apprenticeships, relationships with key Government Agencies and the Professional Engineering Institutions etc…  There is a cost associated with belonging to the national group which we are currently consulting on.  At local level there are consortium groups that link to the colleges to ensure the quality of the course provision and work based assessment.  At the moment there is no cost associated with belonging to a local group.

You will automatically be invited to join a local consortium when you have recruited an apprentice onto an apprenticeship programme at the college.  If you are interested in joining the national group then please contact the TAC Contacts

8. Can I recruit apprentices on the programme without joining the consortium?

The Advanced Technician Apprenticeships in Civil and Building Services Engineering are nationally recognised and available apprenticeship frameworks and so you do not need to belong to the consortium to access the courses.  However by belonging to the local consortium group you do have more say in the content, assessment and quality assurance of the course.