Understanding apprenticeship contracts

Managers will have responsibility for the development and support of apprentices. 

It is important to note at this stage there are a number of important contracts for each apprenticeship.

The employer has a contract with the training provider

The training provider under this contract will expect the employer to provide time to train the individual. If this is refused or turned down for operational reasons there could be a potential breach of contract by the employer.

It is important to facilitate proper time for training in order to avoid such claims and to give an apprentice every support to enable them to pass their apprenticeship.

Likewise if the trainer fails to deliver training to a set standard or time frame again this could constitute a breach of contract. Training should be provided as agreed.

The amount of training time equates to a minimum of 20% of time off the job and training can be a mix of different types of training and learning type activity. The important thing to note is the training provider will know the types of training required and is required to log or audit this time. The apprentice will also be told how the training will work. You have a responsibility to ensure this training and learning activity takes place.

The provider will provide apprentices with details about what to expect from the apprenticeship including details relating to time off to learn, the type and level of the apprenticeship, when it starts and is expected to finish.

An apprenticeship is a type of employment. 

Under their contract, training is a key component of that job and apprentices should only be expected to do the training in paid work time not their own.

Maths and English support

It is worth noting that for some individuals maths and english might need some extra support. The training provider should identify any maths or english needs and address that issue. This is extra training and is not included in the minimum 20% time off.

This is an equality and diversity issue in some cases and allowances need to be made for individuals to address this need. 

It is important to note that your department wants everyone embarking on an apprenticeship to be successful and the success depends very much on the full support of FLMs.

Failure rates cost the department time and resources and waste public money.

Support from PCS union learning reps (ULRs)

Remember PCS ULRs can help you through this process and deal with issues on your behalf and the apprentice’s behalf.


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