The government funded Apprenticeship Scheme replaced the traditional apprenticeship system whereby a school leaver was taken on by a Company or Craftsperson and under the supervision of an experienced person with day release at college taught a craft or trade over a period of four to five years. The availability of traditional apprenticeships declined as companies became increasingly unwilling to fund training over a long period of time.

The Government realised that this situation could not continue and as a result launched the Apprenticeship Scheme. Under the scheme the government funds training provision.

Apprenticeships are set at 2 levels, Apprenticeship, which is Vocational Qualification (VQ) level 2 and Advanced, which is set at Vocational Qualification (VQ) level 3.

Vocational Qualifications

Provide a practical and nationally recognised work related qualification in specific occupational areas. Although the levels of the Apprenticeship roughly correspond to academic levels at level 2 and 3.  Vocational qualifications also are linked to the amount and level of responsibility an individual has.

Within the standards for both the Apprenticeship and or Advanced level there are additional qualifications to complete as well as the Vocational Qualifications. These vary slightly depending upon subject and the awarding body criteria:

Functional Skill

These are set at various levels that include:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics

Technical Certificates

Qualifications that provide the under-pinning vocational knowledge and theory to assist in the completion of the Vocational Qualifications.

Employee Responsibilities and Rights (ERR)

ERR has links with the government's citizenship programme. The intention is that all modern apprentices are taught, and are able to demonstrate what it means to be a good employee.

Milton Keynes Council Apprenticeship Programme

Milton Keynes Council is committed to training and developing young people and supporting them to gain the skills and personal qualities needed to progress in their chosen career. The Council currently offers Apprenticeship training in the following fields:

  • Accounting
  • Administration Customer Service
  • Information Technology

All vacancies for the Apprenticeship programme are advertised in the local press and via Connexions, National apprenticeship Service and the local College. Applications must be made on the Milton Keynes Council application form, CV`s are not accepted.

Apprentices are employed on the same terms and conditions as all employees of Milton Keynes Council. The Council provides both the Apprenticeship and Advanced level apprenticeship via, a full time, two-year, fixed term contract.

Under the scheme the apprentice gains skills and experience in the work place and also attends appropriate off-job training at a local college. The usual pattern for college attendance is one day a week. Individuals are given personal development targets and support to achieve the qualification, with increases in pay for the completion of both the Vocational Qualifications and Functional Skills at both the Apprenticeship and Advanced level.

Apprentices can progress from Apprenticeship to Advanced level. However, this process is not automatic and applications are assessed on an individual basis.

Apprentices who complete the programme before the end of their contract are given additional support in all aspects of job search including preparing applications and CV's, writing covering letters and preparing for interviews.