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.

Apprenticeships at MKC

Milton Keynes Council is committed to providing a range of apprenticeship opportunities both externally and internally across the Council. We will be recruiting externally to various roles as well as advancing the skill base of existing employees by offering opportunities for development.

The approach to apprenticeships has changed and from April 2017 the Council’s apprenticeship programme is funded by the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy to which the Council contributes from its pay bill.

Apprenticeship qualifications now range from Intermediate Level 2 through to Degree Level 6 and 7 and a catalogue of Standards (the new way in which apprenticeship learning is delivered and measured) is expanding week by week.

Our apprentices undertake a real job with training which allows them to earn while they learn; whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. They are:

  • employed in a real job
  • working towards achieving an approved apprenticeship standard or apprenticeship framework
  • undergoing training that lasts at least 12 months
  • spending at least 20% of their time in off the job training
  • being paid at least the relevant national minimum wage (NMW) and in many cases in excess of the NMW

Apprentices are recruited on the same terms and conditions as all employees of Milton Keynes Council and are generally employed on a full time basis but usually no less than 30 hours per week.

Externally recruited apprentice opportunities will be advertised on the Current Vacancies page of the Milton Keynes Council website and through the National Apprenticeship Service website.  

Last Updated: 21 February 2018