What is an Apprenticeship? 

Apprenticeships offer a great route into youth work for anyone who is looking to learn on the job. 
There are currently two types available – a Level 3 and a Level 6. 
The Level 3 results in qualified Youth Support Worker status and is the equivalent standard to an A-level. 
The Level 6 is a newer qualification, resulting in qualified Professional Youth Worker status and awarding a BA Honours degree to learners. 
Apprenticeships can be taken up by anyone currently in a youth work role, with the support of their employer, or may be advertised as new job opportunities for anyone with appropriate qualifications or experience, and will see them spending around 20% of their time in training, the rest will be spent doing their normal job.

For learners 

An apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to sharpen your skills and develop your career, without the need to leave your existing role in youth work or experience a drop in pay. 
If you’re passionate about youth work, they offer the chance to earn while you learn, giving you time for on-the-job training and the chance to gain real-life experience while you complete your qualification. 
There are two different kinds available, depending on the type of role you see yourself in in future: 

The Level 3 ↓

The Level 3 is designed for people starting out at Youth Support Worker level and is the shorter of the two apprenticeships. It lasts for 18 months and results in a diploma which is the equivalent standard to an A-level. 
It is aimed at learners who are already working or volunteering in a youth work setting and extends their skills and knowledge in areas such as intervention strategies, dealing with challenging behaviour and undertaking specific optional modules in areas such as supporting young people who are in care or working with LGBQT+ young people. 

The Level 6 ↓

The Level 6 is for those who are seeking to take on more of a leadership role and results in a recognised BA Honours degree in Youth Work.   

The qualification will enable the learner to establish, manage and develop youth work provision; work with other agencies across the community and develop rights-based youth work.   

How do I become an apprentice? ↓

If you’re already in a youth work role and would like to carry out an apprenticeship the first step is to speak to your employer. 

If they’re keen on the idea you will need to find a training provider that carries out apprenticeships near you. 
There are lots of helpful links in the Employers section below which shows where funding is available and where to find training providers in your area.  

If you’re not already in a role, you can search for Apprenticeships through the usual places that you would find youth work jobs advertised or take a look at this website: https://findapprenticeshiptraining.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/courses 

Is there a minimum amount of hours I must work each week? ↓

Yes, you must be employed for at least 30 hours a week.  

Which universities and other training providers offer apprenticeships? ↓

 You can find the full list of approved providers here: https://findapprenticeshiptraining.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/ 

What will I earn? ↓

Apprentices must be paid at least the minimum wage

For employers 

Apprenticeships are a great way of training your staff, without losing them while they go off to carry out courses or degrees at university or college. 
And with the funding available through NatWest it needn’t cost you a penny. 
We can help you support your employees to gain Level 3 or Level 6 Apprenticeships with no cost to you at all. That’s around £4,500 worth of training for a Level 3 or £20,000 for a Level 6. 
The result? High-quality, committed staff, who know you believe in them. 
Becoming an employer that offers apprenticeships can also be great for recruitment and retention, demonstrating your commitment to providing the highest quality practice and ongoing staff development.

What does an apprenticeship involve? ↓

Apprentices must be aged 16 or over (although the minimum age varies between training providers and is likely 18 for the level 6). They will combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job.  
Apprentices can be new or current employees. You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage. 

Your apprentice must: 

  • work with experienced staff 
  • learn job-specific skills 
  • get time for training or study during their working week (at least 20% of their normal working hours) 

If you have members of staff that you think would be suitable for an apprenticeship you can find out more details about the requirements and the process on the Government’s official webpage here: https://www.gov.uk/employing-an-apprentice 

How can NYA help? ↓

We can help match you with the most appropriate training provider in your area or provide information on remote learning if this is more suitable. 
We can also help with funding the apprenticeship via our partnership with NatWest. 

All we need you to do is confirm the number of people you’re looking to put through the apprenticeship and which level you are looking at.  You can email this information to Harry Rutter, NYA’s Apprenticeships Development Officer, via harryr@nya.org.uk and he’ll arrange a call with you to discuss next steps. 

 We can also put you in contact with your preferred training provider who will be able to answer any questions you have regarding specific learning elements.

How does the funding work? ↓

The Levy funding allocated by NatWest will pay the full course fees for the Level 3 and Level 6 qualification in youth work, so you can improve the capacity of your team and benefit more young people in your area.  
Applicants require an existing 30-hour employment contract at a youth club or youth work organisation, and ability to attend the course where necessary.  

All the details for funding apprenticeships can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/employing-anapprentice/ 

How do I find a training provider? ↓

For a full list of training providers see the Government’s approved list: https://findapprenticeshiptraining.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/


If you’ve been unable to find an answer to your queries in the sections above, take a look through our list of Frequently Asked Questions.    

I run a Youth Work course in a university. How do I provide the apprenticeship? ↓

Universities who already offer a professionally qualifying BA Hons course in Youth Work will be eligible to offer the Level 6 apprenticeship. The ETS requirement for this is that you submit a “Substantial Modification” to the NYA detailing how you will adjust your course to accommodate on the job learning, and how you intend to provide an independent end point assessment – support for this is available through contacting the NYA ETS Officer.  

New courses will need to apply for validation in the usual way, specifying the apprenticeship as an option. 

Universities will also need to ensure they are registered as an apprenticeship provider, the process for which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-of-apprenticeship-training-providers 

They will also need to register as End Point Assessors which can be done here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-of-end-point-assessment-organisations  

How do these Apprenticeships relate to other youth work qualifications? ↓

The Apprenticeship Standards are based on the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Youth Work. These also underpin all youth work qualifications recognised by the JNC. The off the job training element of the L6 Apprenticeship will be delivered through universities and apprentices will achieve a JNC recognised BA Honours degree in Youth Work. The training for the Level 3 is provided by approved training providers and apprentices will receive a JNC endorsed Level 3 Youth Support Worker qualification. 

Apprenticeships require an independent ‘end point assessment’ (EPA) which for Level 6 will include an observation of practice, a presentation and a professional discussion with an independent, suitably qualified and experienced assessor who has not previously assessed the apprentice’s practice. 

Will the Apprenticeships be recognised by JNC? ↓

The Level 3 is delivered by approved providers and is equivalent to the current Level 3 diploma. 

The Level 6 is validated by the Education Training Standards committee of the NYA and so is JNC endorsed. 

Once the quota for NatWest Apprenticeship’s Levy Scheme has been fulfilled is there any help for employers to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment? ↓

The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship Levy or not. You pay the Levy if you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year. 

The government will fund between 95% and 100% of the training costs depending on whether or not they are required to contribute to the Levy Scheme.  

Find out more by visiting Employing an apprentice: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How can I find out more about Off the Job Training ↓

Apprentices are legally entitled to 20% Off-The-Job training time. Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of day-to-day work duties and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. This training takes place within the apprentice’s normal (contracted) working hours. 

The off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship. 

The minimum off the job training for a full-time apprentice is an average of 6 hours per week. The off-the-job training provides the time to focus and develop the required skills, knowledge and behaviours to achieve the apprenticeship. There are lots of activities that can contribute to off-the-job training. The key thing to remember is that it must be relevant to the apprenticeship.


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