Apprenticeships at Brookes


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    This is a catalogue apprenticeship names - you will see they are named after roles. You can explore the whole list, or you take a short cut by going to the blue SECTOR LIST down the left hand side of the page. 

    See which role title /s for your need, and make a note. From the SECTOR LIST you can click behind a title and find out the detailed list of apprenticeships to choose from. You will see that some skillsets are taught in the light of specific contexts – so you can check to see what would suit your particular work environment.

    Click on the document image if you want to explore what the apprenticeship programme will focus on. All apprenticeship titles are backed by a two-page Standard to make it clear what is in the programme.

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    This follows on from Step 1 by asking you to input your role titles into the finder 

    It will ask you to input level: level 2 describes early skills, and initial building blocks of a professional or occupational path: level 3 is advanced skills with a possible management component; level 4 and 5 are technician level, implying prior building blocks are already in place in the skillset: level 5/6 are degree level programmes; level 7 are Masters level programmes

    It will ask for a post-code – on the assumption that you will want to explore local providers

    You will see lists of providers and can explore the way that each provider puts the apprenticeship programme together. 

    There are all sorts of “delivery models”: classic classroom, blended and distance learning are available.

    Use the information you have researched in STEPS 1 and 2 to contact Learning Providers directly. You will want to check in detail what their programmes offer and what sort of support they give you. They can visit you and should offer you a comprehensive view of what they will do. 

    Then consult with me regarding payment from Brookes Levy 


    Consult with me at any point in the process.   

    If you are devising a new post, and want to embed an apprenticeship right from the beginning, early consultation is important as HR/OCSLD will collaborate on the recruitment and selection process from the start.

    Apprenticeship programmes are robust and demanding, and require that line-managers of apprentices are supportive. OCSLD can help you to develop talent in your group via apprenticeships but the line-manager/learner relationship is key. 

    The Learning provider explains all the commitments and completes the picture. 

    Then - if we are talking about an existing staff member, a CONTRACT OF COMMITMENT is signed, which outlines the whole of the agreement, and the staff member begins their programme… 


    If the apprenticeship programme is being added to a jobrole, ready for advertisement, the JD and Person Spec are prepared to incorporate information and requirements related to the post. Advertising,  shortlisting, interview and selection then follows,  and is amended to recognize that the ole is now a “training” role.

    The new role holder joins the team and is inducted as a new member of staff whilst – at the same time – getting set up as a learner by the Learning Provider. 

    Regular meetings between learner,  line-manager and the learning provider happen across the whole apprenticeship period.

  • The Government has redrawn the landscape for apprenticeships and set new rules.  The term apprenticeship is legally protected and describes a contractual relationship between an employer (like Oxford Brookes University), an apprentice (a person newly recruited to a post or one of your existing team members), and a learning provider (a partner you select to provide learning and development to nationally prescribed Standards). At the heart of this relationship is a job with training.

    The new rules allow us to:

    • Offer apprenticeships to existing staff as well as the classic school leaver looking for early career steps

    • Open apprenticeships to people wanting to develop at all ages (over 16)

    • Set up learning that can be mainstream or specialised, early or complex, at all levels of responsibility, using the new directory of Apprenticeship Standards

    • Open this learning to people who are already qualified, even if the level of their older qualifications is higher than the level of their proposed apprenticeship (so graduates can join in)

    • Pay for the learning element of these apprenticeships through our levy (so, outside of our current staff development allocations)

    Apprenticeships typically:

    • Last from 1 to 4 years, depending on qualifications involved

    • Are open to people over 16 who sign an apprenticeship contract with an employer and learning provider, whether they are in existing roles or whether they get recruited specially to new posts

    • Happen whilst people do their roles and JDs, to a formula of 80% on the job, and 20% learning time

    • Are supported by line-manager working with the learning provider, mentors, HR and OCSLD to enable the apprentice to progress through the experience

    • Incorporate training and development from the hundreds of roles named in the Apprenticeship Standards register

    This new landscape busts some myths about apprenticeships as being:

    • Only for the young

    • Only for school leavers in first or early jobs, or for the vocationally undecided

    • Only for people who don’t do wonderfully in the education system

    • Only for non-graduates

    • Only for practical or manual roles

    (Much of this was never true in the first place).  

    To pay for this vision the Government require all large employers to pay an annual apprenticeship levy.

    In May 2017 Brookes makes its first levy payment to HMRC.

    Brookes Levy comes in at circa £450k (it is calculated at a rate of 0.5% of our salary roll).

    The levy is exerted on a “use it or lose it” basis. We can use it for apprenticeship training or lose it after 24 months.

    The payment is done on a monthly basis, so there is a continuous cycling of funds through and out. We can stop the funds leaving us unspent if we choose to develop apprenticeships. 

    It is not all bad news on unspent funds: small and medium sized organisations (SMEs can use them to pay for THEIR apprentices via a transfer of monies via HMRC; there may also soon be a way where we can choose where that money goes and allocate to supply chain and associated businesses)

    This means that there is £450k of usable funding in our levy pot should we want to develop apprenticeships

    (There are strict limits on what levy money can be spent on: for example we cannot pay apprentice salaries out of the fund. And we cannot use it to pay for the complex professional support services involved in managing apprenticeship arrangements either). 

    For a good watch about the apprenticeships whole picture, see this film: (David Willet talking to employers about degree apprenticeships: first 10 minutes). Please note that apprenticeships work in similar ways at all levels so this information is useful across the board.

    Apprenticeships go back a long way.

    Historically they are associated with excellence and mastery - the sort of mastery that only a great performer or practitioner could pass on to learners. 

    They were an early space in which to get the famous 10,000 hours that backs up real understanding of the activity being learned. Apprentices would spend this time immersed at the coalface in the activities, relationships, transactions and theories associated with their chosen professions, mentored, tutored and trial-and-errored till they got their expertise.

    Similar ideas are being associated again with the new apprenticeship vision at a point in time where there appears to be need for a national skills rethink. On a smaller scale, individual organisations are experimenting and strategising about their skills landscapes as well.

    If you go to: you can learn about about their history from the Open University.

    The OU is currently doing a lot of work to build an understanding of apprenticeships as springing from the same values and hopes as old apprenticeships. Like Oxford Brookes, it has a background of enabling diversity by building non-traditional ways of learning for non-traditional learners. Over the years its approaches have been demonstrating that there are diverse routes to the same outcome of excellence.

    An apprenticeship is a job with training. It enables someone to develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to perform effectively in a particular occupation. The occupation is defined in the apprenticeship standard. Apprentices have a contract of employment, and are employees of the company which take them on. They must be paid at least the appropriate rate of the minimum wage for the duration of their apprenticeship, although many employers pay more. At the outset, both apprentice and employer sign an apprenticeship agreement. This identifies the skill, trade or occupation for which the apprentice is being trained, and confirms the particular standard that the apprentice is following. Apprentices must complete a minimum 20% structured off-the-job training for at least 12 months before the end-point assessment, to develop competence in an occupation. Off-the-job training is learning which is undertaken outside the normal day-to-day working environment and contributes towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. Although this can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work, it must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties. The off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship. The government wants employers to be at the centre of the process for designing and delivering apprenticeships. This is why apprenticeship standards are designed by groups of employers, known as trailblazers, to meet their own skills needs, those of their broader sector and of the economy more widely.  To make this vision happen the Government required all large employers to pay the Apprenticeship Levy.

    Apprenticeships are all about colleagues learning skills and knowledge from taking opportunities to practice in their jobs. People do this under the eye of people (like expert training providers) and practitioners (like your colleagues who have gained expertise or indeed, sometimes, mastery) who already know how to do the job

    This is an old idea: it has worked across centuries.  It’s a version of the 10,00 hours theory: which says that expertise comes through practice and exposure to the real conditions of the task. European colleagues like Germany and the Netherlands have evolved particularly sound structures to enable this sort of  passing on of skills: it is an aspiration that we can do it too.

    Benefits that are cited are that organisations can grow their own expertise, use the valued knowledge of their workforce with added input from external sources to keep at the cutting edge, and plan for change. Under the rules of the current Apprenticeship funding, apprentices can be new recruits AND staff already in their posts. Those in post continue in their usual contract of employment.

    In this recent phase of looking at how apprenticeships should to work, government has been really keen to stress that employers needs are at the forefront. Employers have been asked to consult on what sort of apprenticeships they want to buy into. As a result of this, employer groups have been getting together to write apprentice Standards (called Trailblazers) and the titles of apprentice programmes are all now named after real job roles: Events Assistant, Solicitor, Airline Pilot, Operations manager, accounts manager, maintenance operative, IT Solution Technician, Data Analyst, Bespoke tailor for example – to name a fraction of the opportunities.

    Have a look at the Register of Apprenticeship Standards to see what’s there.


    You use the govt website called the AS – or Apprenticeship Service – to put in keywords that describe the occupation you want your apprenticeship aligned to: this gives you a description of the programme and the names of provider in your area.


    Here’s a useful film about how the new apprenticeships work: David Willett of the Open University talks to employers. Although the film focuses on degree apprenticeships the description relates to apprenticeships at early career levels too – the principles and set-up is the same at the different career levels that exist and staff are invited to explore at whatever level they need to go in at to acquire the right skills.



    OCSLD is ready to help you explore this material if you want guidance as you do so. Book a consultation.

    This new landscape busts some myths about apprenticeships as being:

    • Only for the young

    • Only for school leavers in first or early jobs, or for the vocationally undecided

    • Only for people who don’t do wonderfully in the education system

    • Only for non-graduates

    • Only for practical or manual roles

    (Much of this was never true in the first place).