Apprenticeships – FAQ

From my experience, an apprenticeship is a really good way to get the best of everything – work experience, a qualification and to get paid too. It’s a great way to embed what you’re learning in the classroom as you learn along the way, which helps you excel at work. I’m only 17 and already have a secure job and experience in the real world of work. I have made my own business contacts and I depend a lot less on my family as a source of income. Lauren Wilson, Social Media and Digital Marketing Apprentice
How much will it cost you?

You will not be required to cover any of the fees payable for the apprenticeship, however in some cases employers will be required to pay a contribution towards your qualification.

Apprenticeships and Child Tax Credits/Benefits

If your parent/guardian is claiming child benefit or child tax credit in your name then this may stop once you have successfully signed up to an apprenticeship. However the money you will be earning as a wage during your apprenticeship will usually amount to more. For more information please refer to the government website.

Childcare support for Apprentices

If childcare costs are stopping you from signing up to an apprenticeship then you may want to discuss this with one of our Student Services team members.


Do you want to study an apprenticeship but do not have an employer?

Don’t worry, we offer a completely FREE vacancy matching service. You can drop in at the times stated below, or email your CV and details of areas you would like to work in. We will search our catalogue of vacancies and send you details of those that match your criteria. If we are unable to match you to a vacancy in our catalogue we will hold your CV and details in our virtual apprentice POOL ready to put you forward to a suitable employer when the opportunity arises.

Apprenticeship Zone – Drop-in times – Room A2 – Colchester Institute, Sheepen Road Campus.

Monday: 9am – 4:30pm

Tuesday: 9am – 4:30pm

Wednesday: 9am – 4:30pm

Thursday: 9am – 4:30pm

Friday: 9am – 4:00pm

Apprenticeships – Interview Preparation

Make sure you are ready
  • Research the organisation, for example visit their website. Research the job that you
    are applying for and have some good examples of when you have used skills relevant
    to the job role.
  • Prepare answers to some typical interview questions and prepare two or three
    questions that show an interest in the job and organisation.
  • Work out how to get to the interview and how long the journey will take. Check the
    timetables for public transport. Allow enough time to arrive at least 15 minutes before
    the interview.
  • Have the organisation‟s contact details in your (charged up) mobile phone, in case
    you need to inform the interviewer of travel delays.
Make a positive impression
  • Arrive on time. Switch your phone off or set to silent (not vibrate). Bring a copy of your
    CV, the application form and job advert with you, and a pad and pen to take notes.
  • Use the interviewer‟s title (Mr/Ms) and surname. When answering questions refer to
    the job advert/description.
  • Answer questions concisely and speak clearly. Use proper grammar and avoid slang.
  • Avoid interrupting the interviewer.
  • Focus on your strengths.
  • Be positive, enthusiastic, professional and mature.
  • Appearance and body language
  • Wear clean, ironed clothes and take a bath or shower before the interview.
  •  Make sure your hands and finger nails are clean, and brush your teeth.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear (formal shoes, no trainers).
  •  Don‟t wear too much make-up and jewellery.
  • Avoid overpowering perfume or aftershave.
  • Use good posture and sit up straight.
  • Be attentive and composed (don‟t fidget or play with hair).
  • Smile and make eye contact, but avoid staring.
  • Avoid negative behaviour (crossing your arms, yawning, checking your watch, etc.).
Closing the interview
  • Ask any questions about the job role and organisation
  • Shake hands with the interviewer and thank them for their time
  • Emphasise your interest in the job and ask when a decision will be made

Apprenticeships – Parent’s FAQ

The Facts

As a parent, you want the best for your children and that often means helping them to make the right decisions regarding their future (including what to do after school/college).There are a lot of options for school leavers and with such a competitive job market, a professional apprenticeship could be the right answer to ensure your son/daughter secures a career well-suited to their specific wants/needs. This leaflet aims to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get from parents about apprenticeships.

  • The apprenticeship is designed by employers giving apprentices the skills directly relevant to the job role
  • Apprentices study for around one day a week, or in a block. Some apprentices do not attend college and complete learning through our online platforms
  • Courses can last from 1 year to 6 years if completing a degree apprenticeship
  • All tuitions fees are paid by the government and your employer
  • Apprentices are becoming the future leaders
  • Employers are looking for initiative and enthusiasm as well as grades
  • Apprentices will learn the skills employers look for but say that graduates seeking employment don’t always have:
  • Creativity, Communication, Problem Solving, Project Management and Team Work
  • 90% of apprentices stay in work when they finish
  • 71% of apprentices remain with the same employer
  • 83% of parents say they would do a degree apprenticeship themselves if they could wind back the clock
  • Apprentices must be employed for between 16 and 40 hours per week
What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job, with formal training that will enable your son or daughter to earn nationally-recognised qualifications whilst earning a wage of £3.90 per hour. Experience is the key to a great career and by putting the job at the heart of what an apprentice learns, we ensure that they learn the skills that employers really needs them to have. The average wage for an apprentice is between £150 to £200 pounds a week (depending on the type of role or employer). Government funding is available to cover the cost of most apprenticeships, which means your son/daughter will not have to pay for any of their training – they will be debt free! Our apprenticeships last between one and six years (depending on which programme the apprentice chooses) and we provide progression routes from GCSE all the way to degree and MSc level qualifications with our own University Centre Colchester.

Why choose Colchester Institute Apprenticeships?

Colchester Institute is the largest provider in Essex delivering apprenticeships and can boast achievement rates higher than national averages.

Plans to introduce more Higher Apprenticeship routes will provide learners with a real choice between work-based and traditional degree education. In 2015/16, 79% of apprentices secured full time employment after completing their apprenticeship programme. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths is at the heart of our Apprenticeships offer due to employer and economic demand. A £10m STEM facility was opened in Colchester in 2016 and a £5m+ STEM Innovation Centre opened at the Braintree campus in April 2017.  The college intends to increase its specialisation in STEM, including creative and digital media. Apprenticeships give your child the chance to work towards a fully paid qualification from Level 3 (A level equivalent) to a university degree whilst training for a high skilled job. Some apprenticeships are available at Level 2.

Will I lose any of my benefit entitlements if my child commences an apprenticeship?

Tax credits will not be affected by your child entering on to an apprenticeship; however, child benefit payments will stop once your child reaches 16 years old and officially leaves school year 11 and enters employment to commence the apprenticeship.