Junior Animator – Higher Apprenticeship Level 4

Colchester Institute are now able to offer the Level 4 Junior Animator apprenticeship.

The overall purpose of the Junior Animator’s role is to create animated assets and content, producing the motions, gestures, expressions and performance of two or three dimensional characters and inanimate objects depending on the directors and/or employer’s wishes.

This apprenticeship supports and develops careers found in the British and International animation industries, providing animated content for film, television, advertising, games, corporate and immersive reality.

When Can I Start an Apprenticeship?

Looking for a new career, job or maybe a qualification to take your current role to the next level?

Previously apprenticeships were primarily aimed towards 16-18 year olds but government reforms introduced in March 2017 mean that there is no longer an upper age limit for commencing an apprenticeship, even if you already possess a degree or higher level qualification (all applicants must be eligible for funding).

Starting an apprenticeship is dependent on your age and whether you have secured an offer of an apprenticeship from an employer.

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school, but you cannot start until you have officially left school and completed your exams.

You need to be 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays to start the apprenticeship. You may start an apprenticeship at 15 years of age if your 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31st August and provided you have completed your exams.

Provided you have left school and have an employment offer in place, then starting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year.

If you successfully apply for a vacancy, you may be able to start employment straight away.

Likewise, if you are already in employment and your employer is looking to train you through an apprenticeship, sign-up and enrolment can take place quite quickly.

However, the start date for attending college for training, where required, or if delivered online, when sessions begin, will vary depending on the type of apprenticeship.

Some apprenticeships will have fixed attendance with training on-campus commencing at the start of the autumn term, with no availability for starting the training mid-year.

For other apprenticeships where the training is delivered entirely online, it may be possible to commence the training immediately.

Whichever delivery method applies, this will be communicated to you and your employer post-employment and sign-up.

Course Info
How to Apply
Employers Info
Role Overview

Animation is the process of displaying still images in a rapid sequence to create the illusion of movement. The animation the Junior Animator is required to create may vary and can include dialogue or non-dialogue. These images can be created using various process including: hand drawn illustration, computer generation or 3D objects and imagery.

This is a junior level role. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation works closely with the Animator, Animation Lead, Supervisor and Director, along with clients and team members. They must be able to take direction and feedback, in order to create the actions of their animated character, according to the story and the director’s wishes. To support this, they must also be able to interpret a storyboard and any character layout/scene planning that has been done in advance.

This apprenticeship has core duties and four sections of additional option duties. Which option is applicable depends on the animation specialism of the employer. These are comprised of: 2D animation, stop-motion animation, 3D animation and interactive media and immersive reality.

Typical job titles:

Animator, junior animator

Core Duties

Duty 1: Research information, resources and tools such as real-world objects from the world around you and find appropriate visual, written, empirical and physical references in order to create credible animation.

Duty 2: Improve own knowledge and performance in animation by seeking out information about emerging practice in the animation industry such as new tools, software, data and other related technology.

Duty 3: Work effectively in collaboration with colleagues, partners and suppliers in the animation industry.

Duty 4: Work autonomously and communicate effectively with clients or customers in the animation industry, effectively prioritising and meeting deadlines in order to meet agreed production requirements.

Duty 5: Prepare to create animated characters/objects/creatures by assessing the requirements set by the brief by adapting to meet the required creative, narrative and technical demands of the production.

Duty 6: Plan and present ideas and tell stories to dramatise a narrative, plan shots and demonstrate action to meet animation production requirements to clients or colleagues in the animation industry.

Duty 7: Create animated assets in line with production requirements, ensuring output is correct and meets the requirements for the next stage of the process.

Duty 8: Follow your organisations policies and procedures to organise, store and retrieve animated assets.

Duty 9: Undertake basic compositing and rendering of an animation to meet organisational requirements.

Option Duties

2D Animation duties:

Duty 10: Create 2D Animated content by producing a series of sequential 2D images, which, when played back, produce the illusion of movement.

Duty 11: Test 2D animated sequences to confirm and check continuity.

Stop-Motion Animation duties:

Duty 12: Make characters move in stop motion animation in line with production requirements and ensure continuity throughout the shots.

Duty 13: Evaluate characters and sequences in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met.

3D Animation duties:

Duty 14: Create 3D Animation by producing accurate key frames and in-betweens, breathing life in to the character, object, creature where necessary.

Duty 15: Evaluate 3D animations created in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met.

Interactive Media and Immersive Reality duties:

Duty 16: Create animated assets for use in computer games, interactive media or immersive reality.

Duty 17: Evaluate animations created for use in computer games, interactive media or immersive reality in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met.

Knowledge, skills and behaviours


A junior animator will be able to understand and have knowledge of:

  • how to use own surroundings and research of visual, written and empirical and physical references to inspire and inform animated creations

  • the traditional and digital methods for producing animated sequences such as hand-drawn or computer-generated animation

  • the brand guidelines or subject matter of the animation to be created

  • the history and development of the animation industry and animation genres including, but not limited to, children’s, family, adult, experimental, information content

  • the different animation styles, core techniques and technologies used such as 2D, 3D and stop motion

  • the dynamics of the animation sector and current and future trends in animation

  • how to identify and report risks relating to health and safety

  • how to work effectively, both individually or as part of a team

  • the context within the production of own role, the department they are working in, and the subsequent stages of the workflow process

  • the animation production pipeline and how own role interacts with this

  • the technical and production parameters and client requirements for the project, such as; the schedule, timelines, budget, animation medium, frame count, field size, aspect ratio and format

  • the particular operational and technical standards of others departments and the challenges they face

  • how good, timely communication can contribute to productive working relationships with clients and customers

  • the brand, market position, departments, communication methods, financial processes, culture and ways of working for animation productions you work on

  • how live action reference can influence your ability to animate characters/objects/creatures

  • character/object/creature development and your role in that development

  • the principles of anatomy and how these affect movement

  • shot construction and composition, breakdown and continuity

  • how to present ideas and information effectively using story/playboards or story telling

  • how to use language which is clear, avoids jargon and is appropriate to the audience

  • the effect your voice tone, pace, volume and body language can have on your audience during presentations

  • how to encourage questions in both oral and written presentations

  • the creative style, overall concept and level of animation required for the production

  • any performance guidelines for the characters/objects/creatures they are working on, such as how they may react and behave in different situations

  • the logic of physical motion, weight, balance, texture and form

  • character/object/creature movement and lip sync

  • how to use the relevant graphics, animation and compositing software for an animation production

  • how to maintain record systems of drawings and associated information

  • the possibilities and constraints offered by the software you are using for the animation production

  • the importance of maintaining data security and following your organisation’s guidelines and file structures for storage

  • the legal and regulatory requirements which apply to animated assets such as copyright and intellectual property rights

  • the rendering requirements for the production

  • the intended appearance and required degree of realism of the finished image you are working on

  • the factors affecting render speed, such as size of texture map, ray and reflection depth, global illumination, ambient occlusion, anti-aliasing, blurry reflections or area shadows

  • rendering techniques, such as: ray tracing, texture mapping to define the colour, texture and reflectance of objects and environments, exposure depth of field to alter the sense of depth or focus on objects and environments, toon rendering and stereo rendering

  • how to use z-buffering techniques to simulate a sense of perspective to describe the distance between objects and environments

  • how creative blurring and transforms give the appearance of live-action

  • the surface properties and how shading models can be applied to represent variations in different materials

  • how to save and duplicate render settings across multiple files

  • the principles of 2D animation

  • how to use interpolated morphing to make animation more fluid

  • how rotoscoping is used in 2D animation

  • the concepts of key animation and in-between animation

  • how to recognise the drawing skills needed for the animation or artwork being produced

  • the traditional and digital methods for producing animated sequences

  • how to use industry-standard 2D animation software

  • the use of 2D vector graphics and manipulation of images

  • why it is important to evaluate progress and seek feedback on your work in animation

  • the principles of stop motion animation

  • the media and techniques used in stop motion animation

  • the materials used and how they are resistant to movement, such as: joints, stability, plasticine preservation

  • how to improvise rigging and when it is appropriate for you to do so

  • the capabilities and limitations of models

  • the importance of lighting, camera angles and frame rates for stop motion

  • the development of the animated character/object/creature through its movement and timing

  • the need to work methodically in an organised and concentrated manner, paying attention to detail

  • the principles and techniques of digital animation, such as high and low resolution modelling, meshing, colouring, matte making, digital sculpting of 3D animation

  • the physics of motion and resistance

  • the techniques, issues, costs and output of motion-capture, and when it is appropriate to use it

  • how to use industry-standard 3D animation software

  • how to achieve different looks in computer generated assets including shininess, reflectivity, texture, roughness

  • the physical properties and mechanics of objects – for example, particle systems, structures, cloths, fluids, and crowds – and how they react and respond to different stimuli

  • how to create renditions of naturalistic physical or magical phenomena such as fire, water, clouds, smoke and physical destruction

  • the requirements and expectations of other team members who will use the animations you create

  • the relevant standards and conventions relating to user-interface design

  • the principles of interaction design, especially regarding usability and accessibility

  • when and why an animation might be cut-off prematurely, and how to minimise the risk of this adversely affecting the user’s experience of the product

  • the impact on own work of technical parameters such as the processing power, memory, bandwidth, screen size, resolution, colour depth or physical user interface of the target platform(s)

  • which of the events or user interactions will trigger your animations

  • how each animation will be used in the product such as whether it will play once, loop several times or indefinitely

  • the purpose and target users for the animated assets being created


A junior animator will be able to demonstrate the following skills within the context of your organisation:

  • Determine what is required for their own work as a junior animator by analysing briefs, specifications, visual references, technical and production parameters

  • Research ideas and information for the animation being created

  • Read and interpret the relevant sources of information for the production, such as; the script, animatic, x-sheet or dope-sheet, character/object/creature, colour and model reference and soundtrack

  • Continue to update own animation skills, use new tools, software, data and other related technology

  • Adapt and be able to meet the requirements of the animation style or genre specified for the production

  • Use reliable information to keep-up-to date with the laws, regulations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines that govern animation and how they affect your work

  • Maintain an awareness of the current priorities, constraints and opportunities of your work as junior animator at all times.

  • Comply with relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures such as health and safety

  • Work methodically in an organised and concentrated manner, paying particular attention to detail

  • Identify the information you need to carry out your work to expected standards on each animation production

  • Work effectively both individually and as part of a wider animation team

  • Operate within and adhere to agreed organisational policies, standards and procedures

  • Maintain an awareness of the current priorities, constraints and opportunities of the client’s budget or production requirements at all times

  • Move characters on set in whatever style is required to meet the creative, narrative and technical demands of the production

  • Respond to feedback about the animated material you create in a positive way, making refinements as requested by clients or supervisors

  • Deliver good customer service in a creative environment

  • Develop an animated character/object/creature through its movement and timing

  • Contribute ideas to aid the creative development of the character, shot and overall production

  • Create animations using given camera angles, or make adjustments to camera animations according to the production demands and schedule

  • Create the assets that meet the requirements of the animation department

  • Plan story/playboards to communicate key ideas with the team or clients

  • Create story/playboards that depict the script and narrative

  • Present work in progress, or completed animations to colleagues or clients

  • Respond carefully to questions, making sure you provide the information the audience is asking for

  • Animate primary and secondary characters/objects/creatures and elements

  • Interpret the personality and traits of the character/object/creature, conveying the emotions, behaviours and actions within a scene

  • Ensure that animations are in sync with the soundtrack

  • Create animation in line with production demands, and ensure the output is correct for the next stage of the process

  • Select and use the industry standard software package required by the particular animation production

  • Adapt to the various styles, techniques, procedures and software that may be required by the animation production

  • Prepare and store files in line with production requirements, to enable the next stage of animation production to run efficiently

  • Undertake test renders at appropriate times to determine the length of time required for rendering and check for errors

  • Establish the render settings that gain the required appearance and create sufficient flexibility for compositing

  • Apply render settings that enable the required degree of realism

  • Prioritise renders in accordance with production priorities

  • Calculate render times and storage space required to meet production requirements

  • Create a series of key frames to structure the animation that are appropriate to the animation production

  • Provide the key frames and check they meet the needs of the production with the director

  • Work in line with shot breakdown ensuring continuity

  • Create the movement and performance required by the production to in-between the animation, adding frames or cleaning up as required

  • Test animated sequences to confirm the effects and continuity meet requirements

  • Use the appropriate software for the techniques and procedures required

  • Use rotoscoping to produce animated frames

  • Create animation according to the production demands

  • Review output with relevant people and offer suggestions to assist others with the production

  • Respond positively to feedback about the animations you create, making refinements as needed

  • Remain constantly flexible and adaptable to new directions, creative requirements and software developments

  • Adjust lighting and camera equipment to meet production and aesthetic requirements of specific scenes throughout the production

  • Plan and block through shots under direction, where appropriate recording real life videos to try out the performance as a reference

  • Create pop through or rehearsal movie and agree with the director an appropriate series of key frames to structure the animation

  • Time out each shot that is appropriate to the production and agree these with the director

  • Prepare for and re-animate individual shots according to the director’s notes

  • Move characters on set in whatever style is required to meet the creative, narrative and technical demands of the production

  • Review models with relevant people and offer suggestions that assist others with the animation production

  • Test the stop motion animation characters and sequences you have created against the production specifications

  • Review animations created with the relevant people, offering suggestions to assist others with the production

  • Respond positively to feedback about the stop motion animations you create, making refinements as needed

  • Remain constantly flexible and adaptable to changes in the creative requirements of the production

  • Prepare and store assets and files in line with production requirements to enable the next stage of production to run efficiently

  • Block animation using stepped or spline techniques, structuring the animation appropriately for the production and in agreement with the director

  • Create the movement and performance required by the production to in-between the animation, adjusting the curves and adding extras keys as appropriate

  • Ensure rigging techniques and references create credible animation with movements that are realistic for the type of object being modelled and the style of animation required

  • Ensure that animations maintain continuity of character/performance with other shots in the sequence and/or other animators work

  • Test the 3D animations you have created against the production specifications

  • Review animations created with the relevant people, offering suggestions to assist others with the production

  • Respond positively to feedback about the 3D animations you create, making refinements as needed

  • Design animations within specified parameters and constraints relating to the target platform and medium

  • Create animations that are attractive, easy to use and fit for purpose

  • Save your animations in appropriate formats so that they can be easily incorporated into the product

  • Provide clear documentation for others to incorporate your animations into the product

  • Organise animations using appropriate filing and naming conventions so that they can be located easily by others

  • Liaise with colleagues, such as designers and developers, to ensure your animations are appropriate and meet requirements

  • Test the animated assets you have created against the production specifications and to ensure they are easy to use and fit-for-purpose

  • Review assets created with the relevant people, offering suggestions to assist others with the production

  • Respond positively to feedback about the assets you create, making refinements as needed


A junior animator will be able to demonstrate the following behaviours:

  •  Self motivation – a self-starter, with a proactive approach to tasks and managing own development, punctual and reliable

  • Adaptability – adapts positively to changing work priorities and patterns, ensuring productions deadlines continue to be met

  • Flexibility – a positive approach to working independently and collaboratively as part of a team

  • Ethical – maintains company and customer confidentiality, acting as an ambassador for their employer

  • Passionate – shows a keen interest in improving animation and creative media skills

  • Positive attitude – constructive thinking and motivated to succeed

Information for Applicants

What are the entry requirements?

Individual employers will set their own entry requirements for their apprentices. Typically candidates will have achieved a grade C or above in at least 5 GCSEs including English and Mathematics, and hold a minimum of 48 UCAS points, or equivalent.

How often do I have to attend college?

College attendance where required will be communicated post-application and enrolment.


During the apprenticeship, apprentices will be required to achieve Level 2 qualifications in English and maths prior to taking the end-point assessment (EPA) if not already achieved. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.


How is the apprentice assessed?

An end-point assessment (EPO) takes place at the end of the apprenticeship with an independent organisation and apprentices must successfully complete this to pass the programme. The end-point assessment is designed to enable apprentices to demonstrate that they are fully conversant in the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected of individuals at this level.

The end point assessment will consist of two parts.

  • Presentation supported by a portfolio of evidence (to be submitted prior to the end point assessment)
  • Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence (to be submitted prior to the end point assessment)
College Attendance

Apprentices will attend college once every two weeks for delivery session starting at 9:30am and finishing at 4pm for the first 6 months of the programme. From month 7-18 apprentices will have optional monthly portfolio workshops on campus. Apprentices will have an individual training plan along with online materials via a Google Classroom and a bespoke study guide in order to self-study each week.

To apply for this apprenticeship please read through the information below and then click the ‘Apply Online’ button from the menu located further down the page where you will be able to proceed with your application.

In order to enrol onto this apprenticeship programme you must either:

  • be already in employment in a suitable role with an employer willing to put you through the apprenticeship training


  • have an employer willing to appoint you as an apprentice in a suitable role and put you through the apprenticeship training

If you are unsure about any of the above and would like to speak to our apprenticeships team directly then please contact us using the below:

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email:


Employer Enquiries

If you would be interested to find out more about how this apprenticeship can work for your business or already have a member of staff who this apprenticeship would be perfect for please contact us using the ‘Hire an Apprentice: Enquire Here’ button in the menu below.

Apprenticeships FAQ

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

Fill your skills gaps: an Apprentice’s training is tailored to your organisation’s needs, resulting in a loyal, motivated work force Increase productivity by developing staff skills and expertise.

Value for money: a cost effective way to attract new talent and fresh eyes into your organisation.

Cost saving: we can advertise your vacancies and recruit the best candidates for your needs.

An industry recognised professional qualification can be built into the course which your apprentice will bring back to the business, providing value for money and a return on investment in their career as well as bringing back up to date knowledge from college.

What is expected of the employer?

When taking on an apprentice, there are certain expectations that must be met by the both the employer and the apprentice. As the employer, you are expected to:

  • Pay the minimum wage for an apprentice
  • Provide a full contract of employment for your apprentice
  • Offer the same benefits package to your apprentice as other employees
  • Arrange for a workplace mentor for your apprentice
  • Deliver a safe working environment
  • Ensure opportunities are made available to allow the learning of new skills and knowledge within the apprentice’s contracted working hours
  • Ensure the apprentice is given opportunities within contracted working hours to develop maths and English skills, where a GCSE grade A-C (or higher) has not been previously attained

What will this cost my business?

Levy paying employers can access levy funds to pay for this programme, and our blended learning model can contribute to the 20% off- the-job training requirement.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 has changed the way that government funds apprenticeships in England. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3million are required to contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year.
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships.
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

Speak to an Advisor at our employer engagement team on 01206 712043 to make your levy payments work for you.

Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Where applicable, non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship.

An employer contribution fee will be required for:

  • All non-levy paying employers recruiting an apprentice aged 22 or over*

*For non-levy paying employers full government funding is available for an apprentice aged between 16-21 years old and apprentices aged between 22-24 years old who have either an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or has been in the care of their local authority, where the employer employs less than 50 employees. 

Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice in the workplace.

Does the apprentice have to attend college?

College attendance where required will be communicated post-application and enrolment.

Why should I choose Colchester Institute to support my recruitment and retention?

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are experts at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business – and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our comprehensive service, we offer:

  • Fee-Free Recruitment Service: We offer recruitment assistance at no cost to you.
  • Advertisement of Apprenticeship Vacancies: We’ll promote your apprenticeship opportunities to attract the right candidates.
  • Application Management: We handle applications according to your unique criteria, ensuring a streamlined process.
  • Candidate Matching: Leveraging our extensive network, we can identify and recommend suitable candidates.
  • Pre-screening: We conduct initial assessments to ensure candidates meet course requirements.
  • Advice on Grants and Funding.

In addition, our team provides:

  • Dedicated Account Manager: You’ll have a single point of contact for personalised support.
  • Industry-Experienced Trainers: Our trainers bring real-world expertise to deliver high-quality training.
  • Bespoke Programmes: We can tailor apprenticeship programmes to align with your business goals.
  • Essex Priority Skills Focus: Our programmes are designed to address the priority skills needs of the Essex region.
  • Free Employer Events: Take advantage of networking opportunities and stay updated on industry trends through our free events.
  • Personalised Apprenticeship Levy Advice: Receive expert advice tailored to your specific needs.
  • Ongoing Support: Our team conducts regular visits, providing support and guidance to both you and your apprentice.

Partner with Colchester Institute to unlock the full potential of apprenticeships for your business. Let us help you find the right talent and develop the workforce you need for success.

Off-The-Job Training FAQ

Off-the-Job Training (OJT) is one of the key requirements for all apprenticeship standards.

Apprentices must spend 20% of their contracted working hours undertaking Off-the-Job Training, which is defined as “learning undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads toward the achievement of an apprenticeship.”

Off-the-Job Training must be directly relevant to the apprentice’s programme and teach them new knowledge, skills and behaviours that will help them reach competence in their occupation and ensure that apprentices are actively learning and working to attain the required knowledge and skills within their sector while enrolled in their placement program.

What does Off-the-Job Training Look Like?

Off-the-Job Training must account for at least 20% of an apprentice’s contracted working hours within their full-time employment as an apprentice.

This means that their time might be broken down like the below:

  • 5 x 7 working hours in a day = 35 working hours in a week
  • 52 working weeks in a year x 35 working hours = 1820 total working hours in a year
  • 20% Off-the-Job Training requirement of the 1820 hours = 364 hours dedicated to OJT over the course of the apprenticeship
  • This is also equivalent to the apprentice spending one day per week during their 12-month apprenticeship undertaking Off-the-Job Training

The above depends on their contracted working hours within the day and/or working week, as well as the length of their programme.

For example, Apprentices working more hours in the day and the week, as well as those whose programmes are longer than 12 months in duration, then their Off-the-Job Training requirement will still consist of 20% of their contracted hours but the total number of working hours and total time dedicated to OJT will be different the above.

Why is Off-the-Job Training Conducted within the Apprentice’s Contracted Hours?

An apprenticeship is a work-based programme, and any training that contributes towards an apprentice’s development should be included in their contracted working hours.

The Department for Education (DfE) has said that it would be unreasonable to expect an apprentice to undertake training that is part of their apprenticeship in their own time, therefore if training must take place outside of the apprentice’s working hours, then this should be recognised by both the Employer and Training Provider.

An example of this would be if an apprentice has to attend a 2-hour lecture scheduled after their working hours, then arrangements should be made by the training provider and employer for the apprentice to make up the time by leaving work 2 hours early.

What does Off-the-Job Training Include?

Off-the-Job Training can include a number of activities that can take place on or off the employer’s normal work premises.

If you are unsure of whether an activity can be regarded as Off-the-Job Training, the below questions form a useful point of reference:

  • Is the activity directly relevant to the apprenticeship?
  • Is the activity teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours?
  • Is the learning taking place in the apprentice’s contracted working hours?

If the answers to the questions are all yes, then this counts as towards OJT. These can include:

The Teaching of Theory

This can include lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning, manufacturer training and so on. Teaching theory should help the apprentice better understand their role, the topics and subjects relevant to their role and their sector in more detail.

Practical Training

This can include shadowing, mentoring, industry visits, attendance at competitions and so on. This training should practically train the apprentice and teach them skills that they can use in their current job or in a future position.

Learning Support

This refers to learning support provided by the Employer or the Training Provider. Some apprentices may require more assistance in their programme to help them reach their best potential. This includes time spent conducting projects, writing assignments and so on.

Learning support counts towards OJT to ensure that all individuals have the support needed and that all barriers to education and training are removed. This could include:

  • physical adjustments
  • access to accessibility software
  • additional revision classes
  • personal support from their Training Provider.

Time spent on assignments is also included in OJT as new knowledge, skills and behaviours can be developed while completing them.

While OJT takes place outside of normal working duties, it is possible to undergo OJT at the apprentice’s workstation. For example, OJT could include learning to use a new machine or undertaking e-learning. While conducting this training, normal working duties should not be required of the apprentice.

Off-the-Job Training can also take place at home via distance learning. If there is a program of study that the apprentice can complete online that contributes to the completion of their apprenticeship, as long as the learning package is included as part of a blended learning programme, this can be counted as an OJT activity.

The activity that the apprentice undertakes is the main focus of OJT. As long as the OJT activity actively contributes to the completion of the apprenticeship, the location matters less than the activity itself.

Essentially OJT is Employers or Training Providers setting aside time for the apprentice to improve themselves, their knowledge and/or their skills.

Off-the-Job Training cannot include:

  • Enrolment
  • Induction, including any basic safety, compliance or diversity training
  • Training to acquire knowledge, skills and behaviours that are not required in the standard or framework
  • Progress reviews or on-programme assessment needed for an apprenticeship framework or standard
  • Training which takes place outside the apprentice’s working hours*
  • English and maths (up to level 2) which is funded separately
  • Time spent on compulsory activities in the apprenticeship, including time spent on English and Maths qualifications

(*although, as mentioned before, there are exceptions if this time is made up within their working hours)

The government acknowledges that apprentices will inevitably want to spend time outside of working hours to familiarise themselves with their work. However, any personal initiative shown by the apprentice will not count towards Off-the-Job Training.

Any time that an apprentice takes to conduct OJT is counted towards their normal working hours. That means that if an apprentice is interested in undertaking training outside of their working hours, they should ask their Employer and Training Provider first and see if arrangements can be made to accommodate this.

Preparing for Off-the-Job Training?

It is the responsibility of the Employer and Training Provider to ensure that the apprentice spends 20% of their apprenticeship undertaking Off-the-Job Training. Completion of OJT must be documented and evidenced in order for the apprentice to complete the apprenticeship.

In order to comply with the funding rules, each apprentice should receive a commitment statement from the Employer/Training Provider outlining the program of training the apprentice will receive and how the Employer/Training Provider intends to spend the Off-the-Job Training time. The recipient of ESFA funding (usually the main provider) should keep, update and maintain the relevant files.

The ESFA will remain flexible about the type of evidence that should be retained and provided. They want Training Providers and Employers to use naturally occurring evidence where it is available. Many Training Providers have their own systems of collecting and storing evidence. Some examples of naturally occurring evidence might include:

  • Apprentice timesheets
  • Training logs
  • Registers
  • HR training systems

For more details and examples on how to proceed with Off-the-Job Training, you can click here to see the full OJT document from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Funding and Financial Support FAQ

How is the Apprenticeship funded?

The Government funds apprenticeships using the apprenticeship funding rules in place on the date the apprenticeship started. This applies to all employers, both those who pay the apprenticeship levy and those who do not.

Employers choose the training they would like their apprentice to receive throughout their apprenticeship. All new starts must follow an approved apprenticeship standard.

Each apprenticeship standard is in a funding band. These funding bands range from £1,500 to £27,000 and are paid through the employers digital apprenticeship account.

Employers can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training.

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.

Every employer who pays the levy has a digital account where they can access their levy funds to spend on apprenticeship training.

For non-levy paying employers the Government funding pays between 95% and 100% of the apprentice training costs, up to the funding band maximum. This is known as co-investment. 

What will this cost my business?

Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

For new starts from 1st April 2024, employers who do not pay the levy, the government will fully fund apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum for apprentices who at the start of their apprenticeship training are aged between:

  • 16 and 21 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August)
  • 22 and 24 years old and have either an education, health and care plan (EHCP) provided by their local authority or have been in the care of their local authority and their employer has fewer than 50 employees

For starts before 31st March 2024, for employers who do not pay the levy and have fewer than 50 employees, the government will fully fund apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum, for apprentices who at the start of their apprenticeship training are aged between:

  • 16 and 18 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August); or
  • 19 and 24 years old and has either an education, health and care plan (EHCP) provided by their local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority

Non-levy paying employers taking on an apprentice who does not meet the above age and eligibility criteria will be required to pay the 5% co-investment fee.

An employer contribution fee will be required for:

  • All non-levy paying employers recruiting an apprentice aged 22 or over

For more information about funding bands, please visit Apprenticeship Funding Bands.

Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear when you speak with our employer engagement team.

For any agreed associated costs, payments will be made directly to the training provider at the point of enrolment or a payment schedule. Payment schedules can be discussed with our employer engagement team prior to signing contracts. For more information about apprenticeship contribution fees please contact our engagement team on 01206 712043.

Apprentice Minimum Wage

A National Minimum Wage for apprentices was introduced on 1 October 2010. The wage applies to all apprentices aged under 19; and apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their Apprenticeship.

As of April 1st 2024 the national minimum wage for apprentices is £6.40 an hour and applies to time working, plus time spent training that is part of the Apprenticeship. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year of the apprenticeship. Apprentices must be paid at least the national minimum wage rate if they’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed their first year.

Employers who use apprenticeship standards to upskill existing staff should avoid reducing an employee’s salary to place them on an apprenticeship. Instead, successful completion of the apprenticeship standard can serve as an opportunity to raise an employee’s salary. It’s important to note that this salary increase is not mandatory for completing the apprenticeship but is advisable to retain valuable staff. 

Employers are free to pay above the national minimum wage and many do so, but employers must ensure that they are paying their apprentices at least the minimum wage. If an apprentice is on a higher wage, the employer must continue to pay that for the remainder of the training or until the apprentice becomes eligible for the full national minimum wage.

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 21 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 20 and under

Current rates

These rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 21 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age). The rates change on 1st April every year.

 21 and over18 to 20Under 18Apprentice
April 2024£11.44£8.60£6.40£6.40


Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £6.40.

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:

  • are aged 19 or over
  • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £11.44.

Financial Information and Support

Government support

Employers are not required to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for an apprentice, if the apprentice:

  • is under 25 years old
  • is on an approved UK government apprenticeship standard or framework (these can differ depending on UK country)
  • earns less than £967 a week (£50,270 a year)

Employers with fewer than 50 people working for them will be able to train 16-18-year-old apprentices without making a contribution towards the costs of training. The government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals. For individuals aged 22 years and above, the government will fund 95% of the training costs for the apprenticeship, with the employer contributing the remaining 5%. This is known as co-investment.

Levy paying employers with available funds in their digital account will fund all apprenticeship training costs. Where a levy paying employers digital account does not have enough funds to cover training costs, then co-investment rules above will apply. 

Additional payments for providers

We recognise that providers face some additional costs associated with training younger learners and those that need additional support.

Providers will get an extra £1,000 payment for supporting apprentices aged:  

  • 16 to 18
  • 19 to 24 who have either:
    • previously been in care
    • an education, health and care plan

We pay this over 2 equal instalments at 90 days and 365 days. This is on top of the funds that providers receive for training. It does not come from employer accounts.

Unlock Additional Funding for Apprenticeships in Tendring 

In collaboration with Tendring District Council and East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust, an extra £1,500 is now available for employers based in Tendring. Whether you’re hiring a new apprentice or upskilling an existing staff member through an apprenticeship, this funding can be claimed. There are no age restrictions, and it can be combined with the existing funding for 16–18 year-olds. To qualify, the apprentice must be recruited with the intention of closing long term skills gaps, and the employer’s postcode must fall within the Tendring District. 

How will this additional funding be paid? 

We’ll send the payment in 3 equal instalments for each apprentice. 

To be eligible, your apprentice must complete: 

  • 90 days of their apprenticeship for your first payment 
  • 365 days of their apprenticeship for your second payment 
  • Successfully enter gateway and achieve their apprenticeship standard for your third payment 

Once the apprenticeship information has been checked, we will process the payments. 

The apprenticeship levy
The levy was introduced on 6 April 2017 and is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employers’ pay bill, paid through PAYE on a monthly basis.

Each employer has a levy allowance of £15,000, this is not a cash payment. It works in a similar way to the personal tax allowance.

The impact of the allowance means that fewer than 1.3% of UK employers, those with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, are liable to pay the levy. Employers in England who pay the levy
will be able to get out more than they pay in, through a 10% top-up to their online accounts.

An employer’s pay bill is made up of the total amount of the employees’ earnings that are subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions, such as:

– wages
– bonuses
– commissions
– pension contributions

What about non-levy paying employers?

Employers with a pay bill of less than £3 million a year will not need to pay the levy.

At least 95% of non-levy paying employers’ apprenticeship training and assessment costs in England will be paid for by the government. The government will ask these employers to make a 5% contribution to the cost, paid directly to the provider, and the government covers the rest. This cost will be spread over the lifetime of the apprenticeship.

For new starts from 1st April 2024, where the employer does not pay the apprenticeship levy, the government will fund all of the apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum, for apprentices who are aged between 16 and 21 years old when they start their apprenticeship training. This removes the need for non-levy paying employers to pay the 5% co-investment cost of training if they meet the below:

  • Employers who do not pay the levy, if at the start of their apprenticeship training the apprentice is aged between 16 and 21 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August).
  • Employers who do not pay the levy and have fewer than 50 employees, if at the start of their apprenticeship training the apprentice is aged between 22 and 24 years old and has either an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan provided by local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority.

Non-levy paying employers taking on an apprentices who does not meet the above age and eligibility criteria will be required to pay the 5% co-investment fee.

Apprenticeship funding changes for SMEs

As of the 1st of April 2024, the government will now fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 22 (previously only up to 18) – reducing costs and burdens to the business and delivering more opportunities for people of all ages to kick start their career or upskill/reskill within their current role.

Junior Animator Level 4 Apprenticeship
Course Outline: Providing animated assets and content

If you are ready to make an application then please click the Apply Online button in the menu below.

LevelLevel 4
DurationThe typical duration of this apprenticeship will be 18 months.
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£11,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£550


All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2023-24 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.