Operations Department Manager – Higher Apprenticeship Level 5

This programme is aimed at Senior Managers in private, public and voluntary sectors, ranging from small local SMEs to large national organisations, and is structured to add value to your business through the completion of work related projects that improve workplace productivity.

Ideally this is generally someone who is able to manage teams and/or projects, and has responsibility for planning, delivering and achieving organisational goals and objectives. Mixing both strategic and operational leadership and management, this course is designed to help drive innovation, change and action within an organisation.

It is applicable to professional managers from all sectors – the private, public or third sector – and all sizes of organisation. It will typically take up to 18 months+ to complete, although the exact duration will be dependent on the previous experience of the individual.

This Leadership and Management Higher Apprenticeship is at Level 5.

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
Parents and Carers Info
Occupational Profile

An operations/departmental manager is someone who manages teams and/or projects, and achieving operational or departmental goals and objectives, as part of the leadership and management required for the delivery of the organisations strategy.

They are accountable to a more senior manager or business owner. Working in the private, public or third sector and in all sizes of organisation, specific responsibilities and job titles will vary, but the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed will be the same. Key responsibilities may include creating and delivering operational plans, managing projects, leading and managing teams, managing change, financial and resource management, talent management, coaching and mentoring. Roles may include: Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Divisional Manager, Department Manager and specialist managers.

Course Content

Apprentices will study the following modules:

Self-Awareness

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand own impact on others,
  • Understand emotional intelligence,
  • Understand different learning and behaviour styles,
  • Be able to reflect on own working style,
  • Be able to reflect on own performance,
  • Be able to plan activities based on learning styles.

Management of Self

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand different approaches to planning own workload
  • Understand time management techniques and tools
  • Know how to plan own personal development
  • Be able to use time management and prioritisation techniques
  • Be able to create a personal development plan

Project Management

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand the requirements of project governance
  • Know how to set up a project
  • Know how to manage a project
  • Know how to evaluate the success of a project
  • Be able to plan a projec
  • Be able to manage a project
  • Be able to evaluate the effectiveness of a project

Managing People

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Know how to manage multiple and remote teams
  • Know how to develop high performing teams
  • Understand performance management techniques and talent management models
  • Know how to delegate effectively
  • Understand how to recruit people into an organisation
  • Be able to manage performance within a team
  • Be able to recognise and manage talent
  • Be able to effectively delegate work

Leading People

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand different leadership styles
  • Understand how to lead different teams
  • Know how to improve performance in the workplace
  • Understand the importance of organisational culture
  • Understand equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Be able to communicate organisational vision and goals
  • Be able to improve individuals performance in the workplace
  • Be able to support the development of a High Performing Team
  • Be able to support a team through change

Operational Management

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand operational management approaches and models
  • Understand business development tools and approaches to continuous improvement
  • Know how to initiate and manage change
  • Understand the purpose of management reporting
  • Understand effective technology use and data security in organisations
  • Be able to create and deliver operational plans
  • Be able to support, manage and communicate change
  • Be able to demonstrate commercial awareness
  • Be able to produce management reports based on the collation, analysis and interpretation of data

Communication

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand interpersonal skills
  • Understand different forms and techniques of communication and how to apply them appropriately
  • Be able to communicate effectively
  • Be able to chair a meeting and present information
  • Be able to actively listen

Building Relationships

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand approaches to partner, customer and stakeholder relationship management
  • Know how to use collaborative working techniques
  • Know how to manage different levels of workplace conflict
  • Be able to build trust with internal and external stakeholders
  • Be able to use negotiation and influencing skills
  • Be able to manage conflict in the workplace
  • Be able to identify and share good practice
  • Be able to work collaboratively with others

Finance

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand how to identify financial requirements
  • Understand how to set budgets
  • Be able to manage a budget
  • Be able to evaluate the use of a budget

Problem Solving and Decision Making

This unit will provide learners with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand problem solving and decision making techniques
  • Be able to critically analyse and evaluate data to solve problems and make decisions.

 

Entry Requirements

What are the entry requirements?

Learners who wish to commence on the programme must be employed within a suitable role that will enable them to evidence the requirements of the qualification. Communication skills sufficient to allow learners to address the assessment requirements of the qualification is also desired.

The entry requirement for this apprenticeship will be decided by each employer, but may typically be five GCSEs at Grade C or higher.

Apprentices without level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment.

 

Assessment

It is strongly recommended that on programme assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviour outcomes en-route to the final synoptic end point assessment takes place throughout the programme.

The decision to Gateway to the End Point Assessment (where it is agreed the candidate meets the requirements of the Standard) will be taken by the line manager (employer) and learner with input from the Training Provider.

This section sets out the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the Operations or Departmental Manager apprenticeship standard.

Full time apprentices will typically spend 30 months on-programme (before the gateway) working towards the occupational standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. All apprentices must spend a minimum of 12 months on-programme.

The EPA period should only start, and the EPA be arranged, once the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is deemed to be consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational
standard, all of the pre-requisite gateway requirements for EPA have been met and can be evidenced to an end-point assessment organisations (EPAO).

The EPA must be completed within an EPA period lasting typically 5 months, after the EPA gateway.

How is the apprentice assessed?

The end point assessment will consist of two parts:

Assessment method 1: Professional discussion, underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

This assessment will take the form of a professional discussion which must be appropriately structured to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence and excellence and cover the KSBs assigned to this assessment method. A professional discussion is a two-way discussion which involves both the independent assessor and the apprentice actively listening and participating in a formal conversation. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to make detailed and proactive contributions to confirm their competency across the KSBs mapped to this method.

Assessment method 2: Project proposal, presentation and questioning

The assessment method is the production of a project proposal, presentation and questioning. The work is carried out after the apprentice has gone through the gateway. A project proposal involves the apprentice completing a relevant and defined piece of work that has a real business benefit. The project proposal must be undertaken after the apprentice has gone through the gateway. Apprentices will prepare and deliver a presentation that, along with the proposal, appropriately covers the KSBs assigned to this method of assessment. It will be followed by questioning from the independent assessor.

 

Course Content

What can I do next?

On completion, apprentices can register as full members with the Institute of Leadership & Management, and those with 3 years’ of management experience can apply for Chartered Manager status through the CMI.

College Attendance

Apprentices will attend college in person or virtually online for bespoke delivery workshops for each module.

Attendance at a total of 15 workshops is required, and delivery of these takes place over a 12-month period.

In-between sessions, apprentices will have access to online resources via our e-portfolio system and a dedicated study guide for each module.

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

or

  • 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:

ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

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.

Information for Employers

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

Typical Leadership and Management job roles this standard can apply to within:

  • Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Divisional Manager, Department Manager and specialist managers.

As well as ensuring full competency on completion as an Operations/Department Manager, this standard provides the foundation for progression into a number of career paths in the Management sector.

Which method is right for me?

We have found that both Levy and non-levy employers are increasingly choosing to invest in training for staff already in-place through an apprenticeship, but are reluctant to recruit apprentices from outside of the company. By upskilling staff members through an apprenticeship instead, organisations are providing a platform for them to develop and evolve within the organisational structure, aiding progression into senior roles.

Whilst apprenticeships are more commonly thought of as for young people, a recent Apprenticeship Statistics England Report published in January 2019 states that “People aged 25 and over accounted for 46% of apprenticeship starts in 2016/17”.

This emerging trend shift supports evidence that the perception of apprenticeships is changing. Established assumptions that apprentices can only be recent school leavers or labour-intensive workers on entry-level programmes are evolving.

Apprenticeships are an excellent way of increasing the skillset of your current workforce and providing on-the-job training for someone you already know has the potential and motivation to go further in your business.

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice as they complete work- based tasks.

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 CI Business Solutions on 01206 712727 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 (EHC) plan 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.

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.

While only the biggest businesses pay the levy, the funding generated by it also funds apprenticeship training for other employers who want to take on apprentices.

For smaller employers – those with a total annual pay bill of less than £3 million – government funding pays between 95% and 100% of the apprentice training costs, up to the funding band maximum.

What will this cost my business?

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.

For new starts from 1 April 2024, for 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: – has either an education, health and care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority; and – their employer has fewer than 50 employees

For starts before 31 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 (EHC) plan 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 at the interview.

You’ll make payments directly to the training provider and agree on a payment schedule. Payment plans and schedules can be discussed with our apprenticeship Account Managers prior to signing contracts. For more information about apprenticeship contribution fees please contact one of our Apprenticeship Advisers 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. 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 are free to pay above the new 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 1 April every year.

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

Apprentices

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

Previous rates

The following rates were for the National Living Wage (previously for those aged 25 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) from April 2016.

From 1st April 2021 the National Living Wage was extended to 23 and 24 year olds and from 1st April 2024 the National Living Wage was extended to 21 and 22 year olds.

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.

Funding

The government will pay employers, no matter what size, £1,000 for each 16-18 year old apprentice they employ.

Eligibility 

All employers are eligible for a £1,000 payment for taking on an apprentice who is either:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 and has an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

This £1000 payment will be paid to your training provider and you will receive it from them.

When you’ll get paid

We’ll send the payment in 2 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

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

Payments will be made on the 14th working day of the month, it can take up to 3 days for the payments to reach your account.

You can track when your payments are due to be paid on your view applications page.

We cannot send any payments until we’ve received and verified the organisation and finance details. This could take up to 80 days.

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 and cannot be used to purchase apprenticeship training.

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 90% 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 young people to kick start their careers.


Apprenticeships - Parent's FAQ

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.

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex and can boast achievement rates higher than national averages. This section aims to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get from parents and carers about apprenticeships.

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. Plans to introduce more Higher Apprenticeship routes will provide learners with a real choice between work-based and traditional degree education.

The Facts

  • 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 the 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 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.

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. 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 are free to pay above the new 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.

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.

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.


Operations Department Manager Higher Apprenticeship Level 5
Course Outline: An operations/departmental manager is someone who manages teams and/or projects

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

LevelLevel 5
LocationColchester
DurationTypically 2 ½ years.
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Fee(s)Additional Employer Costs: To include the option of the ILM Diploma for Leaders and Managers Level 5 qualification as part of this apprenticeship there are additional exam and registration costs of £700 that cannot be covered by the apprenticeship funding. Please enquire for further information.
Additional Cost Information

Optional Qualification:
ILM Diploma for Leaders and Managers: £700

Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£7,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£350

Disclaimer

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.