Interested in gaining new skills? Want to work towards a nationally recognised qualification to support your career development? Then an apprenticeship could be the answer! Apprenticeship funding has opened up a new route to developing staff at the College, whatever stage you are at in your career. Apprenticeship programmes are available across a range of occupations and at a variety of levels, right through to Masters, allowing staff to gain new skills and qualifications on the job.

An apprenticeship combines hands-on experience with formal, off-the-job training and last for a minimum of twelve months (although the duration will depend on the programme and the level). The learner must spend at least 20% of their working hours on development, which might include attending lectures or workshops, practical training, shadowing and applying new skills in the workplace. You will work towards an approved apprenticeship standard with an accredited provider. Apprenticeship training is funded by Imperial's apprenticeship levy, at no cost to the learner or the department.  

We now have over a hundred staff using the apprenticeship route to build new skills and knowledge – attend a briefing session to find out what the benefits could be for your own career development! 

Frequently Asked Questions for Staff

What types of programmes are available?

Apprenticeships are traditionally associated with sectors like construction and engineering, but there are now hundreds of different apprenticeships across a wide range of professions. More than 700 programmes are available, from accountancy to project management to senior leadership, with more being developed all the time. The Institute for Apprenticeships website lists the programmes currently available. Please contact the Apprenticeships Manager to find out whether an apprenticeship is available in an area relevant to you.

What is off-the-job training?

An apprentice must spend at least 20% of their working hours on off-the-job training. Off-the-job training is defined by the Education and Skills Funding Agency as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. It can include:

  • the teaching of theory (for example: lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training);
  • practical training (for example shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions);
  • learning support and time spent writing assessments/ assignments;
  • applying new learning in the workplace. 

There is some flexibility around how the training is delivered (this may include regular day release, block release and special training days/workshops). However, training which takes place outside the apprentice’s normal working hours cannot count towards the 20%.

Can an individual with prior qualifications do an apprenticeship?

The Levy can be used to fund apprenticeship training for an individual at the same level, or at a lower level, than a current qualification, but only if the apprenticeship will allow the individual to acquire substantive new skills. The content of the training must also be materially different from any prior qualification or a previous apprenticeship.

How are apprenticeships funded?

Apprenticeship training is funded by the Apprenticeship Levy, a Government initiative to increase the level of investment in skills and training. It applies to employers across the UK with a paybill in excess of £3 million. The College has been paying the Apprenticeship Levy since April 2017 and we draw on our Levy payments to fund training for apprentices, who may be new staff or existing employees.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for this type of programmes, learners should:

  • Be in a role that will allow you to meet the learning objectives of the programme (i.e. the apprenticeship needs to be relevant to your job).
  • Have support from your line manager.
  • Be ready to commit to the minimum study requirement and have agreed with their manager how this can be balanced with operational demands.
  • Have Maths and English at Level 2 (i.e. GCSE grade A* - C / 9 – 4 or equivalent). If you do not have this, there will usually be an opportunity to complete it as part of the programme.
  • Have long enough remaining on your contract of employment to complete the programme.
  • In line with Education and Skills Funding Agency rules, staff who are not UK or EEA citizens should already have permission to live and work in the UK for the duration of the programme and should have been ordinarily resident in the UK or EEA for at least three years prior to starting this course.

Training providers may also specifiy additional requirements (e.g. to do a Masters-level apprenticeship, providers may require you to have an honours degree or substantial professional experience). 

How can I find out more?

Come along to one of our briefing sessions or contact the Apprenticeships Manager