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UKs Certified Apprenticeship Training Agency

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An apprenticeship is a system of on-the-job training along with some study. Most of their training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade or profession, in exchange for their continued labour for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies. Apprenticeships are normally for 3 to 6 years. People who successfully complete an apprenticeship reach the professional certification level of competence. The professions of thatching, tailoring, carpentry, baking are good examples of apprenticeship.

Based on historic records, the system of apprenticeship first developed in the later middle ages and came to be supervised by craft guilds and town governments. Master craftsmen had to employ young people as an inexpensive form of labor in exchange for providing food, lodging and formal training in the craft.

Apprenticeship has its own history in various countries.


Apprenticeship in United Kingdom

Apprenticeships have a long tradition in the United Kingdom, dating back to around the 12th century and flourishing by the 14th century. The parents or guardians of a minor would agree with a Guild’s Master craftsman the conditions for an apprenticeship which would bind the minor for 5?9 years (e.g., from age 14 to 21). They would pay a “premium” to the craftsman and the contract would be recorded in an indenture. Many regulations were passed in the period 15th to 18th century.

System introduced in 1964


The mainstay of training in industry has been the apprenticeship system (combining academic and practice), and the main concern has been to avoid skill shortages in traditionally skilled occupations and higher technician and engineering professionals, e.g., through the UK Industry Training Boards (ITBs) set up under the 1964 Act. The aims were to ensure an adequate supply of training at all levels; to improve the quality and quantity of training; and to share the costs of training among employers. The ITBs were empowered to publish training recommendations, which contained full details of the tasks to be learned, the syllabus to be followed, the standards to be reached and vocational courses to be followed.

Structure of apprenticeships in 2000s


The UK government has implemented a rigorous apprenticeship structure which involves three levels of apprenticeship available spanning 2?6 years of progression.

Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2; equivalent to five good GCSE passes): provides learners with the skills and qualifications for their chosen career and allow entry (if desired) to an Advanced Apprenticeship. To be accepted learners need to be enthusiastic, keen to learn and have a reasonable standard of education;

Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3; equivalent to two A-level passes): to start this programme, learners should have five GCSEs (grade A*-C) or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. This will provide them with the skills and qualifications needed for their career and allow entry (if desired) to a Higher Apprenticeship or degree level qualification;


Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4/5; equivalent to a Foundation Degree): to start this programme, learners should have a Level 3 qualification (A-Levels, Advanced Diploma or International Baccalaureate) or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Degree Apprenticeship (Level 4/5/6; achieve Bachelor Degree) and (Level 7 Masters): to start this programme, learners should have a level 3 qualification (A-Levels, Advanced Diploma or International Baccalaureate) relevant to occupation or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship also relevant to occupation. It differs from a ‘Higher Apprenticeship’ due to graduating with a Bachelor Degree at an accredited university.

Under the current UK system, commencing from 2013, groups of employers (‘trailblazers’) develop new apprenticeships, working together to design apprenticeship standards and assessment approaches.


There are many institutions which provide apprenticeship in various fields. For instance Alpha Gateway College, London.

Alpha Gateway College is based in Waltham Forest and has been involved in the provision of accredited learning and professional development of adults and young people since 2003. By providing quality education and training in various fields, more than 5000 students rather apprentice obtained accredited and certificated qualifications from National Vocational Qualifications to Diplomas and Higher National Diplomas from levels 1 to 5. They provide customized and flexible training to suit the needs of our employers, learners, students and our major stakeholders.

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They are specialized in providing apprenticeships in the following fields are Health & Social care; Business & Administration; Customer Service; Children & Young People Workforce; Accounting; Team Leading and Management.