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Questions for Learners

Q Who are Milltech?

Milltech originally commenced business in 1983 to manage the training of mechanical apprentices. This has gradually expanded to include Business Administration, Customer Service, Team Leading and Management qualifications. Milltech occupies centrally located premises in Victoria House, Toward Road in Sunderland which are easily accessible by bus, metro and car. Milltech employs 18 members of staff and delivers training programmes to over 200 learners. Our funding is accessed through our contract with the Education & Skills Funding Agency, and our achievements have been confirmed by OFSTED, City & Guilds and recognised for Investors in People and Matrix, EDI and OCR awarding bodies. We are proud to be a locally owned and managed organisation with well established links to local employers and schools together with detailed and experienced knowledge of the recruitment and training needs of the area.

Q What are Apprenticeships?

An Apprenticeship is a structured training programme, specific to the needs of the learner, enabling them to gain knowledge and experience leading to a successful qualification. It is a mixture of on and off-the-job training enabling to gain qualifications relevant to their chosen occupation. Apprenticeships are available and are the ideal opportunity to gain valuable experience. Apprentices can work for a maximum of 40 hours per week and will be entitled to the same holidays as other employees at the business. Employers are responsible for wage and other employment costs – the national minimum wage for an apprentice is £3.40 per hour which applies to 16-18 year old Apprentices and those aged over 19 in the first year of their Apprenticeship. After this the national minimum wage applies from 16 upwards to earn a wage while learning. Training Officers/Assessors visit the learner in the workplace on a regular basis to meet with them and their employer to monitor progress and to carry out NVQ assessments. Programme structures will vary. Some apprentices will attend the training centre weekly or fortnightly for off-the-job training. Others will be given additional self study materials to prepare them to undertake the qualifications that make up the apprenticeship framework. Attendance at training (or the completion of self study materials) is a compulsory part of the apprenticeship scheme.

Q Why would you want to be an Apprentice?

Because you will: - Get a real job and follow your chosen career - Achieve recognised qualifications - Earn a wage - Learn industry specific skills which employers really want - Have the opportunity to learn completely new skills or study further in your chosen occupational area - Receive the full support of Milltech training staff.

Q How long does an Apprenticeship last?

The length of time taken to complete the apprenticeship will vary between one and two years depending on the occupational area or the programme you are taking, the requirements of your employer, your own individual input and the range of experience you will get. You will be told your planned end date on your induction day and will work towards this throughout your course. On average Business & Administration and Customer Service Apprenticeships take up to 12 months to complete and Motor Vehicle up to 24 months. Milltech offer Apprenticeships from Level 2 to Level 5.

Q What are the entry requirements?

Entry requirements may vary depending on the employer and the occupational area being followed, but all applicants should be keen and interested in working in the job role and enjoy learning in and out of the workplace. All applicants will need to satisfactorily complete an assessment of their basic skills (with results at Level 1 or above) and preferably have passed GCSE’s in Maths and English at grades C or above.

Q Which Apprenticeship programmes do Milltech offer?

Milltech offers apprenticeship programmes in: - Business & Administration - Customer Service - Light Vehicle Technician - Heavy Vehicle Technician - Vehicle Paint and Body Operations - Vehicle Parts - Team Leading/Management - Sales and Telesales - Learning and Development - Employment Related Services.

Q How can I apply to join an Apprenticeship programme with Milltech?

Telephone us on 0191 5100414 and ask for an application form or you can call in and pick one up. You can also apply online. Connexions in Fawcett Street, Sunderland also have copies of our application forms.

Q What will happen after I have sent in my application form?

Once we have received your completed application form you will be invited along to our preview event to see if Milltech can offer you a place on an apprenticeship programme. Alternatively some applicants may be offered a place on the Foundation Learning programme. This is designed to prepare you for future opportunities. You will also be asked to let us know if you have any other additional support needs. For example if you have a health problem or disability that could have an effect on your learning programme, or if there are any personal issues that could affect your learning. If you tell us about any support needs you may have, we can plan for any additional help or support you will need right from the start. We offer additional literacy and numeracy tuition to support learners if necessary while they are following an apprenticeship programme. 

Q What will happen after the preview event ?

You will receive a letter within 7 days of your appointment to let you know if you have been provisionally accepted onto the programme or to inform you that you have not been successful.

Q How soon will I be able to start an Apprenticeship?

Once accepted onto the programme Milltech will begin to circulate your CV to prospective employers so it is very important to include the most relevant details of your qualifications and experience in your CV. Milltech will then arrange interviews with employers normally on their premises and when you have received a job offer you will be able to commence your apprenticeship programme.

Q What is the Apprenticeship Framework?

All apprentices complete a Framework, set by the industry at the appropriate level for that occupational area, and will consist of: - A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at Level 2 or Level 3 - A Technical Certificate (theory or underpinning knowledge) - Functional Skills. Learning about Health and Safety and Equal Opportunities and the PREVENT programme is also a compulsory part of your learning programme. Exemptions from Functional Skills may be available for those with relevant GCSEs that have been achieved in the last 5 years

Q What happens after I have completed an apprenticeship?

You could continue in your position with your employer in normal employment and work to achieve progression through the company. You may be able to progress to a higher level of NVQ or progress to higher education courses at college or university at degree level.


Questions for Employers

Q What are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are work based training programmes for anyone of 16 or over. They are government funded in collaboration with the Skills Funding Agency and Local Government. Apprenticeship Frameworks are designed by the relevant industry Sector Skills Council. As Apprenticeships are funded by public money, providers are subject to regular inspections and quality assurance checks. Training Providers are inspected by OFSTED who are also responsible for school and college inspection

Q What is the length of the Apprenticeship?

This will vary between one and three years depending on the occupational area, the level of support in the workplace and the learner’s commitment.

Q What is a typical Apprenticeship programme?

Mostly ‘on the job’ at your site or office, but it will be necessary to agree time away from the workplace at the Training Centre in order to enhance their skills. This is agreed at the beginning of the programme. It may involve either one day per week or per fortnight in order to fit in with the operational demands in the workplace. What are the benefits to the employer? • The course content of apprenticeships is developed by the relevant Sector Skills Councils. Therefore the training and qualifications will be relevant to the industry. • 88% of employers who employ Apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to more motivated and satisfied employees. • 80% of employers who employ Apprentices agree that they make their workplace more productive. • Employers pay the salary of Apprentices which is a minimum of £3.40 per hour. The training is government funded. • One in five employers are training more Apprentices to help them through the tough economic climate. (Source: National Apprenticeship Service)

Q Where do NVQs fit into this?

An NVQ forms part of the Apprenticeship framework, alongside Functional Skills and normally a Technical Certificate. An NVQ consists of both mandatory and optional units, allowing learners a choice that will complement their job role.

Q What is employer’s commitment?

There are standard terms and conditions to control the employment of the Apprentice. They must receive a contract of employment, an induction into the job role and company structured on-the-job training. The more support and encouragement given the more successful the Apprenticeship will be. Our employer handbook gives full details of your obligations. The Milltech assessor will visit the Apprentice at their place of business on a regular basis to ensure that the work they are doing can be used as evidence towards their qualification. Any work or modules that cannot be carried out at work will be done at Milltech. The employer will be kept involved in the learner’s progress as part of the formal review between the Apprentice and the Assessor which takes place every 11 weeks.

Q What help will Milltech give the employer?

Milltech staff will be available to answer questions and offer guidance or if you need to discuss any aspects of the programme. The Training Officer is the key to making things run smoothly. Milltech provide a comprehensive range of services throughout the programme which include: - Advertising to recruit the learner (if necessary) - Learner skills analysis & assessment - Induction and registration with the awarding body - Guidance with their portfolio - Development of an individual Training Plan - Assessment visits, off the job training and a regular review of progress - Verification of their portfolio and certification from the awarding body - Advice on further learning on completion of the programme.

Q Are there Apprenticeships for any job?

Yes, there are apprenticeships in most vocational areas although Milltech specialise in Business & Administration, Customer Service, Team Leading and Management and Motor Vehicle.

Q Do Apprentices receive additional training to develop other skills - numeracy, literacy for instance?

These skills are developed within the Functional Skills part of the apprenticeship and form an important part of the overall programme. Milltech staff can also offer additional training to help improve their Literacy and Numeracy skills. Milltech are finding increasingly that Apprentices are asking how to continue their learning, either by taking the Advanced Apprenticeship or by completing an additional framework at the same level. The advantage to the employer is to have a more trained and motivated employee.

Q What''s the catch?

It’s natural to assume that if something has little or no cost it has no value. However, since Milltech are government funded, our services are currently provided free to the employer. From 1st May 2017 the Funding System will change and Milltech will fully inform employers when details are know.


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