Information on the Apprenticeships NI programme can be accessed through https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/apprenticeships.
The ApprenticeshipsNI programme aims to provide participants with the opportunity to take part in a Level 2/Level 3 apprenticeship where the participant, in paid employment from day one, will work towards achieving an industry-approved Level 2/Level 3 apprenticeship framework.
Higher Level Apprenticeships are also offered across various sectors from Level 4 to Level 8.
For more detailed information on Higher Level Apprenticeships refer www.nidirect.gov.uk/apprenticeships types of apprenticeships section).
Apprenticeships usually take between two to four years to complete and each framework for the specific occupational area is agreed with the relevant industry-led representative body and comprises of directed training, related knowledge, appropriate Essential Skills, and structured workplace training. The apprenticeship framework sets out the relevant national occupational standards and qualifications which must be achieved by the participant. The qualifications provide the evidence that the individual has achieved:
- the competencies required for performance in the particular occupation or job role; and
- the technical skills and knowledge/understanding of the theoretical concepts specifically relating to the occupation or job role, together with knowledge and understanding of the industry and its market.
The Department’s commitment to an apprentice/employer is the target framework identified in the Personal Training Plan. Each framework includes the following basic elements:
- induction and modules covering Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR);
- a competence based component at Level 2/Level 3;
- Essential Skills which must include Communication, Application of Number and ICT, where appropriate to the apprenticeship framework;
ApprenticeshipsNI aims to:
- provide apprentices with the knowledge, understanding, and competence to work at a higher level in their chosen occupation;
- offer high quality training to fulfil the requirements of an appropriate ‘apprenticeship framework’;
- contribute to raising the skills level of the Northern Ireland workforce;
- provide opportunities for progression to further and higher education and training;
- encourage the direct involvement of employers in training key personnel.
The Apprentice of the Year awards for apprentices and employers are organised in order to raise awareness of the benefits and outcomes of apprenticeships.