How apprenticeships work

Your apprentice will learn in a research environment and be taught by academics who are specialists in their fields.

Our research strengths and teaching excellence are ranked among the best in the UK and our dedicated team can support you and your apprentice throughout the programme.

Apprenticeship structure and delivery

Delivery model (day or block release)

All our apprenticeship programmes involve scheduled teaching sessions with academic staff (both on site and remote):

  • These may be for one day per week or delivered in a study block.
  • When the apprentice is enrolled, a timetable will be issued with all planned teaching hours for your apprentice’s first semester.
  • You should pay your apprentice their usual salary/ hourly rate when attending these sessions which should count towards their working hours.

Maths and English

  • If an apprentice can’t provide evidence that they hold Maths and English at Level 2 (GCSE Grade C/4 or above) they will be required to achieve Functional Skills during the apprenticeship.
  • They will need to attend teaching sessions with one of the University’s third-party subcontractors and complete invigilated exams.
  • You will need to provide your apprentice time to attend these sessions during their regular working hours, they can’t be taken during their 20% off-the-job allocation.

Off-the-job training

At least 20% of an apprentice’s total paid hours should be spent on ‘off-the-job’ training. A majority of this will be covered during the teaching sessions with the University, but these will be complemented with a range of activities in the workplace. Some examples of off-the-job activities are:

  • mentoring sessions with a senior colleague
  • shadowing experienced staff in a similar role
  • completing project or assignment work
  • attending industry specific workshops or seminars
  • networking with other apprentices to share good practice
  • roleplay or simulation of workplace situations
  • writing a reflective account of a workplace experience
  • attending training sessions on key industry topics.

All off-the-job hours must be logged in the apprentice’s PebblePad, the University of Leeds e-portfolio tool. It helps students create records of learning, progression and achievement.

Role of a workplace mentor

  • As an employer, you must allocate your apprentice a workplace mentor.
  • Their role is to support the apprentice to embed the learning undertaken at the University within the workplace, by sharing their knowledge and expertise.
  • The individual may be your apprentice’s line manager or a designated colleague with relevant experience.

Tripartite reviews

The University, employer and apprentice will meet once a term to discuss the amount of progress made and resolve any issues. Called tripartite reviews, the meetings are an opportunity for apprentices and employers to feed back their thoughts on the apprenticeship.

Gateway and End Point Assessments

  • The final stage of apprenticeship programmes is an End Point Assessment (EPA) that measures the apprentice’s capabilities across skills, knowledge and behaviours of the standard.
  • To sit an EPA, the apprentice must have approval from their employer and training provider that they meet certain requirements (called gateway requirements) set out in their assessment plan.
  • These requirements can vary across programmes, but usually involve:
    • the award of a HE level qualification
    • evidence of achievement for English and Maths at level 2
    • confirmation they are consistently working at the level required by the standard.

Gateway requirements and EPA details for each apprenticeship standard can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

Support for you and your apprentice

University account manager

You will have a named contact at the University from the outset who will guide you through the enrolment process and can any questions or deal with any concerns that may arise throughout the programme. Their role is to maintain service excellence.

Personal tutor

Every apprentice has a personal tutor who will organise meetings with them to discuss their academic progress. They will listen to any issues the apprentice may face and signpost them to relevant services and support. They may also complete the tripartite reviews with you and the apprentice.

Teaching staff

The academic staff at the University of Leeds are specialists within their respective fields and may have even written books and research articles that your apprentice will be using as part of the apprenticeship. Our teaching standards are internationally recognised and undergo thorough quality assurance processes.

Learning Enhancement team

The Learning Enhancement team are an impartial service within the University, in place to ensure the quality of your apprenticeship programme is outstanding. They may contact you to ask for feedback on how the apprenticeship is going and any changes you feel would be beneficial. This will help us to continuously improve our apprenticeship provision.

Careers Centre

If you would like to explore other ways we can help you with your organisation’s recruitment needs, our Careers Centre can help you to advertise job vacancies to our students, arrange for your organisation to attend our careers fairs and more.

Related links