What is work-based learning?

Work-based learning blends earning a qualification and learning new skills while working in full-time paid employment. It's a practical way of learning, so you gain new skills and a better understanding of the work by actually doing it. There may be some study sessions at your YMCA Training centre too, which you'll be able to relate to the practical activities you've done in the workplace.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a practical work-based learning course, where you work towards a qualification during employment. An Apprenticeship includes a nationally-recognised qualification and the completion of some Functional Skills.

What is an NVQ?

An NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) is a nationally recognised qualification open to learners of any age. It shows you have the skills and knowledge to do your job effectively. As with an Apprenticeship, it is a practical course, so you work towards a qualification while in your job, building up a portfolio of work to prove you have the necessary skills for your role.

What is a Technical Certificate?

A Technical Certificate is included in some Apprenticeships and is often gained through off-the-job training. It will help you get to grips with the skills and knowledge needed for your job.

Why should I bother doing an Apprenticeship or NVQ?

With it you'll improve within your job, learn new skills and, when qualified, will be more likely to get a pay rise or promotion.

How much will I get paid?

During an Apprenticeship you'll either be employed full-time or will be on a placement with an employer. If you're employed full time you'll be paid at least £95 per week. With an NVQ, you continue to earn the same wages you were paid before.

Where will I do my training?

This varies depending on the course you take. All courses mainly take place in the workplace, but you may also spend some time training in your local centre with your YMCA Training adviser supporting your practical education. This could involve training for one day a week, one day a fortnight or one week a month in your centre. You can find out the exact details by contacting your local centre about the course you are interested in.

How often will I see my YMCA Training adviser?

In addition to any time you spend in the YMCA Training centre, you will also see your training adviser when they visit you in your workplace. If you're doing an Apprenticeship or Advanced Apprenticeship with us you'll be visited every four to six weeks.

How long does it take to finish a course?

This depends on you. As courses are flexible, you can take the time you need to achieve the different elements. Most people take between 12 to 14 months to complete an Apprenticeship and around 18 months to finish the Advanced Apprenticeship.

What qualifications do I get?

Most Apprenticeships include:
  • a nationally recognised qualification, e.g. a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)
  • Functional Skills qualification, showing that you are skilled in one or more of the following areas relevant to your job:
    • English
    • Mathematics
    • Information Technology
    • a Technical Certificate (included in most Apprenticeships), achieved off the job to help you get to grips with the skills and knowledge needed for your role

What qualifications do I need to apply?

Have a look at the webpage for the particular Apprenticeship you're interested in. Many Apprenticeships and NVQs do not require you to have any existing qualifications. Instead, you'll need to show you have a reasonable level of literacy and numeracy and that you are committed to the training, have a real interest in the course and that you will be able to gain the skills and knowledge required to complete it. You'll have an initial assessment with your YMCA Training adviser can check that the course is right for you.

Will I get a job?

If you're not already in employment, YMCA Training will help you to find a job or placement where you can train to get your Apprenticeship. Many employers then offer apprentices full-time, permanent work either during or after they've completed their placement. If your employer does not offer you a job, you will be well placed to find another with your new qualification. If you would like to do an NVQ you will need to have a job already and get the support of your employer.

How can I find out what YMCA Training offers in my area?

Visit our Contact us page and give your local centre a call or email us at info@ymcatraining.org.uk