FAQs

Last updated: 16th March 2023

Browse through our frequently asked questions regarding apprenticeships, processes, training, and funding. If your question hasn’t been answered, get in touch with our friendly team who will be happy to help.

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Apprentice FAQs

An apprenticeship is a great way to gain a work-based qualification. Every apprenticeship is linked to a particular job role and combines specialist training with on-the-job experience.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over 16, offering qualifications at lots of different levels. People use apprenticeships to start a new career, or to take their job to the next level.

At Baltic Apprenticeships, we specialise in the Digital and IT sector. We offer Level 3 and Level 4 Apprenticeships in Data, Digital Marketing, Content Creation, IT and Software Development.

Our Level 3 Apprenticeships:

Our Level 4 Apprenticeships:

At Baltic Apprenticeships, we offer programmes at Level 3 and Level 4.

A Level 3 Apprenticeship, or Advanced Apprenticeship, is equivalent to A-Level qualifications. A Level 4 Apprenticeship, or Higher Apprenticeship, is equivalent to a foundation degree.

After you pass your apprenticeship, you will get certificates to show that you have achieved the qualification.

The duration of an apprenticeship depends on the programme you choose and the level of the apprenticeship. A Level 3 Apprenticeship takes up to 15 months to complete, whilst a Level 4 Apprenticeship can typically take between 20 – 23 months.

The National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage is currently £5.28 per hour (as of April 2023). Your exact wage will depend on the vacancy you apply for and is decided by your employer.

At Baltic Apprenticeships, we have signed the Apprentice Decent Wage Pledge, and actively promote higher wages for apprentices. Many of our employers pay their apprentices more than the National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16 with the right to work in the UK. Some programmes and apprenticeship providers may ask for specific qualifications, interests or experience. At Baltic, any requirements are clearly listed on individual vacancies.

Due to our funding rules, to be eligible for an apprenticeship with Baltic, all of our learners must either:

  • Live and work full-time in England
  • Live outside of England, but spend at least 50% of their working hours in England

CAN YOU BE TOO OLD FOR AN APPRENTICESHIP?

There is no maximum age for an apprenticeship. Anyone aged 16 and over can be enrolled on an apprenticeship, including school leavers, career changers, and people looking to develop their skills as part of their current job.

You can read more about this question in our blog.

CAN UNIVERSITY GRADUATES COMPLETE AN APPRENTICESHIP?

You can still do an apprenticeship if you have been to university, as long as the modules you studied are different from the apprenticeship programme you wish to apply for. If you’d like to check your eligibility for one of our programmes, please contact us at yourfuture@balticapprenticeships.com and we will be happy to help!

You can read more about this question in our blog.

I’M FROM OVERSEAS, CAN I START AN APPRENTICESHIP IN THE UK?

To be eligible for an apprenticeship in England, you must have a valid residency status. UK nationals are eligible if they are a citizen of the UK and have been resident in the UK or EEA for the last 3 years.

EEA citizens are eligible for apprenticeships if they have been resident in the EEA for the last 3 years. Due to the UK leaving the EU, EEA citizens will remain eligible for apprenticeships under these rules until 31st July 2021.

Non-EEA citizens are eligible if they have permission from the UK government to live in the UK (not for educational purposes) and have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years.

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED TO START AN APPRENTICESHIP WITH BALTIC?

The minimum grades for all of our apprenticeship programmes are GCSE Grade 4/C in Maths and English Language/English Literature. Any additional qualifications are listed on our individual vacancies.

To start a Level 4 programme, we would usually recommend that candidates complete a Level 3 apprenticeship, or have existing experience in their chosen field.

Apprenticeships are a full-time commitment. Level 3 apprenticeships last up to 15 months, and Level 4 apprenticeships last up to 22 months. You would not be able to do an apprenticeship alongside another form of education, and are not suitable for university placements or as work alongside another form of study.

Apprenticeships can be a great way to explore a career and build experience in your chosen field between leaving school and going to university, but most apprenticeships will not fit into a traditional “gap year” timeline of 12 months or less. If you are considering an apprenticeship, you would need to demonstrate that you are committed to completing the programme.

Apprentices do not have to pay anything towards their apprenticeship training. This is fully funded by your employer and the UK government. You don’t need to pay any tuition fees or take out a student loan. Your employer will also pay you a wage while you work towards your qualification.

When your apprenticeship ends, you will have a qualification and extensive experience in your job. This gives you the freedom to continue your career in any way you choose.

Many of our apprentices are offered a permanent position with their employer. 95% of our recent apprentices are in full-time employment or are continuing their training with a Level 4 apprenticeship.

You can search for current apprenticeship opportunities near you with our vacancy search tool. New opportunities are added all the time, so please remember to check back regularly!

You can also browse our programmes, or search via the National Apprenticeship Service.

When applying for one of our apprenticeship vacancies, you need to make sure you are able to travel to work every day. Typically, we would not recommend a vacancy to you if it is located more than 45 minutes away from where you live. Long commutes can be particularly difficult as an apprentice, as transport costs may claim an unsustainable portion of your wages.

New employers and new apprenticeship opportunities are added all the time – so if you can’t find a vacancy in your area, don’t worry. Something in your travel range is likely to come up soon.

When you apply for an apprenticeship with us, our team will review your application. If we think you’d be a good fit for the vacancy, we will contact you by phone or email. We like to chat with our future apprentices, learning more about you and the kind of apprenticeship you are looking for.

If we think you’re a good fit for the vacancy, we’ll put you on the shortlist and recommend you to the employer. They may invite you for an interview (either over the phone, via video call, or in person) or to take part in their usual recruitment process.

If you are successful at the interview stage, we recommend that our employers offer you a work trial. This is usually one to two days where you get to meet the team, learn more about what you’ll be doing and give things a go. This is important for both parties to get to know each other and to feel confident that you’ll be happy in the job role.

If the work trial goes well, you’ll receive an official offer of an apprenticeship.

If you don’t get an offer after your first interview, don’t worry – this happens to lots of amazing candidates. If you’d like to continue your search, we can add you to our talent pool, and help you find the right apprenticeship opportunity.

WHAT SUPPORT WILL I GET AT THE RECRUITMENT STAGE?

Our Recruitment Team are here to set you up for success and match the right person to the right role. We can support you to make the most of your CV, talk through potential interview questions, and point you in the right direction for extra skills training make your application stand out.

You’ll usually work with the same person throughout the application process, so they’ll get to know you – communicating all your strengths to our prospective employers.

WHAT IS THE TALENT POOL?

Sometimes we have a great candidate who narrowly misses out on an opportunity, or who lives somewhere where there aren’t many vacancies. To give them the best possible chance of finding the right apprenticeship, we bring them into our talent pool and try to find them an amazing opportunity. Some of our apprenticeships are filled within days, thanks to our outstanding talent pool candidates.

When you’re in the talent pool, we’ll give you tailored support to strengthen your future applications and make the most of your skills and passion. We’ll also contact employers on your behalf to generate new apprenticeship opportunities.

Our apprenticeships start all year round, with new opportunities being added all the time. Our apprenticeship vacancies work in the same way as any other job application, with successful candidates starting their programme as soon as possible after receiving an offer.

If you are looking to begin an apprenticeship after leaving school and completing your GCSEs or A-Levels, we would advise you to begin applying for vacancies with Baltic Apprenticeships as you are finishing your exams. We’ll you help you through the application process and will put you forward for vacancies when you are available to begin an apprenticeship full-time.

WHAT IS THE CLOSING DATE FOR A BALTIC APPRENTICESHIP VACANCY?

Our vacancies do not have a set closing date. The vacancy will close once the role is filled, so we recommend that you apply as soon as possible.

WHAT SHOULD I INCLUDE ON MY CV?

A CV is a summary of your education, skills and experience. It should include your qualifications so far, work experience, and list your technical and transferable skills. Try to think about the requirements in the apprenticeship job role, and tie in your interests or experience. This doesn’t all have to be paid work experience, you could mention skills you’ve picked up from your hobbies, volunteering, or school projects.

You should also include your contact details (including a professional email address that you check regularly).

For more guidance on crafting the perfect CV for an apprenticeship, check out our blog on this topic.

WHAT IS A COVER LETTER?

A cover letter is a great way to introduce yourself to an employer and show why you would be a great candidate for the role. This is usually the first thing an employer sees when they look at your application. A good cover letter should explain why you are interested in this apprenticeship opportunity, highlighting your skills and interests that are relevant to the role.

Our team review every single application to ensure that each candidate is given thorough consideration, but due to the high volume of applications we receive, unfortunately, we cannot respond to every application.

If we think you would be a good fit for the vacancy, we will be in touch (on average) within 5 working days, but this can differ from case to case. We will contact you for an informal phone call to get to know you a little more and to discuss the vacancy in more detail.

From this point, we will be in touch regularly to keep you updated on your application.

If you move forward to an interview or work trial, we will always get in touch with further information and feedback for you as soon as we hear back from the employer. The time scales of this can vary depending on individual employers and their own recruitment processes.

If you are interested in one of our apprenticeship programmes, but can’t find any live vacancies in your area, please get in touch with our team by emailing yourfuture@balticapprenticeships.com.

Please send us your CV and a cover letter telling us a bit about you, where you are based, and the kind of apprenticeship you are looking for.

From here, we may be able to add you to our talent pool and help you find a suitable apprenticeship opportunity in your area.

With an apprenticeship, you will be based with your employer full-time, and complete your training during working hours.

At Baltic Apprenticeships, our training is delivered online through our SMART Classroom. Depending on your programme, you will attend 2 days of training in the SMART Classroom every 6-8 weeks. During your training weeks, you’ll focus on a specific knowledge module, building up your skills and technical knowledge alongside other apprentices.

Technical training weeks are complemented by one-to-one sessions with your Programme Coach, workplace projects, and competency workshops.

WHAT IS THE SMART CLASSROOM?

The SMART Classroom is our online training platform, designed with our apprentices in mind. This modern training method blends lectures, hands-on practice, and real time instructor interaction to create a stimulating and successful learning environment.

The SMART Classroom features presentations, live chat, whiteboards, breakout rooms, polls, and other tools to interact with our instructors and other apprentices.

You can log into the SMART Classroom from anywhere with an internet connection, meaning you can complete your training from the office or from home if your employer agrees.

Find out more about the SMART Classroom.

HOW IS AN APPRENTICESHIP ASSESSED?

Assessment methods can vary depending on which apprenticeship programme you do. During your apprenticeship, you will complete Workplace Projects to demonstrate the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard. These Workplace Projects form a portfolio that is used during your End Point Assessment (EPA). Your Coach will set these projects and sign off your portfolio entries.

Some of our programmes also include knowledge exams at the end of a training course. You will need to pass these knowledge modules before moving forward to the EPA.

The End Point Assessment (EPA) is different for every programme, but can include a mix of the following assessments: an interview or professional discussion with an external assessor; a work-based project (sometimes called a Synoptic Project); a scenario demonstration; a presentation; your portfolio; and a reference from your employer. When you pass the EPA (Pass, Merit or Distinction), you have passed your apprenticeship.

Throughout your Baltic Apprenticeship, you will be given your own Programme Coach to guide you through the training and assessments and help you apply your skills in the workplace. You will regularly meet your Coach via the SMART Classroom for support sessions and progress reviews. If any issues arise between sessions, your Coach will be there for you by phone or email.

Apprentices at Baltic complete 100% of their technical training remotely via the SMART Classroom. As working practices change, some employers may allow apprentices to continue working remotely, at their own discretion.

As an apprenticeship training provider, we have a duty to ensure that our apprentices will receive appropriate guidance and support in the workplace. We work with employers to ensure that this can be delivered for our learners within all working environments.

It may be possible to transfer to Baltic Apprenticeships from another training provider. Please contact yourfuture@balticapprenticeships.com to explore your options.

You can get your certificates by emailing certificates@balticapprenticeships.com with your full name, apprenticeship programme and approximate dates of study.

Employer FAQs

If you are ready to grow your business with an apprentice, fill out this form and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss the process. Our recruitment process is completely free and we have a talent pool of candidates actively looking for apprenticeships.

We aim to fill our vacancies within 30 days whilst maintaining our high levels of service. We may already have a candidate in our Talent Pool who is perfect for your business, or we may have to put an advert out which takes a little more time.

Yes, apprenticeships are an accessible, affordable and high quality means of training within the workplace. Our Level 4 programmes offer ideal professional development routes for upskilling your team.

Check out the programmes we offer to see if they could benefit your team.

For new apprentices, we generally advise starting with a Level 3 programme and upon completion, progressing onto a Level 4 programme to advance their skills and knowledge. In some cases, apprentices may already have industry experience or prior qualifications, making a Level 4 programme a better fit.

We have a talent pool full of bright people across the country! We advertise our apprenticeship vacancies on job boards, on the national apprenticeship website and on social media.

We take a personalised approach to recruitment. Your recruitment consultant will listen your requirements and look for candidates suited to your role and work environment.

Initially, apprentices will be able to work on a variety of smaller tasks, freeing up the rest of your team to concentrate on more strategic projects. As apprentices complete their technical training and build their knowledge, they will be able to take on more advanced work and become a real asset to your team.

With the right guidance and support, apprentices can become future leaders of your business!

Our technical training is delivered remotely though our SMART Classroom. This modern training method blends lectures, hands-on practice and instructor interaction to create the most stimulating and successful learning environment possible.

At Baltic Apprenticeships, our training sessions are scheduled over 2 days, every 6-8 weeks. This block training approach ensures that learners are able to immerse themselves in their technical training, and are ready to apply their knowledge and skills to the workplace immediately afterwards.

This training approach enables your apprentice to see themselves as a full-time member of your team. Each training block is scheduled in advance to allow you to plan day-to-day workload.

Our technical training is supplemented by regular support and review sessions with your apprentices’ Coach. They will set work-based projects and sign-off portfolio contributions.

As our training is conducted remotely, your apprentice can remain in the workplace whilst on their training days, or complete their training from home. We will send our learners a headset so they can get involved in the conversation with their trainer and other apprentices on the course.

Our technical training sessions occur over 2 days every 6-8 weeks, depending on the programme. During this time, your apprentice will be encouraged to focus solely on their training.

Our technical training is 100% online, so depending on your preferences, apprentices can train from their desk or from home.

Our apprenticeships require approximately 6 “off-the-job” hours per week. This is time during normal working hours where learners can work on their apprenticeship.

Baltic contribute the majority of this through our curriculum. The remainder is made up by employers and includes workplace mentoring, independent study, and any additional training relevant to the role. Of course, our team are always happy to advise on ways to fulfil this training requirement.

For minimum off-the-job hours for each programme, please consult our programme outlines or discuss with our team.

Apprentices should have a workplace mentor to guide and support them through their apprenticeship. This is someone who can manage the apprentice, delegate tasks, share their knowledge and give guidance. Mentoring an apprentice can be a great way to provide a development opportunity within your team.

At Baltic, our apprentices will also be supported by a Programme Coach, who will provide support and guidance throughout the apprenticeship programme.

Our Coaches ensure that learners are able to apply their knowledge to the workplace and evidence the knowledge, skills and behaviours outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard.

Yes, your current provider should have exit process in place. If you are interested in transferring an apprentice to one of our programmes, please contact us and a member of the team will be in touch to explore this further.

If you are an employer with a pay bill of over £3 million each year, you will pay into the Apprenticeship Levy. This means you will have an apprenticeship levy fund that is already ringfenced for training costs.

For smaller businesses who do not pay the Apprenticeship Levy, the Government will contribute 95% towards the cost of apprenticeship training, with employers topping up the last 5% as a co-investment payment.

For eligible SMEs with under 50 employees, the Government can fund 100% of training costs if the apprentice is aged 16-18. This also applies for apprentices aged 19-24 with an EHC plan from their local authority.

For all employers, cash grants of £1000 are currently available to take on an apprentice aged 16-18. This also applies for apprentices aged 19-24 with an EHC plan from their local authority.

Our recruitment process is completely free! For employers, the only cost of hiring an apprentice are wages and training costs. Training costs depend on the size of your business, and government funding is available.

The cost of our programmes ranges from £11,000 – £18,000, however, the government will fund between 95-100% of this if you do not pay into the apprenticeship levy.

If you pay into the apprenticeship levy, the cost of the programme will be paid in monthly instalments using your levy funds.

The current National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage is £5.28 an hour, regardless of age. For apprentices aged 19 or over, this is raised to the National Minimum Wage for their age group after the first year of training.

We recommend paying more than the National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, as a higher wage recognises the value that apprentices bring to an organisation, promotes loyalty and will boost job satisfaction.

Apprentice Levy FAQs

If you’re a business in England with an annual salary bill of over £3 million – then you will pay into the Apprenticeship Levy. If your company is part of a group under shared ownership, you’ll likely have one shared levy pot between all organisations in the group.

Your payroll department will calculate, report, and pay your Apprenticeship Levy contributions to HMRC through the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) process, alongside Income Tax and National Insurance.

All your payments are recorded on your Digital Apprenticeship Service account and you can check the balance of your levy pot under the finances section of your account.

Your levy funds can be used to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment costs. However, this does not include other costs associated with apprenticeships such as wages, travel expenses or equipment!

You can use your Apprenticeship Levy funds to recruit new talent across your business, this is a cost-effective way to make sure you protect your organisation from skills gaps and a competitive candidate market.

Your levy funds can also be used to train and develop your current employees – from juniors up to senior management. Whether you have a team member who is looking to upskill and advance in their career, or looking to reskill and move into a different department – our team can help.

You can access your funds through your Digital Apprenticeship Service account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one prior to your apprentice being enrolled on their programme as it’s a mandatory requirement.

This online service will allow you to financially manage your apprenticeship programmes and help you to estimate your financial spend.

You can see funds appear in your digital account monthly, a few working days after you have confirmed your salary bill and levy contribution to HRMC for the previous month. You can then use the account to set up apprenticeships and authorise payments to training providers.

Levy funds expire 24 months after they enter your account unless you spend them on apprenticeship training. Levy spend will be applied on a first in, first out basis and applies to any government top-ups in your digital account.

For example, if you started paying into the levy in April 2019 and you haven’t spent any of the funds, they will start to expire on a rolling monthly basis starting from April 2021.

Yes, Levy transfers can be used to cover the costs of apprenticeship training, particularly for medium-sized businesses who do not always qualify for 100% funding support.

Yes, we can! If your organisation has Apprenticeship Levy funds due to expire, our team can help you transfer these funds and generate much-needed apprenticeship opportunities.

Please get in touch with our team to get the process started.

If you run out of levy funds, the remaining training costs for that month will come out of the ‘co-investment’ model. This means that the government will fund 95% of any outstanding costs, and you will need to cover the remaining 5%.

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