Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a real job with training so you can earn while you learn and pick up recognised qualifications as you go. As an apprentice you will normally work full time (minimum of 30 hours) with a local employer learning about the job, undertaking the qualification, taking on various tasks and responsibilities and earning a wage; this is currently a minimum of £3.40 per hour as of 1st October 2016.

Key Benefits:

  • Earn a salary
  • Get paid holidays
  • Receive training
  • Gain qualifications
  • Learn job-specific skills
How is the learning delivered through an apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications called a ‘framework’ developed by Sector Skills Councils. Most Apprenticeship frameworks follow a standard format that comprises:

A National Vocational Qualification (e.g. Level 2 for Intermediate Level Apprenticeships, Level 3 for Advanced Level Apprenticeships)

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship – This involves working towards a suite of qualifications at level 2 and provides the foundation skills that you require to become a professional within your chosen area of work.
  • Advanced Apprenticeship – This involves working towards a suite of qualifications at level 3 and normally involves taking on a supervisory role within the workplace.
  • Knowledge based qualification
  • Transferable Skills

The learning provider provides the knowledge and develops skills while the employer provides the practical experience to put those skills to the test. Training can be classroom based, in a workshop or in a workplace, depending on the subject and on the learning provider.

Who is eligible for an apprenticeship?  Am I too old to complete an apprenticeship?

Currently, there are no age limits for somone to undertake an apprenticeship. The Government will meet in full the cost of training (including tuition, exams and manuals) for 16-18 year olds and heavily subsidise those aged 19+. For the older age group, an employer contribution / top up fee will be required to cover the other costs that are part of the apprentice's training not covered by the Government subsidy. This will vary according to training provider, qualification framework and level of qualification.

However, please note that graduates will receive no funding from the Government; anyone who holds a Level 4 qualification or higher (HNC/HND, Foundation Degree, Degree etc) will not be eligible for funding according to government regulations and therefore will not be able to complete a Level 2 or 3 apprenticeship.

To check current eligibility, please call 01752 256610.

What does an apprentice have to be paid?

In the first 12 months of an apprenticeship, an apprentice currently can be paid a minimum of £3.70 per hour however, many employers pay more than this. At Aplus training our Accountancy Apprentices tend to start on around £150-£160 per week; this will entice a higher calibre of candidate to apply for your role. At the end of his/her first year, an apprentice aged 19+ has to be paid the National Minimum Wage (National Minimum Wage rates) for his/her age.

Why is the apprenticeship minimum wage lower than the national minimum wage?

The rate recommended is fair to apprentices alongside their training, and does not discourage employers from other apprenticeships.  The rate is a minimum, employers can pay more – and many do so.

How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?

As of the 1st August 2012, the Government insisted that an Apprenticeship needs to be a minimum of 12 months and 1 day for each level. As an apprenticeship is funded by the government so the apprentice and the employer are given a start and end date for funding as part of an individual learning plan.  We find that AAT Level 4 may take 18 months to complete.


I would like to study accountancy.  What are the career and qualification options?

Training as an accountant can form the basis of a lifelong career in accountancy and business in general.

A large number of those who qualify as an accountant move on to a career in general management or run their own businesses. Their accountancy skills provide an invaluable financial backbone for making that career a success.

  • You don't have to be a maths graduate to be an accountant
  • You don't need to have an A level in maths to be an accountant
  • You don't even need to have a GCSE in maths
  • You just simply need to be numerate and literate and be able to follow processes
  • The art of the good accountant is to be able to communicate financial information in a language that non-accountants can understand

We take care to personalise every student's study programme. We recognise that each student has their own particular needs and therefore we seek to cater for all.  Aplus training offers numerous qualifications, entry points and study options to develop your career and help you achieve your ambitions.

Post GCSE / Post A Level / Post Degree - it's never too late!

In what occupational areas does Aplus Training offer apprenticeships?

We offer apprenticeships in Accountancy and Office Skills. Please see the full list below.

Accountancy - Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3) and Higher Level (Level 4)

Business and Administration - Intermediate (Level 2) and Advanced (Level 3)

Digital Marketing* - Advanced (Level 3) 

*Exeter only

Can I sit my exams at your centre as an external candidate?

Yes, we accept external candidates at our Plymouth and Exeter centres.  Please email for a booking form and a list of available dates.

What happens to apprentices at the end of their apprenticeship training?

By the time they come to the end of their apprenticeship training, apprentices from Aplus Training have usually proved their worth to their employer and are kept on as permanent full-time employees.

Can I sit my exam on different date to that stated on my timetable?

If you are unable to sit your exam please let your tutor know so that they help organise an alternative.

How can I get started?

Think about where a qualification could take you in your career - decide on the kind of skills and knowledge that you will need to get ahead and find a course that suits you! 

Should you be looking a for an apprenticeship vacancy email

If you are already employed, you may want to talk to your employer or a colleague to help you with this. 

If you are an employer keen to find out more about the courses available to your employees, then contact us on 01752 256610 or email

Aplus training's experienced course tutors and staff are aware that accessing funding is confusing and identifying your employee's training needs can be difficult. We welcome enquiries at every level and we're ready to provide training information, advice and guidance every step of the way. So don't hesitate: contact us today by phone, email or use our Contact form.

How do I recruit an apprentice?

You have a couple of options; you can either recruit your own apprentice either from school or by advertisement or Aplus training offer a free recruitment service whereby we will place advertisements on the National Apprenticeship Service website, our website as well as Facebook and Twitter and the local newspapers at our cost. We will receive and sift applications, carry out first interviews and provide you with a shortlist to second interview.

All of this is done on a gentleman's agreement that, should you employ one of our referrals, you would pass him/her back to us for his/her apprenticeship training and we would claim funding from the government for same.

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