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Apprenticeship – What does it mean for you?

18 October 2023

As you are all aware, the Cleaning Hygiene Operative Apprenticeship is at the very final stage of approval, and it will likely be approved by the Secretary of State in the coming weeks. Neil Spencer-Cook explains what that means for you.

IN THIS article, I am going to try and give you a very simple idea of what it means if you wish to take it up for your cleaning operatives. 

First, let me start by telling you what a level 2 apprenticeship is. 

Level 2 is approximately equivalent to 5 GCSEs. It also requires the candidate by the end of the qualification to hold a qualification in English and Maths that is equivalent to a GCSE grade E or above (or one of the listed equivalents).

The apprenticeship is hoped to have funding of up to £5,000 per candidate.  This means that if you have an apprenticeship levy pot of £50,000 you would be able to put 10 of your team through a funded apprenticeship. 

The time requirement to complete the level 2 is 1 year, this is 1 year if your apprentice is working 30 hours or more per week. 

If your apprentice works 15 hours per week the apprenticeship will last for 2 years and following the same process if your apprentice works 10 hours per week it will last for 3 years. 

The other main requirement is that the apprentice will need to spend 20% of their paid working time in study of some kind. This is capped for anyone working 30 hours or more per week at 6 hours. This will obviously be pro-rata for part-time apprentices (3 hours a week if working 15 hours and so on).

What the standard says is that there must be a minimum of 278 hours of off-job training for an apprentice. 

This training must be completed during their normal working hours, it is stated that it is unfair to expect the apprentice to undertake the apprenticeship in their own time. 

If the training, takes place in the apprentice’s own time they must be given TOIL (time off in lieu) in compensation. 

You will need to make sure you factor in the cost of your apprentice for the 278 hours they will not be available to your business but working on the apprenticeship. 

Now let’s get onto what constitutes off-the-job training.  It is defined as it must deliver new skills that are directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard and can include:

  • The teaching of theory 
    • Lectures
    • Roleplay
    • Simulation exercises
    • Online learning 
    • Manufacturer training 
  • Practical training (where the activity has been agreed as part of the training plan)
    • Shadowing
    • Mentoring
    • Industry visits 
  • Learning support and time spent writing assignments.

There is one more thing you need to consider time-wise too, does your apprentice meet the requirements for English and Maths?  If not, the time required for them to gain these qualifications will be in addition to the 278 hours for a level 2 apprenticeship. 

To find out more about off-the-job training, the following link to the Department of Education is very useful. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1110377/20221011_OTJ_Guide_v4_-_For_22_23_Rules_Final.pdf

The BCC is also running sessions on the apprenticeship to include the following topics:

  • What are the benefits to organisations and individuals in engaging and taking the apprenticeship qualification? 
  • How to access the opportunity – explaining Levy funding.   
  • How to gift Levy funds and the benefits of gifting.
  • How to select a provider – credentials, experience, and location. 
  • Delivery format - mediums to study, assessment, and functional skills requirements  
  • Curriculum content and routes to progression   
  • End Point Assessment (EPA) criteria

Sessions can be booked by emailing admin@britishcleaningcouncil.org

It is a move forward for the industry that an apprenticeship will be available and this has taken hard work and perseverance by several people.

I hope that this has given you all some additional insight into what this will mean for you if you wish to utilise the apprenticeship. 

Neil Spencer-Cook is group managing director at BICSc.

For more information visit www.bics.org.uk