Learner’s FAQs

Parent’s FAQs

Why should I do an apprenticeship?

Government forecasts show us that engineering companies need to recruit 2.56m people before 2022 in engineering, creating 275,000 new vacancies. Apprenticeships give you a great insight into what those jobs mean, while giving you a chance to earn while you learn.

Are apprenticeships full time?

Study options range from one day a week to five days a week, with our apprentices dividing their time at The Engineering College, between classroom study and practical workshop sessions. Some apprentices may come here for a block of time – three months, for instance – then come on day release after that. It depends who your employer is, and what they need…

How long is an apprenticeship?

You’re committing to between 3.5 and 4 years when you join us for an apprenticeship.

How big are the groups we’re taught in?

Our apprentices work best with individual care and attention, and groups are up to 12 people, although they can be smaller. We have a 1:12 ratio across the college, so all of our staff can take the time to speak to individual students and communicate with our learners, supporting you throughout your learning.

Can I still get a degree?

Yes, in short. A Level 3 apprenticeship is the equivalent of A level – this is just a different route into higher education, giving you hands-on skills. You can progress from a HNC to a HND (equivalent to the first two years at university) and towards a degree, if that’s the path you want to follow. The Engineering College can also connect you with Liverpool John Moores and other universities to further develop your career.

Why is coming here different to other colleges?

There are several reasons. Ours is practical, hands-on experience, showing you exactly what you’ll experience in the world of engineering. We tailor our courses to your employer, giving you the best-possible skills for employment – our results are far higher than the national average. And well over half of our staff have done apprenticeships, so they know exactly what you’re going through.

How do you support apprentices while they’re here?

  • all of our learners have an individual learning plan
  • our learners receive one-to one reviews, designed to suit your programme
  • all learners receive an effective induction, complete with your own handbook
  • you’ll have IT resources to support your learning
  • we also provide first class pastoral care, and an effective learner welfare service
  • we can provide alternative assessment methods if you need them

Why should my son or daughter do an apprenticeship rather than going to university?

Apprenticeships teach them lots of different things; they’re treated as adults the moment they come here, learning specific skills for the workplace from tutors who have all worked in industry. It’s real life experience, and gives them a chance to earn while they learn.

Doing an apprenticeship doesn’t mean missing out on going to university – we offer HNCs, which are the equivalent of their first year at university, and can be ‘topped up’ to a degree. It just means they’re more likely to have a good idea of whether they like a subject or not, first.

How long do they last?

Apprenticeships last between 3.5 and 4 years.

What do they get paid?

There are nationally-agreed rates for apprenticeship earnings, however many employers set their own rate – often in excess of national levels.

Will they have a contract of employment?

Yes – you can’t become an apprentice without having an employer. They will have a contract with their employer – we work between the business and the apprentice to make sure the apprentice has a good learning experience, while the company is getting an employee with the specific skills they need.

Where will they be based?

We work with lots of companies inside and outside the area – if you’re travelling to the north west, we can recommend hotels or accommodation locally. We have a dedicated learner support team to make sure they are looked after, happy and confident, both in college, and in their new home.

How do you monitor progress?

We have learner forums every 12 weeks, which give our learners a voice. Learners have the opportunity to sit down with at least one manager and other staff for an open and honest discussion to get their feedback on how the training is going. We ask them what we can improve on, what they like, what they don’t like and follow up on their suggestions and feedback. We also work closely with their employers, to make sure the experience is good for our learners and the companies they work for.

Can I still claim child tax credit and benefits?

Yes.Accurate and up-to-date information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit-when-child-reaches-16