Making apprenticeships work for the screen industries

We all know that the apprenticeship system is far from perfect and that reforms to make the system work better for screen are much needed. We are lobbying hard for new flexibilities in the system. But, even within the current system, apprenticeships can be the right solution for some companies – that is why there have been nearly 1,000 screen apprentices over the past four years.

One barrier which prevents there being even more apprentices is poor communication about the ‘rules’ which means busy employers feel they have to wade through reams of guidance and instructions. ScreenSkills wants to help with that, so we will be offering online bite-sized advice, debunking apprenticeship myths here on our website and across our social media on Twitter and Facebook. A lot of this information already exists, but it is hard to find, so this is our simple - and we hope accessible - guidance.

Myth one: Do I have to send my apprentice to college one day a week?

The short answer is no. There is a so-called ‘20% off the job rule’ but that does not automatically mean day release. It could be day release, it could be block release, you can even decide to do some of the 20% off the job training yourself. The bottom line is it is up to you. Click here to see an infographic that we hope will untangle the myths and confusions about the '20% off-the-job' rule.

Myth two: Hiring an apprentice will mean a lot of bureaucracy for me

Not if you partner with the right training provider! A good training provider will offer you a range of services, including:

  • Helping you develop a job description for your apprentice
  • Working with you to find the right ‘apprenticeship standard’
  • Shortlisting candidates, based on your requirements
  • Working with you to develop what is called the ‘apprenticeship agreement’ which sets out how long you’ll employ them for, the training you’ll give them, their working conditions and the qualifications they are working towards
  • Working with you to decide how you want the classroom-based element of the training to work day release, block release, boot camps etc)

If you want to take on an apprentice and you know which provider you want to use, you can find a training provider here. If you don’t know which standard you want to use (or maybe you don’t even know what an ‘apprenticeship standard’ is and you don’t know where to start), you can contact Mark Heholt at: mark.heholt@screenskills.com.