If you want to develop your skills and knowledge whilst in work, choosing an Apprenticeship can really make a difference. Apprenticeships are work-based learning programmes that enable you to work, learn and earn at the same time.

Through an Apprenticeship you will train for a skilled job and gain valuable qualifications, all while being employed and earning a wage that reflects your skills, experience and ability. You don’t necessarily need a job before you apply, we will help you find employment. An Apprenticeship normally takes between 12 and 18 months.

We offer a range of Apprenticeships at Runshaw, from Level 2 through to Level 4

All Apprenticeships include:

  • Apprenticeships are generally for a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • knowledge-based element, ie a Technical Certificate
  • A competency-based element, ie a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)
  • Transferable skills
  • A module on employment rights and responsibilities
  • Personal learning and thinking skills
  • Functional Skills in English and Maths (if applicable)
  • End Point Assessment (see assessment section for further details)

Level 2 Apprenticeships (Intermediate)

  • Equivalent to five GCSEs at Grade A*- C. Apprentices work towards a work-based learning qualification such as an NVQ Level 2, Functional Skills, or GCSEs in English and Maths, and in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification.
  • Level 2 is suitable for a junior member of staff who is at the beginning of their career.

Level 3 Apprenticeships (Advanced)

  • Equivalent to two A Levels. Apprentices work towards a work-based learning qualification such as an NVQ Level 3, Functional Skills, or GCSEs in English and Maths, and in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based certificate.
  • Level 3 is suitable for those working in a Team Leader or Supervisor role and ideally, candidates should have five GCSEs at Grade A*-C or have completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship.

Level 4 Apprenticeships (Further Education)

A Level 4 Apprenticeship (Higher Apprenticeship) is equivalent to:

  • level 4 award
  • level 4 certificate
  • level 4 diploma
  • level 4 NVQ
  • certificate of higher education (CertHE)
  • higher apprenticeship
  • higher national certificate (HNC)

Learning methods

You will learn both on-the-job with your employer and off-the-job in College or at work (dependant on apprenticeship programme). If applicable, your time in College will not be more than one day a week, during which you will learn through a variety of study methods including formal class teachinggroup workcase studiespractical activities and job-related tasks. If your programme learning method is at work, time to study will be agreed with your employer.

20% off-the-job

It is mandatory that all apprentices have 20% of their working week “off the job” to learn new skills, improve knowledge and work on their portfolio.  For those who are on work-based learning programmes, time must be agreed with the line manager to meet the off the job requirements. For those on programmes that include college days, a large proportion of this will be covered for apprentices when they attend. Please note: most of our courses are work based learning programmes.

Further information and examples of off the job activities can be found here.


During your Apprenticeship, you will study an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification), which is a work-related, hands-on qualification that focuses on what you do in the workplace. You will have to demonstrate you are able to work to national standards and do the job. You will also learn the theory behind what you are doing and will gain a Technical Certificate to support this.

Depending on your qualifications and the subject you are studying you will also have the opportunity to improve your mathsEnglish and IT skills through Functional Skills qualifications, to ensure you have the right level to succeed in the workplace. You may also be able to take other appropriate qualifications to support your job role.


You will be visited in the workplace by a Trainer who will work with you to build a portfolio of evidence for your NVQ. In addition, there will be assignments and tests related to the Technical Certificate and Functional Skills in maths, English and IT.

End Point Assessment (EPA)

All Apprenticeship Programmes are known as “Standards”.  At the end of the practical period of the apprenticeship the apprentice reaches gateway, at which point they are entered for an End Point Assessment (EPA), in agreement with the apprentice’s manager, mentor and trainer.  The EPA is facilitated & carried out by an external organisation, the apprenticeship is complete once the EPA passed.  The EPA will vary by programme, this will be outlined to you during the sign-up process and on an on-going basis by your designated trainer.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) – Support

✅ An allocated Learning mentor  ✅ Counselling services  ✅ Independent Careers advice  ✅ Employer SEN support guide