States Registered Apprenticeship Scheme

Many hundreds of islanders have successfully trained for rewarding careers through the States Apprenticeship Scheme. The Scheme has been in existence for almost 60 years now and with an annual enrolment of over 70 new apprentices per year and with a registration of over 500 employers, the Scheme is still as an essential stepping stone for starting out in the industries it serves.

Apprenticeships currently running at Guernsey College:

CONSTRUCTION                          ENGINEERING

– Plumbing & Heating                                    – Welding & Fabrication
– Carpentry & Joinery                                    – Mechanical Engineering
– Electrical Installations                                – Motor Vehicle Engineering
– Trowel Trades/Stonemasonry
– Painting & Decorating
– Built Environment

MISCELLANEOUS                     OFF-ISLAND TRAINING

– Hairdressing                                              – Electronics (Central Sussex College)
– Hospitality & Catering (Chef)                 – Panel Beating & Paint Spraying (various options available)
– Work-based Horticulture                        – Jewellery (Variety of short courses)

What is the Apprenticeship Scheme?

The States Registered Apprenticeship Scheme (SRAS) is a Scheme which allows people to both earn a wage from work and also gain qualifications relating to their job. The Scheme mainly serves traditional trades such as those in construction, however there are some more modern options as well. The only requirement of the Scheme is that Apprentices have full-time employment in the trade they are learning at College.

Apprenticeships offered as part of the Scheme can be found above, with some taking 3 years and others 5 years to complete fully.

Who can join the Scheme?

Anyone over the age of 16 is applicable to join the Scheme, with enrolments taking place every year around the end of August/ beginning of September. Annually, we have a large intake of school leavers from the various secondary schools in the Bailiwick. This isn’t the only progression route however, apprentices sometimes have worked in a different sector and want a change of career, or have done further education, even university before starting in their chosen trade.

Why consider the Apprenticeship Scheme?

Over 70 apprentices start with the scheme every year because they want to earn a wage while working towards a qualification. Others start the scheme because they have always been interested in a particular trade. Apprentice trades are very hands on, so a lot of people consider them as they can’t see themselves working behind a counter or at a desk, and the routes of progression are very broad.

How the Scheme supports you:

Registered employers – The Scheme has lists of employer of apprentices each of whom has agreed to the terms set out by the Scheme has agreed to receive correspondence from current or prospective apprentices.

Advice and support – The Scheme discuss options with you before or during your apprenticeship, whether you are making a decision on which trade to choose, have an employment issue or maybe have personal circumstances affecting your apprenticeship, the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager can discuss the situation with you.

Grants to employers – As part of the Scheme, employers should pay their apprentices for the hours they train at College. In return, they receive Grant aid every term based on each of their apprentices’ attendance.

Off-island training – Not all apprenticeships are carried out at the Guernsey College of Further Education and are held elsewhere. For these apprenticeships, the Scheme has a budget that pays for part or all of the associated costs of training off-island.

How to get on the Scheme

Apprentices apply for the Scheme in September for the majority of trades and must been employed in the trade of the course they want to do. Whilst there are no formal entry requirements to join courses taught as part of the scheme, employers will have certain requirements in order to apply for jobs, so qualifications are still an important part of the application. The Apprenticeship office has copies of employer directories for all trades, which can be collected or sent to anyone interested in finding an employer in a trade. These lists can also be useful guides for which employers might be useful to approach for work experience, as there is a chance of an apprenticeship offer if the placement goes well.

In a number of trades, particularly Electrical Installations, Carpentry and Joinery, Mechanical Engineering and Construction and the Built Environment, a good knowledge of Maths is important for success in the trade.

Tips for a successful apprenticeship

Think which trade you find interesting- it is worthwhile trying work experience in the trade you want to start before officially starting the apprenticeship.

Be keen – employers take on apprentices at a loss in their first few years, they appreciate it when apprentices are engaged with what they are doing to make it worth their while.

Be prompt – Lateness and absence don’t look good to any employer, try and be on time to both work and College as this will keep the employer happy and ensure you are getting as much out of your apprenticeship as you can.

Do you need Qualifications?

Some trades are more demanding than others in terms of qualifications – not all employers have identical requirements, even within the same trade.

Employers sometimes ask for GCSEs but this is not always the case, they are particularly looking for young people who have a good attitude towards the work they will be completing, an apprenticeship is a big commitment so they need to know that you are motivated.

Often, it can be the college course that you will be attending that determines the grades required, for example an employer looking for an apprentice architectural technician will usually ask for GCSE grades A, B or C in Maths, English, and possibly two other subjects.

Finding out about vacancies

There are a number of ways that you can do this:

  • Look at your school’s job vacancy notice board
  • Ask your Careers Teacher for help
  • Ask the Careers Service to send you a list of current vacancies
  • Using the Apprenticeship Scheme Employer Directory (available from the Careers Service or the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager) to find names & addresses of employers to write to or call
  • Look out for apprenticeship vacancies in the Guernsey Press

Important:

To be part of the States Registered Apprenticeship Scheme you need to be employed by a States Registered employer if you enquire about a vacancy or if you attend an interview for an apprenticeship make sure you ask if they are on the States Scheme. If they are not and would like to be they can contact the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager and ask for information on how to become registered.

Finding out more

The States Apprenticeship Scheme is administered by the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager Joe Raleigh who is based at the College of Further Education. Should you need further information or perhaps to make an appointment to have a chat with Joe ring (Tel. 07839 777646) or send an email.

Lecturers at Guernsey College of Further Education (Tel. 727121) will be happy to talk to anyone interested in knowing more about the college training which is involved in a particular apprenticeship.