Apprenticeship Commitment Statements – What are They?

Written by Calvin Bowers

When you apply to start an apprenticeship and are accepted, you will be presented with the Apprenticeship Agreement and the Apprenticeship Commitment Statements. These are two documents that need to be signed by yourself, the employer and the training provider. 

It is important that you understand what you are agreeing to, so you are perfectly within your rights to ask to take them away and discuss them with a parent, carer, careers guidance adviser or union representative. If there is any problem being allowed to do this, consider that a potential problem in the making, as reputable employers and training providers want the full, informed and enthusiastic consent of the apprentice.

Apprenticeship Agreement

This is the equivalent of a contract of employment, in that it will set out the rate of pay you should expect to receive and the hours and location you will be expected to work from. It will also set out other important things about your apprenticeship like the relationship between off-the-job training and on-the-job training and which of the apprenticeship standards you will be following. 

The apprenticeship agreement will include information on what you will be expected to learn during the academic portion of your apprenticeship as well as the level of the qualification that you should expect to receive once you have completed the End Point Assessment (EPA) at the end of your apprenticeship. 

The End Point Assessment is a key element in testing the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you have learned during your apprenticeship. It is an important way to show that you have learned everything that you need to in order to successfully complete your apprenticeship and that you are equipped with the knowledge and understanding to be able to do the job.

Apprenticeship Commitment Statements

In addition to the apprenticeship agreement, you will be expected to sign the apprenticeship commitment statement and this is an outline agreement of what all of the parties involved should do in order to make a success of your apprenticeship. 

Your Work Responsibilities

The document will outline your responsibilities and detail what is expected of you. This may, for example, include any dress code that is required in order to work at the business premises of the company. The responsibilities outlined tend to be explained in terms of how you are expected to conduct yourself, asking that you behave in a respectful manner toward colleagues and more senior staff and take on board constructive criticism in the manner it is intended.

Your Student Responsibilities

You will also be told what is expected of you as a student participating in the coursework aspect of the apprenticeship in order to earn the qualification at the end of it. There are different apprenticeship types with differing educational achievement levels attached to them. 

The first of these levels is intermediate, which has the lowest entry requirements and is, therefore, the most popular. The second is advanced, followed by higher and then degree level. The coursework that you are asked to undertake will reflect the level of the apprenticeship that you are signing up to do. 

Employer Responsibilities

Similarly, the document will also set out what you can expect from your employer and the way that they will relate to you. Your line manager may be specified and in that case, they will most likely be your main point of contact inside the company. They will make clear what they would like to achieve with the apprenticeship and may specify that if you are a successful apprentice they would be looking to continue your employment afterwards. 

This is especially true of businesses at the moment that are turning to apprenticeships as a way of trying to close the skills gap that exists in many workplaces. They see apprenticeships as the chance to train people specifically in the skills that they are lacking, and to help a young person develop an opportunity and land a high-quality job at the end of it.

Training Provider Responsibilities

The training provider will outline their responsibilities to you and what support they will offer to enable you to successfully complete the coursework aspect of the apprenticeship. This may include one-to-one meetings or larger seminars either virtually or in person along with other people who are also undertaking the same apprenticeship standard but with other employers. 

You will also be given a timetable of the study portion of the apprenticeship and what the expected learning outcomes are. This will enable you to plan accordingly and also to track whether you are on course to achieve everything that you intended to at the outset, or whether you need to talk to the learning provider about the rate of progress involved. 

Complaint Resolution

The Apprenticeship Commitment Statements should offer you detailed and up-to-date information in the event that you have a complaint about any aspect of your apprenticeship. This is an important aspect of a successful apprenticeship and apprentices need to know who they can readily approach should a problem arise. 

Companies should do what they can to support apprentices who are experiencing difficulties and help them as much as possible. It is worth bearing in mind that most apprentices tend to be quite young, without much life experience behind them. Offering young apprentices the support that they need can make the difference between a successful apprenticeship and one that fell by the wayside.

Leaving an Apprenticeship

Although you have signed an Apprenticeship Commitment Statements and an Apprenticeship Agreement, you are allowed to walk away from an apprenticeship if it is not working for you. In the same way that a contract of employment doesn’t prevent you from leaving a job, you can quit an apprenticeship if you feel that you need to.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has an excellent page of information that may be of use in this scenario.

This is not a step to be taken lightly as any progress made toward a qualification will be null and void. It may be possible to move your apprenticeship to another employer if there is a problem at the current one that you are unable to successfully resolve.

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Last Updated: Wednesday November 16 2022
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