Government. Our role is to advise government on the sector, help it promote the Programme and to work with legal employers to get apprenticeships started quickly and without hassle.
Yes if you want to start a Programme focused on business and administration skills; legal secretarial skills; librarian-related skills; accounts staff skills; PR department design skills or learning and development skills (i.e. almost all legal support staff roles). However, if you want a Programme which focuses on legal skills like advocacy; practice and procedure and black-letter law then there is not currently a Programme available. We are discussing the possibility of such a Programme with Skills for Justice.
The length depends upon the employer's requirements and whether the Apprentice has any approved prior learning that will exempt him/her from parts of the Programme. Typically Programmes take 6-12 months to complete.
A bit of both. The Apprentice is assessed in the workplace on the things the employer is teaching him/her in the workplace. If that is done successfully the Apprentice gets a certificate. The Apprentice also has to do external training (typically a BTEC or similar) to learn additional skills perhaps not taught in the workplace.
Yes. Apprenticeships are meant to encourage employers to train the young. Therefore although anyone of any age can go on an Apprenticeship Programme, government funding tends to be limited to those under 25 (there are a few exceptions).
The Apprenticeship Programme is intended as the non-graduate alternative. However graduates can go on a Programme, it is just that they will not recieve government funding - i.e. the employer picks up the full tab.
For Apprentices under 19 usually no employer contribution is payable (unless the firm has more than 1,000 staff in which case often a contribution f £1,000 per Apprentice is requested). For Apprentices aged between 19-24 a contribution of up to £2,000 per Apprentice may be asked. For those 25 or over a negotiated fee is mostly payable as there is rarely government funding available.
They are regular full-time employees, hired on regular terms and conditions (although frequently they have employment contracts just for the duration of the Programme).
The first point to note is that they should be learning most of the time whilst in the work-place under the employer's own training programme. However assume typically they will have a half or one day a week off work to study external courses (in the work place or off-site as the employer prefers).