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Training an architecture apprentice

Architecture apprenticeships are available at Level 6 and Level 7, and each has an apprenticeship standard approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfA&TE). The Level 6 Architectural Assistant apprenticeship includes a Part 1 degree qualification and the Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship includes both the Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications.

Entry requirements are set by each university provider and employer and are described on the apprenticeship standard for each level.

How do universities become eligible to offer apprenticeship training?

Universities and training providers who wish to deliver apprenticeship training for employers need to apply to join the Education and Skills Funding Agency Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.

What funding is provided for apprenticeship training?

Funding for training and assessment costs (including university tuition fees) up to the maximum funding band level comes from the apprenticeship levy paid by all large UK employers. This funding can also come directly from the government, who will fund up to 95% of the training costs for smaller firms (the remaining 5% to be paid by the employer). Levy paying employers can also transfer unused levy funds to smaller employers.

Whether your university can offer places to smaller practices or only to those employers who pay the apprenticeship levy depends on allocated funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfA&TE) has set a maximum funding level of £21,000 for the Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship and £25,000 for the Level 6 Architectural Assistant apprenticeship which means universities may charge employers a higher amount in top-up costs.

The ESFA pays 80% of the funding in monthly instalments during the apprenticeship and the remaining 20% on completion of the apprenticeship programme.

Funding bands limit the amount of government funding that can be used to pay for apprenticeship training.

Working with architecture practices on apprenticeships

Many universities already have excellent links with architecture practices in their local communities. You may have established mentoring schemes, visiting lecturers, professional practical experience placements or networking events for students going on their year out. Universities who have already established apprenticeship provision have held information events aimed at employers. Your local RIBA region may be able to help publicise such events.

How do we apply for RIBA validation of our apprenticeship provision?

Degree apprenticeship programmes offered by current providers (universities, colleges and other institutions) of RIBA validated programmes will be regarded by the RIBA as new pathways within an existing validated programme. If you’re one of these providers, you may may submit documentation to the RIBA New Courses Group (NCG) for consideration. If the NCG is satisfied, the degree apprenticeship pathway will be validated for Part 1 or Part 2 and 3 (as appropriate) with immediate effect. The RIBA Visiting Board will consider the degree apprenticeship pathways for continued validation alongside all other validated programmes at the providers’ next five-yearly visit.

Degree apprenticeships offered by other providers will be subject to the full new courses procedures.

Find out which universities are currently offering RIBA validated apprenticeship training.

Further information

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