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Architecture apprenticeships update July 2018

27 July 2018

The Institute for Apprenticeships has now approved two architecture apprenticeships for delivery in England:

The two standards are:

If you want to find out more about becoming an apprentice, or taking on an apprentice at your practice, please see the information below, which will be updated as soon as more detail becomes available. We also provide more information about other options for becoming an architect .

Apprenticeships are a devolved policy. This means that authorities in each of the UK nations manage their own apprenticeship programmes, including how funding is spent on apprenticeship training.

If you’re an employer with operations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, or you would like to become an apprentice in these areas of the UK, you may also want to contact your apprenticeship authority:

Becoming an architecture apprentice

If you are interested in undertaking an apprenticeship, your first step is to secure an offer of an apprenticeship with an employer. Any employer, large or small, can take part. The RIBA is encouraging all employers to advertise their apprenticeship vacancies with the National Apprenticeship Service but as the apprenticeship standards have only just been approved, then you could also contact practices in your local area to see whether there are any opportunities. You can use the RIBA’s database of Chartered Practices or our database of Chartered Members but bear in mind that as news is only just emerging about apprenticeships, employers may not be aware of how they can get involved – if asked, you could direct them to this information.

You can also register your interest with the universities who have started the associated degree / Master’s degree courses, as they may be able to link you to practices who have expressed an interest in partnering with them. Please note that not all universities listed below will be offering both levels of apprenticeship; and that whilst all currently offer full or part time qualifications which are validated by the RIBA at Part 1 and/or Part 2, the degrees that they run as part of the apprenticeship will need to be validated separately.

Universities offering the Level 6 Architectural Assistant Apprenticeship from September 2018:

London South Bank University

Universities offering the Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship from September 2018:

London South Bank University

Northumbria University

Oxford Brookes University

Employing an architecture apprentice

Employers can find guidance online regarding taking on an apprentice and are encouraged to use the GOV.UK Find an Apprenticeship service to advertise any apprenticeship vacancies. Employers will also need to select a training provider (university) with whom to partner for the degree element of the apprenticeship. Each employer, together with a university, will set the entry requirements and application process for their own vacancy. However, there are some basic additional requirements such as Part 1 or an equivalent qualification for the Architect apprenticeship.

Help is available from the government to pay for apprenticeship training – but employers need to pay the apprentice’s salary and the usual costs of an employee, and must therefore plan for this accordingly. Employers are also expected to commit to employing the apprentice for the duration of the apprenticeship (4 years) and must understand that the apprentice will need to be released for a minimum of 20% of their working hours for 'off-the-job' training with the university that the employer partners with.

Employers who have a pay bill over £3 million each year pay the apprenticeship levy and receive funds to spend on training and assessing apprentices. The government will add 10% to this.

How employers access funds and pay for training depends on where in the UK they are based:

Employers who don’t pay the apprenticeship levy need to pay 10% towards the cost of training and assessing each apprentice and will need to agree a payment schedule with the training provider (university) and pay them directly for the training. The government will pay the rest (90%) up to the funding band maximum which has been set at £21,000 for each of the apprenticeship standards. If the training provider charges more than the funding band maximum for the cost of the degree, the employer will need to pay this – apprentices cannot be required to pay for their training costs.

Employers could be eligible for extra funding depending on both their and the apprentice’s circumstances.

For further information, complete the National Apprenticeship Service enquiry form or contact them on 0800 015 0600.

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