Business & Education Working in Partnership

Hiring an apprentice is a cost effective and highly beneficial way of attracting new people into your organisation, as well as supporting and upskilling your current employees. Our recruitment team have a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, allowing us to work closely with employers to ensure that they receive candidates of the very highest calibre.

Looking to employ an apprentice?

Martin Lewis discusses apprenticeships

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis explains what’s so great about apprenticeships – from both the employer’s and apprentice’s perspective.

Looking to employ an apprentice?

Find out from a range of employers just why employing an apprentice could be a great move for your business!

Apprenticeship Information Guide

In the UK, the first apprenticeships began in the Middle Ages and remain an effective way for those aged 16+ to access the industry of their choice and now there is no upper age limit. Further to this, an apprenticeship provides you with the opportunity to earn whilst you learn and continue your studies up to level 7, which is the equivalent of a master’s degree!

You will be employed by a business and receive college tuition, allowing you the opportunity to put the skills you are being taught into practice; this will help you to become competent and succeed in your job, as well as develop your career. You will also have a mentor to support you at work and an Apprenticeship Coordinator from the college, who will guide you towards completing your qualification.


“Employers move apprentices onto more complex work as soon as they are ready and speak highly of the contribution apprentices make to their businesses.”

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“Teachers, assessors and workplace supervisors are enthusiastic, experienced practitioners with good occupational knowledge, that they use well when teaching and coaching apprentices.”

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What are the benefits for Apprentices?

  • You will receive sponsorship from your employer, so no student loan = no fees!
  • Be paid a minimum apprenticeship rate per hour, although employers may choose to pay more; the latest rates are available at:
  • Obtain an annual paid holiday entitlement of at least 20 days, plus bank holidays.
  • Learn from industry professionals at a pace suited to you, with one-to-one support.
  • Achieve nationally recognised certifications and become an asset for years to come.
  • Possess great long-term earning potential, gaining a salary rise upon completion.
  • Make friends and network with fellow apprentices in similar roles.

What are the benefits for Employers?

  • Cost-effective advancement up to degree / level 7 for both new and progressing employees.
  • Over 2,600 employers have been designing new apprenticeships for national skills needs.
  • Investment in the in-house training of employees improves loyalty, retention and culture.
  • Referring apprenticeship vacancies to us is free, thereby reducing your recruitment costs.
  • Work placements and apprenticeships raise your business profile and create future talent pools.
  • You can effectively plan succession with new apprentices and grow your own workforce.
  • Apprenticeship programmes promote professionalism, competence and productivity.

Once you have completed your GCSEs, you can progress onto a variety of qualification pathways. Use the details below to see how apprenticeships compare with other traditional routes of study…

    • Level: 1
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Not applicable.
    • Equivalent Education Level: Not applicable.
    • Level: 2
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Intermediate
    • Equivalent Education Level: x 5 GCSEs (Grade 9/A* to 4/C) or Level 2 BTEC First / NVQ
    • Level: 3
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Advanced
    • Equivalent Education Level: x 2 A-Level Passes / Level 3 BTEC Diploma / NVQ / Award / Certificate / Access to HE Diploma
    • Level: 4/5
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Higher
    • Equivalent Education Level: HNC / HND / Foundation Degree
    • Level: 6/7
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Degree
    • Equivalent Education Level: Bachelor’s / Master’s Degree

Each apprenticeship level has different entry requirements, which may depend upon the skills and qualifications you hold; however, it may also depend upon the employer’s job description and person specification. Please use the details below as a general guide…

    • Level: 1
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Not applicable.
    • Equivalent Education Level: Not applicable.
    • Level: 2
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Intermediate
    • Entry Requirements:
      • x 2 GCSEs at grade 3/D or above, including maths and English, as well as IT for some programmes.
      • You will need to be at least 16 years of age.
      • You will need to be employed for at least 30 hours per week.
    • Level: 3
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Advanced
    • Entry Requirements:
      • x 5 GCSEs at grade 4/C or above, including maths & English, as well as IT for some programmes.
      • A previous level 2 qualification in your chosen subject may be required.
      • You will need to be at least 16 years of age.
      • You will need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
    • Level: 4/5
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Higher
    • Entry Requirements:
      • x 5 GCSEs at grade 4/C or above, including maths & English, as well as IT for some programmes.
      • Possess a previous level 3/4 qualification in your chosen subject.
      • You will need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
    • Level: 6/7
    • Apprenticeship Programme: Degree
    • Entry Requirements:
      • x 5 GCSEs at grade 4/C or above including maths & English, as well as IT for some programmes.
      • Possess a previous level 4/5 qualification in your chosen subject.
      • You will need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Please note that you must also have lived within the European Economic Area (EEA) for at least three years and have the right to work in England, prior to starting an apprenticeship.

Throughout Solihull College & University Centre and Stratford-upon-Avon College, we offer more than 50 programmes, thereby enabling you to choose from a wide variety of sectors and providing you with endless career opportunities…

  • Accounting
    • Blossomfield Campus
  • Animal Care
    • Blossomfield Campus
  • Business Administration & Law
    • Blossomfield Campus
    • Stratford-upon-Avon College
  • Built Environment
    • Blossomfield
  • Construction
    • Woodlands Campus
  • Creative Design & Media
    • Blossomfield Campus
    • Stratford-upon-Avon College
  • Customer Service
    • Blossomfield Campus
    • Stratford-upon-Avon College
  • Engineering & Manufacturing
    • Woodlands Campus
  • Hairdressing & Barbering
    • Blossomfield Campus
  • Hospitality & Catering
    • Stratford-upon-Avon College
  • Human Resources
    • Blossomfield Campus
  • ICT & Software Development
    • Blossomfield Campus
  • Leadership & Management
    • Blossomfield Campus
    • Stratford-upon-Avon College
  • Motor Vehicle
    • Woodlands Campus
  • Procurement & Supply
    • Blossomfield Campus
  • Science
    • Blossomfield Campus
  • Sports Coaching
    • Blossomfield Campus
Blossomfield Campus


Woodlands Campus


Stratford-upon-Avon College Campus Main Entrance


If you already have an employer, or are an employer with a potential apprentice, please contact our dedicated Employer Services Team on 0121 678 7181 and discuss your options for an apprenticeship start.

If want to be an apprentice and do not yet have an employer, please follow the simple steps below…

  • Step 1: Research

    Choose the right apprenticeship for you at Solihull College & University Centre and Stratford-uponAvon College.

  • Step 2: Attend an Open Event/Advice Session

    We hold multiple open events throughout the year, but you can also attend an advice session with our Talent Bank Coordinator; remember to bring proof of your qualifications/predictions and register your CV with us at:

  • Step 3: Apply for a Vacancy

    To apply for one of our apprenticeship vacancies, please select from the current opportunities available; we will then send your CV to the employers of your choice and they will then choose the candidates they wish to interview.

  • Step 4: Employer Interview

    If you are selected for interview, remember to be prepared and work on both your technique and personal presentation; however, if you are not successful the first time then don’t worry, as you will have gained valuable experience. We can use your feedback to help you improve and continue on your search.

  • Step 5: Start Earning & Learning

    If you are offered the job… Congratulations! We will contact you and your employer, arranging for you to complete your college induction and meet with your new Apprenticeship Coordinator.


After five successful years working within the Oil & Gas industry, I was headhunted by a representative from Parker Hannifin’s Engineered Materials Group. Upon receiving the offer to progress through a full degree via the apprenticeship route, I was nervous about returning to maths, but felt determined about a career in a STEM subject. Thanks to the support from Parker Hannifin and my tutors at Solihull College & University Centre, I have continued to build my confidence and now specialise as an Account Manager for the Fluid Power and Life Science markets.

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Anne-Marie Nolan

BEng Hons Mechanical Engineering Design Apprentice, Parker Hannifin


At the NEC Group we are passionate about the development of individuals, so as well as a full internal learning and development program, we offer a range of apprenticeship opportunities. We currently have over 40 apprentices and plan to grow these numbers over the next few years. We work closely across a range of vocational areas and currently have a number of apprentices being supported by the College. We have built a great working relationship. All of our apprentices have different requirements and the College supports this by offering different learning solutions, to meet individual needs.

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Angela Walsh

Apprentice Coordinator, The NEC Group


After completing a degree at university, I realised that the professions associated with my course were no longer for me. I developed an interest in professional cookery and was given the opportunity to begin a new career with The Churchill Arms, whilst studying at Stratford-upon-Avon College. Having started in the pastry and cold starters section, making breads and desserts, I have now progressed onto meat and fish and taken on additional responsibilities. My new duties include ordering food, maintaining kitchen records and leading junior apprentices. I have also been involved in menu planning, catered for weddings and parties and helped prepare the restaurant for prestigious events, such as Tom Kerridge’s ‘Pub in the Park’.

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Michael Wilkinson

Level 3 Chef de Partie Apprentice, The Churchill Arms in Paxford


The Royal Shakespeare Company is delighted to have Stratford-upon-Avon College as our apprenticeship training provider. The RSC is a major British theatre company, employing over 1,000 staff. We produce around 20 productions a year in Stratford, London and on tour across the UK and internationally, performing the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as new works by living writers. The College has been very supportive and has flexed their apprenticeship offering to accommodate our needs. Our apprentices have greatly benefited from the College’s training, improving their knowledge and skills and enabling them to become fully functioning team members. I am sure this, together with the practical experience they gain with us at the RSC, will greatly increase their career opportunities.

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Deborah Pendleton

Training and Development Officer, The Royal Shakespeare Company


Upon completing sixth form, I decided to seek an apprenticeship that would allow me to attend the classroom on a dayrelease basis. I met with the Talent Bank Coordinator at Solihull College & University Centre for information, advice and guidance, later discussing opportunities with my family and securing a position with National Express. As I continue to work through the different functions of the department: credit control, accounts payable and cash & banking, I develop my abilities in time management, problem solving and ethical practice. Both National Express and the College have helped with my career direction and future progression.

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Ajay Honap

Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprentice, National Express


I have been an Assessor since 2018, after studying motor vehicle at Solihull College & University Centre and then a motorsport technology degree at university. I’ve enjoyed my role as an Assessor, it is a rewarding position to hold. I wanted to remain in the motor vehicle industry and try to instil the same passion into the apprentices, that I have for my subject. I have been working with cars since I was 12-years-old and believe that the knowledge gained from industry experience is essential. Enthusiasm can be lost without the right support, so it is important to harness it in future generations.

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Lizz Madden

Motor Vehicle Assessor, Solihull College & University Centre

The government has set funding bands into which each apprenticeship programme falls and how much you will be required to pay will depend upon the size of your business.

If your annual PAYE exceeds £3million, you will be a national apprenticeship levy payer, where you can claim back your levy funds to cover the cost of apprenticeship training.

If your annual PAYE is less than £3million, you will pay a small 5% contribution (co-investment) for your trainee apprentices and the government will fund the remaining 95%.

Are there any funding incentives for Employers?

The employer co-investment contribution above will be waived for small employers (under 50 staff) training young apprentices (aged 16 to 18).

There is a £1,000 incentive for each 16 to 18-year-old recruited, or for 19-24-year-old apprentices with a care plan; this is paid directly to the employer in 2 instalments (at 3 and 12 months after the start date).

CITB grants are available for employers registered as a construction company, training an apprentice on a construction programme; Solihull College & University Centre and Stratford-upon-Avon College can assist you with the application.

Funded support for transferable skills in maths, English and ICT can also be included within the apprenticeship programme.

Our Employer Services Team can advise on all costs and incentives specific to your business; further to this, we can provide you with a broad and free training needs analysis, to help futureproof your company and meet your skills requirements.


Solihull College & University Centre and Stratford-upon-Avon College are committed to providing a safe environment for young people and vulnerable adults, identifying those who are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, abuse, or neglect; further to this, we will take appropriate action to ensure that they are kept safe while on campus, as well as at home and in the workplace.


Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on colleges to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn in to terrorism. Young people and vulnerable adults are specifically targeted by groups that advocate extremist activity; to counteract this, our college supports British Values.

British Values

British values are defined as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. The college encourages its students and staff to respect other people, with particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.

Equality & Diversity

Our policies are based on continuously seeking to promote equality of opportunity alongside the 9 legally protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership, race, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and sex. We aim to treat all learners and staff fairly and equally throughout their contact with us and ensure that they know what to do if they have a concern.

If you are worried or concerned about a student, please contact our Safeguarding Team immediately on: 0121 678 7033 (Solihull College & University Centre) / 01789 266245 Ext. 3080 (Stratford-upon-Avon College)

  • An Ofsted Grade 2 ‘Good’ Training Provider with achievement rates higher than national benchmarks.
  • £39million worth of investment in the last 10 years, with a further £11.75million planned.
  • 1 of 12 Training Providers selected to become a UK Institute of Technology.
  • 3 specialist campuses and a conference centre, all within walking distance of main transport links.
  • State-of-the-art facilities and equipment from driverless vehicles to robotics and virtual reality.
  • Dedicated teams for careers advice, work placements, apprenticeships and professional courses.
  • Highly qualified staff with a wealth of industry experience and contemporary knowledge.
  • Additional learning support for assistance with work-based advice and pastoral care.
  • College-organised employer events and recruitment days.

Apprenticeship Programmes

Should you require apprenticeship training for a programme not currently listed and have a staff cohort in mind…

The Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS)

The DAS enables all employers to claim funding/incentives for their apprentices and allows them to manage their training cohorts thereafter. If your organisation does not pay into the National Apprenticeship Levy, the DAS will also allow you to reserve funds for your apprentices’ training.

Once set up, the service is straightforward to use; however, you are also able to delegate some administrative tasks to us, as your chosen training provider and for referrals. *Our UKPRN No. is 10005946.

  1. Create your organisation’s user account and verify your business e-mail address via:
  2. Add a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme…
    • If you are a levy or non-levy employer, you can do this by inputting your organisation’s Government Gateway Credentials – Please note that you can recover, or register for these via:
    • As an alternative option, non-levy employers can input their Account Office Reference Number – Please note that upon first registering as an employer, you receive a letter from HMRC that displays this 13-character number. (HMRC helpdesk tel. 0300 200 3200).
  3. Confirm your organisation type by inputting one of the following:
    • Companies House Number
    • Public Body Name
    • Charity Number
  4. Lastly, read and accept the Education Skills Funding Agency’s Employer Agreement within your account, to obtain full access to the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS); further to this, you will then be able to add additional users, PAYE schemes and connected companies.

*Firstly, please note that the apprenticeship must start within 3 months of reserving your funds.

  1. Login to your user account and scroll down to ‘Finances’.
  2. Click on ‘Your funding reservations’.
  3. Select your chosen apprenticeship training course and the month it will start.
  4. If funding is available, confirm that you would like to reserve funding now and return to the homepage.
  1. Login to your user account and scroll down to ‘Finances’.
  2. Click on ‘Apply for the hire a new apprentice payment’.
  3. Please review the eligibility criteria for your apprentice(s) and click on ‘Start now’.
  4. Select the eligible apprentice(s) and click to continue.
  5. Please review the summary and total amounts.
  6. Please then review the declaration and confirm whenready.
  7. Enter your organisation’s bank and contact details for remittance, including your:
    • Legal name, registered address and contact details
    • Companies House number
    • Finance lead’s contact details and business e-mail address
    • Bank account details.
  8. Finally, check your overall application before submitting.

*Please note that a reference number and PDF download will then be provided for your records.

Apprenticeship Trials

Our work placement scheme is entirely voluntary, because our students will be keen to support you in the workplace (or via a project brief) and in return, you will be furthering their chances for a career in the sector and helping them to add industry-relevant experience to their CV.

Work placements are a great way to source candidates for your talent pool, apprenticeship opportunities and succession plan, as they allow you to select those that display the most potential for your organisation.

Free Recruitment Service

If you are not currently advertising an apprenticeship vacancy with us, please note that we have a free recruitment service for employers that are seeking to start an apprentice with Solihull College & University Centre, or Stratford-upon-Avon College. Further to this, should the programme of interest begin later in the year, we will work with you to formulate a pre-apprenticeship plan.

Apprenticeship funding can also be acquired for current employees progressing within, or into a new role; therefore, making them a cost-effective alternative to some commercial courses. Programmes can incorporate professional part-time courses and additional cross-skills training, so they are a great opportunity for continuing professional development too.

To find out more about advertising and recruiting for your apprenticeship(s), please contact us and one of our Employer Services Team will be in touch; alternatively, you can contact us on 0121 678 7181, or e-mail: