Apprenticeships are a mixture of real, paid work as well as a package of training and assessment designed to develop your technical knowledge and competence. We work with your employer to ensure that the qualifications that form part of your apprenticeship are tailored to your role and will put you in the best position to progress at work. All of this is recorded in an individual training plan that will track your progress.
The qualifications contained within the apprenticeship are assessed in two different ways:
- The “knowledge” element is assessed by way of a test (either online or paper-based).
- The “skills” element is assessed by way a portfolio of evidence that you build up with the support of your trainer/assessor and your manager.
There is usually a final, “end-point” assessment which may be a combination of one or more tests, a presentation and an interview with an independent assessor.
Throughout your apprenticeship you will have a Damar tutor who will visit you and your manager. at work. Although their main role is to support you through your qualifications your tutor is also a point of contact if you have any other concerns. We take the welfare of our apprentices very seriously and work hard with our employers to ensure that your learning and working environment is safe, healthy and well supported.
Once you start work, the key elements of your apprenticeship "journey" are as follows:
At the start of your course you will receive a thorough induction, complete an assessment of your English, maths and ICT skills and complete the relevant enrolment paperwork. The induction also covers aspects of office health and safety, learner welfare, equality and diversity and employment rights and responsibilities.
Off the job training
You will have a combination of on and off the job training. The amount of “off the job” activity varies between individuals and apprenticeships but most apprentices spend about 20% of their time training off-the-job. Depending on the level, this is delivered through a blend of face to face training, web-based learning, paper-based materials and support via email and telephone. Because of the blend of learning methods you will not usually need to leave the office to attend training but may need to work on your apprenticeship away from your desk from time to time.
Mentoring and progress reviews
Most tutor visits also incorporate a short meeting between you, your tutor and your manager to look at progress, set targets and address any issues or concerns.
If functional skills training in maths, English or IT is required (you may have prior GCSE or other qualifications which enable exemptions) this is usually delivered by the same trainer/ assessor (some additional visits may be required). Where there are additional functional skills needs a specialist tutor can provide additional support.
Once you have passed those elements assessed by way of exam and both your tutor and your manager agree that you have demonstrated your competence across all of the required areas of the apprenticeship you will go through the “gateway” to end-point assessment, which is conducted by an independent assessment organisation.
The vast majority of Damar apprentices remain with their employer on completion of their apprenticeship and in many cases they then progress to a higher level apprenticeship. Progression is something that we will discuss with you and your employer well before you complete so you will know what the next step in your career looks like well before you get there.