Employers play a key role in the design, delivery and management of training: they are not just customers of the UK TVET Systems but active participants in all aspects of it

  • Nearly all employers will provide training to their employees in areas such as; company processes, machine usage and health and safety. 
  • Some employers, especially larger ones, directly deliver TVET to their own employees or those of connected companies.  
  • Employers may also supplement their inhouse training with input from FE Colleges or ITPs.
  • Employer training providers who receive government funding for their training will be subject to the same quality assurance inspections as other training providers.

Employers deliver apprenticeships

In the UK an apprenticeship is a job with training in which apprentices learn, gain experience and are paid. Apprentices are employees with an employment contract. 

An apprenticeship involves working whilst receiving a formal programme of training. Apprenticeships can take two to four years to complete and provide an opportunity for apprentices to learn new skills whilst earning money and gaining hands-on experience. 

Apprentices ‘off-the-job’ training is usually provided by an external training organisation (college, ITP), although some employers deliver this component themselves. Depending on the apprenticeship, off-the-job training could be delivered via a weekly study day (day release) or through training blocks. Training is delivered in workshops, classrooms, online or a via a combination of mediums. Training providers work closely with employers to develop a detailed and targeted training plan. 

Apprentices work towards a range of vocational qualifications such as awards, certificates, diplomas or NVQs. Apprenticeships span Levels 2 – 7 (European Qualification Framework). Young people (16-24) who require additional experience and skills before starting an apprenticeship can undertake traineeships or foundation apprenticeships, which are made up of work placements, work preparation training and English and Maths training.

The devolved nations have taken slightly different approaches to apprenticeships. In England apprenticeships are developed based on standards (as described in the ‘Apprenticeship Standards’ case study) defined by groups of employers. Apprentices progress towards these standards is then checked through an end point assessment. Apprenticeships in Scotland and Wales are delivered through frameworks which include qualifications which apprentices have to pass as they progress through their apprenticeships.