Employer FAQs

Got a question about Damar or about apprenticeships? Check out our FAQs or get in touch to find out more.

If you’re new to the world of apprenticeships, it can seem like there’s a lot to take in. We have 40 years’ experience of working with large employers, SMEs and public sector organisations so we understand the challenges and issues you may be facing and can show you how we have helped similar companies grow and thrive through our apprenticeship programmes and workforce development training..

Here are some employer FAQs about apprenticeships. If there is anything else you would like to know or you are considering apprenticeship training for your business, give us a call on 0161 480 8171 or click the ‘Contact Us’ button below.

An apprenticeship is an on the job training programme that develops an employees’ knowledge, skills and behaviours in order to perform in their job role. The training is designed to be flexible and meet the needs of the individual and their employer.

There are no age restrictions on apprenticeships and apprenticeship training can be used for new recruits or to upskill existing staff. Apprenticeships are also now open to graduates. However, we do need to ensure that there is a sufficient enough gap in the individual’s required skills, knowledge and behaviours so that they will benefit from the training.

Some of our apprenticeship programmes (e.g. solicitor) have additional specific requirements. See the individual apprenticeship pages for further information.

Apprenticeships can be used for new staff or existing employees, who may need to upskill in their current position or who are looking to change roles.
Skills shortages and staff retention are still among the biggest risks to UK businesses. Apprenticeships can help businesses across all industries by offering a cost effective route to attract fresh talent and to invest in workforce development. If you have trained staff with the right skills for the job, they can do a wider range of tasks and take on new responsibilities – this can help to reduce skill shortages, minimise staff turnover, improve your customer experience and increase productivity.

All apprenticeships are now part of a new group of national qualifications known as “standards”. These qualifications are all constructed in the same way:

  • On-programme learning: Learning the underpinning knowledge and applying this by demonstrating through skills and behaviours at work.
  • Gateway: This is the point at which the apprentice is able to show they are meeting the standard.
  • End-point assessment: The apprentice will demonstrate their competence to an independent end-point assessor.

All apprentices are expected to spend at least six hours of their working week (on average) on off-the-job training, but programmes and apprentices may differ. This can be spread flexibly throughout the programme and includes Damar coaching sessions and workshops, independent study using Damar OpenLearning or other resources, and workplace learning through taking on new tasks and learning new ways of working.

We take a blended delivery approach to on-programme learning. This means that apprentices will learn through a mix of coaching sessions and workshops, delivered either individually or as part of a group and through a range of video conferencing or online sessions through our virtual learning environment, Damar OpenLearning. The right mix for your apprentice’s programme will be discussed and agreed in their training plan.

Apprentices will use our eportfolio system, OneFile, to store their work and track their progress. You’ll also have access to OneFile so that you can monitor this and offer feedback through reviews.

Apprenticeship vary in duration, but are always at least 12 months in length. Please see our individual apprenticeship pages for the duration of each standard with Damar.

All apprenticeships embed the functional use of maths and English. Apprentices unable to evidence maths and English at GCSE level 4 or above may need to take functional skills exams as part of the apprenticeship. Additional training is provided if necessary. 

All apprentices are expected to spend at least six hours of their working week (on average) on off-the-job training, but programmes and apprentices may differ. This can be spread flexibly throughout the programme and includes time with their coach, independent study and workplace learning through taking on new tasks and learning new ways of working.

Your role as an employer is to work with the Damar coach to develop your apprentice to be fully competent in their role.

Planning 

  • Planning a programme that best fills the learning gap for your apprentice. 
  • Challenging and motivating your apprentice to succeed. 
  • Providing the time and space for your apprentice to complete their learning. 

Training 

  • Making sure your apprentice is applying their learning between sessions. 
  • Filling gaps in knowledge and skills with content specific to your organisation. 
  • Giving your apprentice access to internal training relevant to their role. 
  • Releasing your apprentice for time to learn. 

 Reviewing 

  • Making time to meet regularly with your apprentice and their coach. 
  • Reviewing the progress and work completed by your apprentice in line with their development at work. 
  • Providing written feedback through ongoing reviews on our OneFile system.

If your annual wage bill is over £3 million, the cost of training will be funded by your apprenticeship levy. We can help you to navigate your Apprenticeship Service account to access this funding.

If your wage bill is below the £3 million threshold, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (EFSA) covers 100% of the training costs for apprentices aged 16-21 and 95% of the training costs for apprentices aged 22 and over.

*Please note, some apprenticeships have accreditation costs which are not eligible for government funding.

The minimum apprenticeship wage is £6.40. However, we strongly encourage all of our employers to pay more in order to attract high calibre candidates.

Koren O'Connor
Damar Orange Quotes
“The apprenticeship has given me a broader depth and knowledge, not only to support my role but around my own leadership and management styles and will assist continued development in my career.”

Koren O’Connor
Head of Secretarial,
CMS

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If you are an individual looking to apply for apprenticeships, please visit our Contact Us page.