How to choose the best apprenticeship training provider

Launching your career through an apprenticeship is an exciting way to gain valuable skills and experience while getting paid. But navigating the vast landscape of training providers can feel overwhelming. It’s like building a house – you wouldn’t jump in without a solid foundation.  That’s where a training provider comes in. 

They are your crucial partner to help you lay the groundwork for your future.  We have put together this guide to help you understand the process of finding the perfect provider – one that aligns with your career aspirations, shares your values, and nurtures your growth.


A white line break


Apprenticeship Training Providers

Apprenticeship training

Now that you’ve taken the first steps into kickstarting your career with apprenticeships, let’s delve into the world of apprenticeship training providers.  These are the organisations that certify to meet government standards set by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, ensuring high-quality training that equips apprentices with the skills and knowledge to thrive in their chosen field, they typically tend to be industry focused as well as your non-traditional ’school’ while you attend your 9-5s.

There are different types of providers, each playing a crucial role in the apprenticeship ecosystem.  Main providers deliver the full apprenticeship program, offering a comprehensive learning experience.  Employer providers train their own workforce, allowing them to tailor the program to their specific needs.  Supporting providers partner with main providers to offer specialised training or resources. All providers are held accountable for the appropriate use of government funding to deliver apprenticeships that comply with funding rules.  This ensures you receive valuable training that equips you for a successful career, while safeguarding the integrity of the apprenticeship system.

Choosing the right training provider is vital, as they become your partner in this exciting journey.  


A white line break


Finding an Apprenticeship Training Provider

Let’s break down the key factors that will help you research and compare different training providers. 

These variables will help you streamline your search and identify the perfect provider who aligns with your specific needs and career aspirations. With the right tools and knowledge at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to kickstarting your journey with an apprenticeship and taking that first exciting step towards launching your career.

  • Industry Expertise:  Look for a provider with a strong track record in your desired field. Their experience translates into valuable real-world learning opportunities. They should have established relationships with employers in your industry, which can give you the needed support when seeking your dream job after the apprenticeship.
    For instance, if you’re passionate about a career in the creative industries, a provider like Access Industry could be a perfect fit if you’re interested in areas such as music, events, software, and digital marketing. Their established network within the creative sector can connect you with potential employers and open doors to exciting career opportunities.
  • Programme Quality & Delivery Method:  Ensure the provider offers a programme that aligns with the apprenticeship standards set by your industry’s governing body.  This guarantees you’re gaining the most relevant and up-to-date skills for your chosen career path. Understanding your provider’s delivery method and looking beyond the curriculum to see how it aligns with you is crucial.  Do they offer a blend of classroom learning, on-the-job training, suitable tools & facilities, and online resources?  Consider your learning style and find a provider that caters to your preferences.
  • Reputation & Support Services:  Research the provider’s reputation online and read testimonials from past apprentices. Their experiences can offer valuable insights into the quality of training, support offered, and overall program satisfaction. Look for a provider that boasts a strong reputation for excellence and prioritises its apprentices’ success, particularly when it comes to access to industry.  In creative fields, for example, this might involve partnerships with established companies or opportunities for projects that would help develop the skills you need to fly in that career.

Now for the questions to ask yourself. Do they offer dedicated support services like academic tutoring, career counselling, and job placement assistance? A support system is crucial for navigating the challenges and maximising the opportunities an apprenticeship presents, especially when it comes to connecting you with potential employers in your chosen field.

Consider the location of the training provider’s facilities and the flexibility of their program offerings.  If travel is a barrier, inquire about remote learning options or providers with locations closer to you.  Does the program offer flexible scheduling to accommodate your work or personal commitments?  Finding a provider that aligns with your logistical needs will ensure a smoother and more successful apprenticeship experience.

By prioritising these factors, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect training provider who can empower you to excel in your apprenticeship and build a rewarding career. Remember, this is an investment in your future, so take the time to research thoroughly and ask questions. Don’t hesitate to contact multiple providers to compare programs and find the one that resonates most with your aspirations.


A white line break


Apprenticeship Agreement between Training Provider and Employer

Signing an agreement

Once you’ve chosen the perfect training provider, it’s time to consolidate your apprenticeship journey with a formal agreement. This agreement is a three-way partnership between you (the apprentice), your chosen training provider, and your employer.  While the specific details may vary, the core purpose remains the same: to clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of each party involved in your apprenticeship. In most cases, the agreement you’ll sign focuses on the relationship between you, your employer, and the training provider, however it’s important to understand the broader context. 

There’s a separate agreement between your employer and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), the government body that handles funding for apprenticeships in England. This agreement ensures the proper allocation of government funds to support your apprenticeship.

It’s crucial to carefully review and understand the terms of the apprenticeship agreement before signing.  Don’t hesitate to ask your employer or the training provider for clarification on any points that may seem unclear.  Remember, this agreement is your roadmap to a successful apprenticeship, so ensure it clearly defines your learning journey and sets you up for success.

Here’s a breakdown of some key elements typically included in an apprenticeship agreement between a training provider and an employer:

  • Apprenticeship Details: This section specifies the chosen apprenticeship standard, its duration, and the expected end date.
  • Learning & Training: This section outlines the training program details provided by the training provider, including the learning methods (classroom, online, on-the-job), assessment procedures, and any additional qualifications you might earn.
  • Employer Responsibilities: This section details what your employer is expected to provide, such as on-the-job training opportunities, mentoring, and ensuring you can dedicate time for off-the-job training delivered by the provider.
  • Apprentice Responsibilities: This section outlines your commitment to the program, including attending scheduled training sessions, completing required assessments, and maintaining professional conduct in the workplace.
  • Funding and Payment: This section clarifies how the apprenticeship will be funded, typically through the employer’s Apprenticeship Levy or government co-investment, and how the training provider will be reimbursed.

So, now that you’ve decided an apprenticeship is your perfect pathway for launching your career -fantastic! And we have given you the building blocks of the knowledge needed to help navigate the search for a training provider and find the perfect partner for your journey. By prioritising factors like industry expertise, program quality, and support services, you’ll ensure you gain the most relevant skills and have the resources needed to thrive. Always remember to research thoroughly, compare programs, and ask questions. The ideal training provider should align with your aspirations, learning style, and career goals.

If you’re passionate about a career in the creative industries, consider a provider like Access Industry. They hold a strong reputation for excellence and specialise in areas like music, events, digital marketing, and software development.  Their established network within these sectors is particularly impressive, featuring employer partnerships with industry giants like Disney, PRG, and many more.  Imagine putting theory into practice by working on exciting live projects with such esteemed companies – that’s the kind of valuable experience Access Industry can help facilitate, potentially opening doors to exciting career opportunities after your apprenticeship.

With a clear understanding of apprenticeship agreements and the roles of each party involved, you can confidently take your first steps on this rewarding experience. This is your chance to experience a unique blend of on-the-job training, valuable skills development, and the chance to earn while you learn.

Looking for an apprenticeship training provider? Access Industry can help kickstart your career. Check out our apprenticeship vacancies for more!

Last updated on: 8th May 2024