Make me an Apprentice!

Apply today for one of our programmes.

We have access to hundreds of employers across the region that will give you a head start in the world of work.

  • You will work full-time with a local employer gaining on-the-job skills and experience and earn a wage for the work you are doing. The minimum wage for an Apprentice varies, depending on your age. Find out more about the minimum wage.
  • On an Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) Apprenticeship programme, you will attend our facilities for one day a week over 12-24 months. You may attend on block release or full-time depending on your employer’s requirements, the vocational area that you want to work within, and the level of the programme that you are studying.

Our training and recruitment advisors will be here to support your application and engagement on the programme.

How does it work?

Apprentices will be employed by local businesses and enrolled on education programmes with either the University of Wolverhampton or Dudley College, depending on the most appropriate level of study for the apprentice.

At all levels, apprentices will spend a proportion of their time at the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills so that they directly benefit from the training and latest state-of-the-art technologies available within the advanced manufacturing sector.

Structure of an Apprenticeship

Each apprenticeship comprises:

  1. Knowledge Element – A Technical Certificate awarded by an accredited body such as EAL which covers the theory side of your work and is usually delivered by attending the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) sites in the Black Country
  2. Competence Element – A National Vocational Qualification which demonstrates that you can carry out the skills required by your job, assessed directly within the workplace by an assessor.
  3. Functional Skills (English & Maths) If you don’t already hold Maths and English qualifications at the level required by your Apprenticeship, you will study these as part of your off the job training at the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS). An Information & Technology qualification may also be required depending on your programme.
  4. Transferable Skills Your programme will also include training to help you develop your Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) and your rights as an Employee within the workplace (ERR).

Your employer may wish for you to develop enhanced skills in your job role, these specialised units will be taught alongside your main programme.

You must complete all the different areas shown above to successfully complete your apprenticeship training.

There are three main levels of apprenticeship:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship –Level 2 – Provides foundation skills to become a professional within your chosen area of work;
  • Advanced Apprenticeship – Level 3 – Provides more technical skills and training and normally involves a supervisory role within the workplace.
  • Higher apprentices – Level 4 – are also available up to level 6-7 and are delivered at the University of Wolverhampton.
How is an apprenticeship different to a full-time college course?

You will be employed and working at least 30 hours per week, and the majority of your learning will take place in the workplace ‘on-the-job,’ underpinning knowledge delivered at college.

How much will it cost my employer?

If you are aged between 16 and 18 when you start your Apprenticeship Training Programme, there is no charge to you or your employer.

Funding for the programme is claimed by the college directly from the UK Government.

Who is eligible for an apprenticeship?

To be eligible for an Apprenticeship, you must:

  • Be over 16 at the start of the programme
  • Have been living in the UK/EU for three years before you start your apprenticeship
  • Have completed year 11 at school and not already be on a full time course
  • Meet the entry requirements for your preferred Apprenticeships (this is assessed as part of an interview process to ensure you have the ability and aptitude to complete the programme at the level required)
  • Have an employer who will pay you as an apprentice and offer you no less than 30 hours a week work. If you do not currently have an employer, ECMS may be able to match you to a potential employer.

If you are 19 or over and studying at Level 3 to 6, you may be eligible for a government backed Advanced Learning Loan to pay for your course fee.

Search Apprenticeship Vacancies near you using the UK Government’s Find an Apprenticeship tool