What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job with substantial training and the development of transferable skills. It is a way for people to earn while they learn, gaining a real qualification, with a real future in a progressive company. They must be employed to carry out an apprenticeship. At BEMA/ Swatpro Academy we position candidates with companies that are seeking to employ apprentices.

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

  • Earn a salary
  • Learn job specific skills
  • Gain a variety of transferrable skills
  • Work towards nationally recognised qualifications, with support from their employer
  • No qualification fees
  • Progress into Higher Education
  • Advance in their chosen career

What training will they have?

  • First Year training at Swatpro Academy in BEMA, hands on training on site or as block release
  • At least 20% of their normal working hours must be spent on training. This is called ‘Off the Job Training’ and can take the form of college training, shadowing, online learning and training etc. Their learning new skills, knowledge and behaviours relevant to their apprenticeship, it is Off the Job Training!
  • College days take place a Swatpro Academy in Yate on a day release
  • Assessments and reviews in the workplace by their Swatpro assessor
  • Functional Skills in English & Maths where they do not already hold appropriate qualifications in these subjects

What apprenticeships are available at Swatpro Academy?








Machining Technician – Advanced Manufacturing Engineering

Engineering Technician – Mechatronics Maintenance Technician

Metal Fabricator

Engineering Fitter

Maintenance & Operations Engineering Technician

Engineering Operative

General Welder (Arc Processes)

Level 3

Level 3

Level 3

Level 3

Level 3

Level 2

Level 2



Equivalent Level

Apprenticeship - Intermediate


5 GCSE passes at grade 9-4 / A* - C

Apprenticeship - Advanced


2 A Level passes/ Level 3 Diploma

Are they eligible for an apprenticeship?

To do an apprenticeship they must meet the following requirements:

  • They are aged over 16 at the start their apprenticeship
  • They live and have the right to work in England
  • They are not in full time education
  • They have the entry level for the apprenticeship they are applying for

What can they expect from my employment as an apprentice?

Different employers may offer different benefits and conditions, but as a minimum all apprentices will receive:

  • A contract of employment
  • On and off the job training and support with their apprenticeship training
  • The National Minimum Wage for apprentices (at least)
  • Paid annual leave entitlement of at least 28 days paid
  • The statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Maternity, paternity and adoption pay and leave
  • They are paid for their normal working hours and training that forms part of their apprenticeship – this includes any college attendance and Off the Job Training
  • They will usually be working between 30 and 40 hours per week as an apprentice

What is the National Minimum Wage for apprentices?

The National Minimum Wage rate for apprentices applies to apprentices who are either:

  • Under 19
  • 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

So, if they are aged 18 and in the second year of their apprenticeship, they may still be paid the National Minimum Wage for apprentices.

Apprentices who are over 19 and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the current minimum wage rate for their age. If they are under 18, they can only legally work a maximum of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.

The current National Minimum Wage rates (as of April 2022):

23 and over

18 to 20

Under 18







The National Minimum Wage rates change in April every year, so stay up to date by going to:


What can I expect from Swatpro Academy throughout their apprenticeship?

  • An individual learning plans
  • An assessor who will support them throughout the apprenticeship
  • Hands on experience in their first year at Swatpro Academy
  • Regular progress reviews at either Swatpro Academy or their place of work
  • Off the Job Training on their day release to Swatpro Academy, where it forms part of the apprenticeship training
  • Delivery and support with Functional Skills where required
  • A commitment statement (which details all the above) that is part of the Apprenticeship Agreement and is signed by the college, the employer and apprentice at the beginning of the apprenticeship.

How can I find apprenticeship vacancies?

  • Find and apply for apprenticeship vacancies online at www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship
  • Fill in an application form and register with Swatpro Academy, we will notify them with vacancies and align them with companies for interview