What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship gives you hands-on experience, a salary, and the opportunity to train while you work as an apprentice.

  • Apprentices gain the technical knowledge, practical experience, and wider skills they need for their job and future career.
  • It is a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and practising new skills in a real work environment.
  • Apprentices have the same rights as other employees and are entitled to be paid at least the apprentice rate of the national minimum wage.
  • Apprenticeships benefit both employers and individuals alike, by boosting the skills of the workforce, they help to improve economic productivity.

Wessex Training and Assessment working in Partnership with Swatpro

The Apprenticeship route is a Government funded scheme. It is available through a partnership between South West Association of Training Providers (SWATPro) who offer support and access to Apprenticeship funding and Wessex Training and Assessment Ltd (WTAL) who are the Early Years experts.

Intent – WTAL work with Small and Medium sized (SME) local employers, especially in rural areas where the transport is an issue. The employers choose Wessex as we follow Work-based Learning (WBL) – the assessors visit the settings and work within the workplace to develop individuals’ skills, behaviours, and knowledge so that they can work within the Early Years sector. Within the sector the Ofsted requirement is for employers to have 50% of their employees with a qualification. Where there are skills gaps the Apprentices go some way to fill those gaps.      

Impact – Wessex Training work with young people and adult learners who have decided on a career path within Early Years. It enables the individual to achieve a nationally recognised qualification and to raise English and Mathematics skills to level 2.

The Apprentice is at the heart of the curriculum, Wessex will:

  • ensure that the correct qualification is available to the learner and that the job role allows the full Apprenticeship Framework to be met.
  • support the individual to meet their needs which will allow them to reach their potential
  • work in conjunction with local employers
  • build knowledge, and practical skills in order that they can work efficiently and effectively with children
  • to promote working together with others as a team; build confidence and self-esteem ready for their adult working life.
  • Tailor the learning plan to meet individual needs – where specific support is required and cannot be given normally through the process, we will make relevant support available.

Within the Apprenticeship framework it promotes the awareness of personal development, well-being, and reflection. It will prepare the learner for the future, discussing opportunities open to them and the career development required.

About Swatpro

South West Association of Training Providers Ltd (SWATPro) was formed in 2011 as a partnership of employers and training providers to provide an effective, not-for-profit, efficient and cost-effective training provider partnership supporting employers and learners predominantly, but not exclusively within the South West.

The partnership is managed by a board chaired a chief executive officer. The board includes managers from the SWATPro training providers. A non-executive director offers the board advice and direction about possible future developments in training.

The company has a unique pedigree as it is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee with its membership being established providers approved on the Education and Skills Funding Agency Register of Training Organisations and Register of Apprenticeship Training Organisations with a history of delivering high quality learning and skills.


For information about SWATPro and Apprenticeships, please click here.


Apprenticeships and Careers – Useful Links

National Careers Service –
The National Careers Service provide information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

Amazing Apprenticeships –
Amazing Apprenticeships is the approved communication channel, commissioned by the National Apprenticeship Service, to support the Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge for Schools project.