FAQ for supervisors and departments

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Apprenticeships offer an opportunity for departments to think long-term about to hard-to-fill posts. They also develop a pipeline of talent, provide tailored training ensuring specially-qualified employees, bring vitality and fresh perspective to the work environment, develop mentoring skills in existing staff and give back to the community by allowing its members the opportunity to reach their potential and advance their career prospects.

First and foremost, your department needs to identity a suitable role for an apprentice. An apprentice is a paid employee and must be employed for at least 30 hours per week, for a minimum of 13 months. If you need support identifying a position for an apprentice, contact the Apprenticeships Manager.

All the information about training providers can be obtained from the Apprenticeships Manager. The Apprenticeships Manager will be able to help you identify the nearest training provider, guide you through the selection process and assist you in the event that you may need to change training providers part-way through the Apprenticeship.

Yes, it can be done but this is probably not ideal! By spending time thinking about the needs of your department and the requirements of the job beforehand, you can avoid the need to do this.

Take a look at our section on Off-The-Job (OTJ) training here.

Yes – an apprentice is your employee. See the section on 'Budgeting' for details on the salary, which is fixed on a progressive scale.

Not specifically, no. An apprentice is your employee, who is performing work while training.

Government funding for the 'off-the-job' training is paid for through the apprenticeship levy. See the section on 'Budgeting' for more details.

Yes there is. The University has developed an apprentice-specific contract based on the current support staff contract which reflects the special status of the apprentice. See the templates tab on the 'Recruiting an apprentice' page.

New entrant apprentices do not count towards the department's headcount, whilst they are on an Apprenticeship contract. Making this an ideal solution for succession planning.


Existing staff on Apprenticeship training go down to 0.8 FTE for headcount only as they are completing 20% off-the-job training. This means the department can backfill some of this work should they need to.

Yes – part of the University Work Learn Develop programme is specifically aimed at existing staff development. More information can be found on the Existing Staff section

At the successful completion of an Apprenticeship (i.e. having gained a formal qualification and performing at the required level in the role), Personnel Services will issue a certificate formally recognising this achievement. In order to qualify for an automatic appointment (where one is available) to a post in the department, the apprentice must normally have:

  • Completed the appropriate training period
  • Attended the course of study and attained the appropriate qualification(s)
  • Demonstrated satisfactory competence in the role.

If there is a suitable post available and the apprentice has satisfied the division/department as to their competence to perform at the requisite grade, they may be considered for appointment to a post without the post being advertised more widely.

In such cases, departments should follow the University’s guidance on ‘Recruitment without advertising ('direct appointments')’.

Where a suitable post is available to which the apprentice is successfully appointed, a new contract of employment should be issued to the individual. Unless the individual has previous unbroken continuous service with the University, the start date of their Apprenticeship will be used as the date of their continuous service with the University. Continuous service is used for the purposes of certain entitlements, such as the University’s sick pay scheme and calculating the entitlement to family leave benefits, e.g. maternity pay.

Related links

Recruiting an apprentice

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Apprenticeships Team

T: +44 1865 270536

E: apprenticeships@admin.ox.ac.uk


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