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Why Should I do An Apprenticeship & Other Common FAQs
Posted: June 29, 2018

Deciding what to do after you finish GCSEs, or your A-Levels is a big decision to make. Do you take up an apprenticeship? Do a degree or look to complete an HND/HNC? With lots of higher education options available to suit different learning styles, interests and assessment styles, it can feel a little overwhelming when it comes to what to do next.


In April 2017, the Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy. Since the start of 2018, figures from the Department of Education show 261,2001 people have started an apprenticeship.


The introduction of the apprenticeship Levy breathed fresh air into apprenticeship schemes and many savvy employers are looking at how they can use the Levy in the best way possible, to attract people just like you to join their team.


With more apprenticeships being taken up, we look at some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding apprenticeships.


Why Do an Apprenticeship Over Going to University?

Deciding on whether to go to university or do an apprenticeship is a personal choice and there are of course, many benefits to both.


One of the beauties of doing an apprenticeship is that you’ll receive on the job training from experienced staff, who will help you pick up specific aspects of the work. Compare this to going to university where there’s perhaps little to no on the job training and you can see why getting an apprenticeship is an attractive option. Quite simply, it provides you with the necessary skills, to kick start your career early and really hit the ground running.


With a university degree, unless you are lucky enough to fall straight into a job, you’ll perhaps still have to go through a rather lengthy recruitment process when you finish your degree.


What is also worth considering is the funding of your degree. You may have to pay up to £92502 per year in tuition fees as well as buying books, equipment or materials you may need for your course and your living costs.


Which leads us to…


How Much Will an Apprenticeship Cost Me?

Unlike going to university, you won’t need to pay to do your apprenticeship. You will learn from experienced professionals and gain qualifications that can really accelerate your earning potential.


The cost of your apprenticeship training is covered by your employer and the government, all whilst you earn a wage, whereas with a degree you can start your working life with anything up to £50k3 of debt.


How Much Will I Earn When Doing an Apprenticeship

Whilst there is no set wage for apprentices, your employer is legally obliged to pay you the National Minimum Wage4, with many paying higher wages.


The amount you’ll earn can vary from company to company.  Some companies will pay you more but remember, as your skills and knowledge develop, your wage will go up!


Is an Apprenticeship a Real Job?

Despite the myths you shouldn’t be expected to just do photocopying for days on end (well, unless you have photocopying that needs doing of course) and you should only make the tea when it’s your turn… You’re a valuable part of the business!


Most apprenticeships are full-time just like a regular job. The ESFA (The Education and Skills Funding Agency) states that the number of hours worked must be at least 30 per week, just seven-and-a-half hours less than the 37.5 worked on regular contracts. This can be reduced but only in exceptional circumstances. Apprenticeships must also last for a minimum of 12 months, and normally last between one and four years.5


One thing to be aware of it that you are signing up for an approved apprenticeship scheme. There have been cases reported in the headlines, where some large companies have been offering apprenticeships which do not meet the standards that have been set out by the Skills Council, to claim Levy fees. If in doubt, talk to a respected apprenticeship provider, such as Eden Training Solutions. We are happy to provide advice if you are unsure.


Another common misconception is that apprenticeships are just for trade jobs. That’s not correct, apprenticeships cover a huge range of different industries, from childcare to the media, so you are sure to find something that aligns with your own career aspirations.


What Will I Get from Doing an Apprenticeship?

Over the course of your apprenticeship, you’ll work towards gaining respected qualifications, this may be an NVQ or an HND, for instance. The job market is competitive, and qualifications are what most modern and respected employers are looking for.


Again, NVQs aren’t just restricted to industries such as engineering or for people who want to be a chef. NVQs are available in Business Administration, Fitness and IT Skills, to name but a few. In fact, in some industries these specific certificates can be more relevant and valuable than gaining a degree.


In short, if you want to build transferable skills, gain meaningful qualifications and build a strong CV that will attract future employers, then an apprenticeship is an excellent choice.


Want to find out more about apprenticeships and what they can offer you? At Eden Training Solutions we have lots of information to help you get started on your journey and kick start your career. Get in touch today.





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How To Get Started With The Levy (5 Minute Read)
Posted: June 1, 2018


Apprenticeships aren’t a new thing, they’ve been around for a long time but they’re still the best way of securing the longevity of your business: providing your employees with skills, knowhow and the motivation to succeed.

The Government promised to create 3 million new apprentices by 2020. In fact, they have now made it easier, especially for larger businesses to access funding for training, by introducing the Apprenticeship Levy from. This came into force from April 2017.

The government Levy gives you the opportunity to use the Levy pot to upskill existing employees through apprenticeships or graduate schemes, in addition to hiring new apprentices into the organisation.

Here’s a brief run down of the Apprenticeship Levy, to help get you started.

What Is The Levy & Does It Apply To Your Business?

The Apprenticeships Levy is a payment that will be collected from large employers in both the public and the private sectors. The payment is paid to the HMRC via PAYE returns. The purpose of the levy is to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes and to raise additional funds to improve the quality and quantity of apprenticeships.

So, You Are A Levy Paying Company, But How Much Are You Going To Have To Pay?

The levy threshold is calculated by the size of your company’s payroll and so if you have a wage bill of over £3 million, you’re already paying 0.5% into a levy pot to spend on apprenticeship training.

So, if your business does fall into this category, here’s how it works out for you:

£3M payroll x 0.5% (levy amount) = £15,000 (amount owing pre-allowance) – £15,000 (levy allowance) = £0 (levy payable)

If you have a payroll of £6 Million, then it works out a little like this:

£6 Million payroll x 0.5% (levy amount) = £30,000 (amount owing pre-allowance) – £15,000 (levy allowance) = £15,000 (levy payable).

This money will be paid monthly and will go into the companies digital account.

Good To Know

As the money goes into your digital account it gains a 10% top up from the government. This means that for every pound that you pay in, the Government add 10p – good to know! Take the £6 Million model for example, this would equate to an extra £1500 and £16,500 in total, to go towards training and assessments.

Is There A Time Limit To Use Levy The Funds?

Yes, it is worth remembering that there is a time limit to use these funds. If you haven’t used the money within 24 months of them appearing in your digital account, you’ll lose them to the government.

What About Employees Who Started After April 2017?

For those apprentices who started with you before April 2017, their funding will continue being funded in the same way it has since the start of their course.

So, What About Non-Levy Paying Businesses?

There is also been a new funding system for businesses that fall under the levy paying cut off. To start off you will choose the apprenticeship and training provider that you want to deliver it and agree a cost for that training with the provider.

The Government will ask you to contribute to the cost of that training, providing that you agree to a payment schedule, which can be spread over the lifetime of the apprenticeship. The Government will pay their part of the training cost directly to the training provider.

The Government is also offering three additional incentives to employers. These inceptives can be claimed when the following criteria has been met:

* If an apprentice is aged 16-18 when they start.

* When the employer is an SME (Less than 50 staff).

* When an apprentice completes their training, the employers will receive a bonus payment.

With these incentives, it is possible that 100% of training costs could be covered by the Government.

What About The Unused Funds?

You have only 24 months in which to use your unused levy funds before they are transferred into a general apprenticeship funding pot for other companies to access.

Upskilling Your Staff

Apprenticeships don’t just have to be used to train a school leaver, they can also be used as a great way to upskill existing staff.

Upskilling has several benefits to your business, including an increase in productivity as new skills can enable staff to work more quickly and accurately, so saving you money. Again, more customers are retained through improved customer service delivered by your staff, which goes hand in hand with better communication between staff and your customers. Giving your staff better communication tools through training will encourage more participation which leads to them contributing more effectively.

Don’t forget that an area of upskilling your current workforce that shouldn’t be ignored is motivation. If they feel you are investing in them then they will be naturally more motivated, and this is likely to have a knock-on effect on the existing team. This need to feel more accomplished will feed into another benefit from upskilling; improved retention. With staff staying with you for longer, potentially their entire career, then your costs on recruitment will be greatly diminished.

Ready to Start?

The Apprenticeship Levy is a great and simple way to fund apprenticeships and gain valuable skills for your business, be sure not to miss out!

To find out more, contact us and we can help to guide you through the process and adding value to your business.


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The Myths About Ofsted
Posted: May 14, 2018

OFSTED, just their name is enough to make your blood run cold if you’re managing a childcare setting, I mean, you’ve got enough on without Ofsted coming and poking their nose in, disrupting your children and scaring your staff to tears, right? Well maybe it isn’t all that bad.

Okay, joking aside, inspectors often encounter a lot of myths about inspection, so we thought we’d help out and dispel some of these myths to help if you’re hosting Ofsted.

Myths make it harder on everybody and impact on those they inspect. So we’ve launched a guide that features the top 10 myths and facts that should be read alongside the Early years inspection handbook.

Ofsted aren’t in the game of tricking people or catching them out, even if you feel like it sometimes, they’re looking to see settings as they are. They don’t want people worrying about what they think they require, when that may not be the case. So, what are those commons myths? Download our free PDF guide here

This myth busting guide is just an overview and more information can be found at I would encourage everybody to get in touch with Ofsted directly if they come across other frequent misunderstandings.

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Employer of the year
Posted: March 14, 2018

Congratulations Derwent stepping stones, you have been announced as Eden Training Solutions’ Apprentice Employer of the Year 2018.

Why Derwent Stepping Stones?

Here’s what Abigail Wigmore, Head of Operations at Eden Training Solutions had to say:

“Eden-ts have been working with Derwent Stepping Stones since 2017 and have developed a fantastic working relationship with them. Janet (CEO of Derwent Stepping Stones), Paul Taylor (Qube) and I work together tirelessly to build training packages that meet the needs of the Derwent Stepping Stones team. Janet explained that equal opportunity and helping support the local community is at the heart of their ethos which struck a chord with me as I feel we have the same ethos here at Eden-ts.”

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Apprentice of the year
Posted: March 14, 2018

Congratulations Casey Hanlan, you have been announced as Eden Training Solutions’ Apprentice of the Year 2018.

Why Casey?
Here’s what Ryan Ward, Director at Office Monster, the service-led, online office supplier that Casey works for had to say:

“Casey completed her apprenticeship with us in January 2018 and is a credit to our company.

“If it wasn’t for Casey being so fantastic, we may not have continued with our apprenticeship programme here at Office Monster.

“As such, we feel that Casey deserves to be recognised as a positive role model for others. She has proven that when you apply yourself and work hard, you can learn and develop your career as an apprentice.

“Since starting, Casey has consistently performed and met all of her targets. Furthermore, she has given us the confidence to invest in two further apprentices.”

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£10 off your first Amazon order for Eden Apprentices!
Posted: September 27, 2017

NUS card holders are able to claim £10 off their first Amazon order over £40 for a limited time only!

This Offer is only available to customers who are a member of Prime Student at the time of purchase. This Offer ends at 23:59 BST on Sunday November 12 2017.

For more information on this offer, click here to see the full terms and conditions

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Free Castleford Tigers Tickets!
Posted: September 19, 2017

As a part of our month of Eden, we are giving away 2 tickets to see the Castleford Tigers semi finals! To enter just follow us on our Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Each action will earn you one chance to enter our competition, for a maximum of 3 entries, so for your best chances to win, follow us everywhere!

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Pizza Express winner!
Posted: September 15, 2017

Congratulations to the winner of our Pizza Express competition! Laura D Louise will be receiving a voucher for Pizza Express! We’ll have more competitions all month for Edens 9th Birthday, so keep checking all of our social media for our future competitions!

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Pizza Express Giveaway!
Posted: September 11, 2017

Another week in the month of Eden! To celebrate out birthday month we’re giving away prizes every week on our social media! to be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is like our Facebook page and follow the instructions on this post!

Best of luck to everybody, the winner will be announced later this week!

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Competition winners!
Posted: September 8, 2017

Congratulations to the winners of all of our competitions!

Lee Carter is taking his son to see the Steelers vs the panthers this Sunday!

On top of that, Karen McDougall has won our £10 Amazon to spend on icing for decorating

Our final Amazon voucher is going to Emily Vaughan to spend on a new game

Keep a look out for our competitions that are running all month!

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