Upskill your staff

Why take an Apprenticeship?

We aim to bring together the quality employment with supportive local businesses to provide an amazing range of outstanding vocational courses for your future career.

We place over 700 young people into Apprenticeships every year.

It’s important to us that we support you every step of the way to securing your placement. You may have an employer in mind or you simply know what type of job role you want but haven’t secured employment yet.

Once you have applied to one of the programmes our training and recruitment advisers will be in touch to support your application and engagement on the programme.

They will also be with you every step of the way and will be one of the first to congratulate you on your future success. We have access to over 800 employers across the region that will give undoubtedly give you a head start in the world of work.

Apply now, enquire or call the Apprenticeship hotline on 01392 400800 to find out more.

  • 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 not more about the minimum wages
  • On an Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills (ECMS) Apprenticeship programmes, you will attend our facilities for one day a week over 12 – 24 months, though you may attend on block release or full-time depending on your employers requirements and depending on the vocational area that you want to work within and the level of the programme that you are studying.

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.

What are the benefits for your business?

Are you looking to upskill your employees or attract new talent? The Elite Centre’s apprenticeship model has a number of benefits for employers.

Helping to fulfil the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership’s goal to close the skills gap in the local economy, the scheme will enable you to:

  • develop a highly skilled, professional workforce
  • train your current workforce, bringing new knowledge and skills into your business
  • acquire new talent, including high-calibre school-leavers
  • create opportunities for progression within your organisation
  • access the expertise available within the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills.

If you’re a UK employer with an annual pay bill over £3 million, from April 2017 you’ll contribute to the new Apprenticeship Levy, requiring you to make an investment in apprenticeships.

Not only will you bring all-important higher level skills into your business, you’ll also benefit from government incentives including a £15,000 allowance to offset against your levy payment.

To find out more about the Apprenticeship Levy and how your business can start getting the most out of apprenticeships ahead of the changes, get in touch with the University of Wolverhampton’s Apprenticeship Hub.

Structure of an Apprenticeship

Each apprenticeship comprises of the following areas:

  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 fulltime 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 me and 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

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