Heard about Apprenticeships but are not sure what they are?

Returning to work and would like to know where you can find information about child care support?

Have you just finished your GCSE’s and would like to know what are your options now?

Lots of changes have happened over the last decade and there are now more options in your education and choice of employment than ever before.

Please use our interactive FAQ’s below to find the answers or ask us your question using the ‘I don’t see my question’ box and a member of our Employment and Skills team will find it out for you.

GCSE's

GCSEs can be taken by anyone at any age but are the main qualification for 14-16 year olds. You can take GCSEs in a variety of subjects and they are assessed via written exams at the end of the course and some may have coursework/practical elements.

Grading for these qualifications is currently changing with grades D-F (3 to 1 in the new grading system) are at Level 1 and grades A*-C (9 to 4) are Level 2 qualifications.

GCSEs can lead to a variety of further qualifications and can be asked for to get into Sixth Forms, Colleges and Universities.

Maths/English/IT Skills courses

These qualifications are also known as Skills for Life qualifications, are designed to help you develop the skills you need in everyday life, such as reading, writing, maths or IT.

They are aimed at people over 16 years of age who have left compulsory education and do not have an up-to-date English or maths qualification at level 2.

English Baccalaureate

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a school performance measure. It allows people to see how many pupils get a grade C or above in the core academic subjects at key stage 4 in any government-funded school.

The EBacc is made up of:

  • English
  • mathematics
  • history or geography
  • the sciences
  • a language


For a further information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-baccalaureate-ebacc/english-baccalaureate-ebacc

Open University Access Modules

An Access module is an ideal starting point if you need to develop your study skills and build your confidence.

It may be the ideal for you if:

  • you have little or no experience of university-level study
  • you want to develop or refresh your study skills
  • you want to increase your confidence about studying


Students who prepare by taking an Access module are more likely to be successful in their future studies. For further information visit: http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/do-it/access

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is a two year programme for students aged 16-19 and is recognised by the leading universities. The programme has an emphasis on students' personal development as well as on academic development.

The DP curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP Core.

The subject groups are:

  • Studies in Language & Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals & Society
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts

    Through the DP Core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.  A school which is authorised to offer IB programmes is known as an IB World School. Check with your local Post 16 providers to check whether they offer IB programmes.

Access to Higher Education Dipolma

The Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma is aimed at people who would like to study in HE but who left school without the required qualifications at Level 3, such as A levels, BTEC Level 3, etc.

Access to HE Diplomas are available in a range of different subjects, such as Nursing, Art and Design, Business Studies and a range of others, so you should be able to find a course that caters for your interests or career ambitions.

For further information visit: http://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/Pages/Default.aspx

A & AS Levels

A (Advanced) levels are general academic qualifications valued by both universities and employers. Many students go on to study AS and A levels after their GCSEs, if they have the right grades. A levels are usually studied over two years.

AS levels are also advanced level qualifications, but are studied over one year. A levels in England (not in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) are changing - AS level examination results at the end of the first year of the course have previously counted towards the final result of the full A level (A2). This is no longer the case for many subjects as all A level exams are taken at the end of the course.

Both AS and A levels earn UCAS tariff points towards a place on a university course.

What A and AS levels you can choose will be determined by what is available in your school or college.

Higher Education Degree/Certificate/Diploma

Degrees, Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) and Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) are all higher education qualifications.

Degree courses are usually three years, or four years with a placement year and in some subjects such as law and medicine can take five or six years. Degree courses can lead to a BA (Bachelor of Arts) or a BSc (Bachelor of Science) qualification. They can also lead to a BEd (Bachelor of Education), BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) and  other titles.

A Diploma of Higher Education (Dip HE) course normally involves two years of full-time study and allows successful students to progress directly onto the final year of a degree programme.

A Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) normally involves one year of full-time study and might be your first step towards obtaining higher level qualifications.

Successful completion of a two-year Foundation Degree allows you to progress to the third year of an appropriate honours degree programme and HNDs can be used to gain entry onto the second or third year of a related degree course.

You can study for a Degree, DipHE, CertHE at universities, higher education colleges and via distance learning through the Open University. Courses start throughout the year, although most begin in September or October. UCAS (ucas.com) is responsible for managing full-time applications to higher education courses in the UK.

Options after the course?

Most graduates use their HE qualification to move into a job or profession. You could also use the qualification to go on to a postgraduate course of higher education, such as a post graduate diploma or masters degree.

Graduate Certificate/Diploma

Graduate Certificates or Graduate Diplomas are usually for those who already have a degree in another discipline and want to redirect their careers into another industry.

A number of universities offer Graduate Certificates and Diplomas which can be studied full time over one year or part-time over two, three or four years.

PhD (Doctorate)

A PhD or doctorate qualification requires you to undertake an original piece of research, working independently, with guidance from a supervisor.

Doctorate qualifications are offered by universities that offer research opportunities and usually take three years of full-time study to complete.

Many people start their Doctorate in order to develop an academic career as a researcher or lecturer.

NVQ

NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) include practical work-related tasks and are available in more than 1,000 subjects ranging from plumbing to hairdressing. They can be studied at school, college, or the workplace and are a good choice if you know what job you'd like to do.There are five NVQ levels, so you can start at a level that suits you and work your way up.

There are no age limits and no special entry requirements, although you might need to complete a Level 2 NVQ before starting a Level 3 programme.

NVQs test your abilities in the workplace. You'll complete training and the following assessment to prove you can do certain work-related tasks:

  • Portfolio assessment – where you build up evidence of what you've done at work.
  • Observation – where an assessor watches you work and checks that you can do the required tasks.

NVQs usually take about a year to complete an NVQ Level 1, 2, or 3.

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are real jobs with training, which give you the chance to gain a nationally recognised qualification while earning a salary. There are different levels available, including new Degree Apprenticeships. 

The apprenticeship levels are:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeships (equivalent to five good GCSE passes at grade A*- C)
  • Advanced Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A-level passes)
  • Higher and Degree Apprenticeships - which will lead to qualifications at level 4 - 7 (Foundation Degree through to Postgraduate qualification)


Apprenticeships are available in more than 200 roles across a wide variety of industry sectors, ranging from accountancy and business administration to construction, engineering, manufacturing and many more.

All apprenticeships include the following elements:

  • An appropriate work-based qualification such as a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ);
  • Key Skills qualifications, e.g. working in teams, problem-solving, communication and using new technology;
  • A technical qualification such as an NVQ, BTEC or City & Guilds; HNC, HND and,
  • Other qualifications as specified by the occupation.


Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16 years-old, whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career.

You will be linked to a college or training provider. In some cases the college or training provider might help you find an employer with a vacancy or you can search for local vacancies by visiting: https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch

Generally, an apprenticeship takes between one and four years to complete."

Technical Level Qualification

Technical Level qualifications (Tech Levels) are Level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A levels). 

They lead to recognised occupations, for example in engineering, IT, accounting or professional cookery.

Many Higher Education Institutions have also pledged support for Tech Levels.

Students who take one or more Tech Levels, a Maths qualification at Level 3 and undertake an Extended Project can achieve the Technical Baccalaureate.

BTEC Award

BTECs, City & Guilds and OCR Nationals are vocational qualifications, available in a wide range of subjects. Vocational qualifications offer practical learning programmes that relate to specific job roles or employment sectors.

There are many different types of vocational qualifications in a wide range of subjects at all levels, from Entry Level right up to Level 8.

Some schools offer vocational qualifications to students in Y10 and Y11. Many schools and all the colleges will offer vocational qualifications to post 16 and older students. 

The length of these courses varies from 3-4 months for short and specialist courses to around two years for a larger qualification.

These qualifications can lead to a job or further study. For example, you could progress from a qualification at one level to higher levels in the same or related area of study. This could eventually lead to professional qualifications. You could also use a level 3 vocational qualification as a route into higher education as many attract UCAS tariff points.

Applied General Qualifications

These are a range of Level 3 vocation qualifications aimed at filling workplace skills gaps which have been identified by employers. They are designed for students wishing to continue their general education at advanced level (Level 3) through applied learning.

Applied General Qualifications are taken by young people aged 16-19 and would normally be studied over 2 years.

After completing these qualifications learners can apply for a higher Apprenticeship, go to higher education or start work.

Foundation Degree

Foundation degrees are a mix of academic and work-based learning. They normally take about 2 years to complete full-time and are equivalent to the first two full-time years of an honours degree and can be topped up to an honours degree which would usually involve an extra year of studying.

Higher National Certificates and Diplomas

Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are work-related, or vocational, higher education qualifications at Level 5.

Find out more here: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/higher-national-certificates-and-higher-national-diplomas

Professional Development Courses

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that help you manage your own learning and growth.

For further information, visit: https://www.cipd.co.uk/

Where can I study?

You can study Higher Education at 3 different settings: at a Higher Education Institution (University), a Further Education College or online.

Visit University Compare to see what Higher Education settings are in your area or visit UCAS to see what Universities offer the course you would like.

How much does it cost to go to University?

"Fees for Universities can vary quite a bit and it depends on which University you go to and which course you choose.

If you chose to go to a University in England they can charge up to £9,250 in Tuition fees.

Funding is available to help with Tuition fees as well as maintenance loans and student grants, to find out more about these please visit https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

Also, remember when you go to University that you will need to live somewhere; the NUS/Unipol Accommodation Costs Survey in 2012/13 found the average rent outside of London was £4,834 and in London was £6,143. Most Universities will tell you about the living cost at their University on their website, just search for living costs on their website.

Are there any grants and loans available?

Through Student Finance https://www.gov.uk/student-finance you may be able to borrow money to help pay for university or college tuition fees and to help with living costs. You might get extra money on top of this, for example if you’re on a low income, are disabled or have children.  

To see how much you are entitled to visit the Student Finance Calculator https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator

There are also a range of additional funding available from bursaries and scholarships to charitable and education grants, to find at more about these please visit https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/finance-and-support/additional-funding or search on your chosen Universities website.

What is a Further Education College?

A Further Education College (FEC) can offer courses from entry level through to higher level qualifications such as HNC/HND and degree courses. 

An FECs Higher Education provision may be more restricted than that of a University, however the qualifications that the do offer will be reflective of the local labour market.

What courses can I study?

There is a huge variety of courses that you can study at Higher Education and choosing which one can be difficult. Have a look at what interests you and what qualifications you might need in the future.  

Visit UCAS's 'what to study' page https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/getting-started/ucas-undergraduate-what-study for more advice and information.

How do I apply for University?

All applications to UK Universities are made online through UCAS. For 2017 entry, the application fee is £13 for a single choice, or £24 for more than one choice. 

The majority of courses have a deadline to apply for in January, though some are as early as October or as late as March so make sure to check.

There are several stages to applying for a courses including giving information about yourself, student finance, your course choices and a personal statement. For more information about applying visit https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/filling-your-ucas-undergraduate-application or go to here if your are ready to apply https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/register

Can I study online?

Some Higher Education courses can be studied online or studied in flexible ways; therefore it is worth checking if your course offers distance learning.


Alternatively, you could study at the Open University which is an online University and most courses have no formal entry requirements, for more information visit https://www.open.ac.uk

Is there any support for parents?

In England there is 3 types of financial support for students with children or adult dependants.

These include:
Childcare Grant - You can get up to 85% of your childcare costs depending on your household income. https://www.gov.uk/childcare-grant/overview

Parents' Learning Allowance - This is for students with dependant children to help with course related costs; You dont need to be paying for childcare to qualify for this. Depending on your household income, in the 2017 to 2018 academic year you could get between £50 and £1,617 a year. https://www.gov.uk/parents-learning-allowance/overview

Adult Dependent's Grant - This is for full-time students who have an adult who depends on them financially such as husband, wife, partner, civil partner or a relative. If you are eligible the grant can be up to £2,834 for the 2017 to 2018 academic year. https://www.gov.uk/adult-dependants-grant/overview

What additional support is there?

There is further financial support for students: in financial hardship, with disabilities, who are care leavers and independent students who have no contact with their family.

For more information about all these areas please visit https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/finance-and-support/additional-funding

I've finished University, what can I do next?

If you have graduated you have several options after you finish University. 

You could continue on studying at University and gain a posgraduate qualification to help develop specialist in-depth knowledge of your undergraduate discipline. 

Alternatively, you could enter the world of work or apply for a graduate programme, however if you do not know what you can do with your degree visit PROSPECTS for more information https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree.

Other options you have could be to get involved in volunteering or take a gap year.
Visit PROSPECTS for more information and advice for what you can do after University. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/

How long will a Higher Education qualification last?

If you study for a degree it will usually take between 3/4 years if you study full-time. If you study a degree part-time it typically takes around 5 years to complete but could last as long as 10 years, and this all depends on your time and personal circumstances.

If you continue on and study a Masters qualification these can last 1 year full-time and 2 years part-time. 

What is a sandwich courses?

"Some Universities offer sandwich courses, where one some of your studying takes place working in industry or studying abroad. 

A sandwich course usually last four years at degree level, with the third year of your degree being soent gaining work experience or foreign study in a related field to your degree.

Not all Universities offer sandwich courses and if you would like to find out more visit https://www.brightknowledge.org/knowledge-bank/education-pathways/studying-at-university/what-is-a-sandwich-course 

What are the growing industry sectors in Wiltshire?

Between 2010 and 2020, total employment in Wiltshire is expected to grow by around 17,500 jobs across sectors including hospitality and computing services by 2,200 jobs. Manufacturing will continue to be significant.

By 2020 it is projected that more than 1 in 4 jobs will require more employees qualified from Level 3 upwards and especially to degree level and above in the coming years.

The financial services sector employs around 8% of the work force and is regarded locally as a ‘growth industry and a major economic driver’. Key professions include actuaries, underwriters, investment accounting and insolvency.

Wiltshire and Swindon have identified key sectors which will be important to the economy in the future through growth and the demand for more employees. The driver of growth will be a move towards larger numbers of individuals employed in more skilled and higher value-added roles in the following priority growth sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing including automotive
  • Health and Life sciences
  • Digital technologies
  • Finance and professional

To find out more visit our Labour Market Intelligence page, where we have provided documents giving you more information about some of the industry sectors in Wiltshire.

Where can I study?

There are many ways to access learning and training.

You may choose a further education college or a school sixth form. They all offer different types of qualifications, such as vocational, life and work skills, foundation learning as well as a range of GCSE’s, AS and A levels. Or you may prefer to gain qualifications while training with an employer. You can search here for courses by area: http://www.careerpilot.org.uk/providers?view=map

Are there any grants and loans available?

"You could get a bursary to help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16 to 19 and:

  • studying at a publicly funded school or college in England (which is free to attend)  - not a university 
  • on a training course, including unpaid work experience

A bursary is money that you, or your education or training provider, can use to pay for things like:

  • clothing, books and other equipment for your course 
  • transport and lunch on days you study or train


The Student Bursary Support Service portal enables young parents and childcare providers to manage Care to Learn applications.

What courses can I study?

Further education (FE) courses range from basic English and maths through A levels to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs).

FE also includes 3 types of technical and applied qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds:

  • Level 3 tech levels to specialise in a specific technical job 
  • Level 2 technical certificates help get employment or progress to another tech level 
  • Applied general qualifications to continue general education at advanced level through applied learning

Use the National Careers Service course search to find further education (FE) courses by course name, provider or subject: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/course-directory/home

What's the difference between College and a Sixth Form?

A college will offer you a different learning environment to that experienced at a school's sixth form. This is why some students choose to take their A levels, or vocational qualifications, at an FE college rather than stay on at their local school after taking GCSEs.

Can I study online?

You can also take courses through the internet or email (known as ‘distance learning’). This is available through many FE colleges and distance learning providers like The National Extension College: https://www.nec.ac.uk/ 

Will I have to study English and Maths?

All students aged 16 to 18 starting or who have already started a new study programme of 150 hours or more on or after 1 August 2014 and who do not hold a GCSE grade A* to C, new GCSE 9 to 4 or equivalent qualification in maths and/or in English, are required to be studying these subjects as part of their study programme in each academic year. This also applies to students of 150 hours or more aged 19 to 25 that have a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

What are the growing industry sectors in Wiltshire?

Between 2010 and 2020, total employment in Wiltshire is expected to grow by around 17,500 jobs across sectors including hospitality and computing services by 2,200 jobs. Manufacturing will continue to be significant.

By 2020 it is projected that more than 1 in 4 jobs will require more employees qualified from Level 3 upwards and especially to degree level and above in the coming years.

The financial services sector employs around 8% of the work force and is regarded locally as a ‘growth industry and a major economic driver’. Key professions include actuaries, underwriters, investment accounting and insolvency.

Wiltshire and Swindon have identified key sectors which will be important to the economy in the future through growth and the demand for more employees. The driver of growth will be a move towards larger numbers of individuals employed in more skilled and higher value-added roles in the following priority growth sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing including automotive
  • Health and Life sciences
  • Digital technologies
  • Finance and professional

To find out more visit our Labour Market Intelligence page, where we have provided documents giving you more information about some of the industry sectors in Wiltshire.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training… so you can earn while you learn and pick up some recognised qualifications as you go. Apprenticeships are aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 24 or adults aged 25 and over.

As an apprentice you’ll be employed and will study for a qualification with the full support and commitment of your employer. Apprenticeships involve a mix of classroom learning and practical hands-on experience in various settings. People who have been in a particular industry for a while, but have a new job role, may also be considered for an apprenticeship.

Who delivers Apprenticeships?

Colleges and Private Training Providers deliver Apprenticeships through various delivery models to suit employers (day release, block release or workplace) ensuring the delivery is most appropriate to the skills and knowledge to be developed.

What Apprenticeship Levels are there?

There are three types of Apprenticeship you can apply for depending on your current skills and qualifications:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeships, where you would work towards Level 2 qualifications and Functional Skills
  • Advanced Apprenticeships, where you would work towards Level 3 qualifications and Functional Skills
  • Higher Apprenticeships, give you the opportunity to gain level 4 qualifications and, in some cases, work towards a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation Degree
  • Degree Apprenticeships, where you can gain a full bachelor's or master's degree as part of your Apprenticeship."
  • What industry sectors do Apprenticeships cover?

    There are Apprenticeships covering more than 170 industries across the UK, including: Art and Design, Accountancy, Business Administration, Construction, Computing and IT, Customer Service, Energy, Engineering, Food and Drink, Hairdressing, Health and Social Care, Hospitality, Leadership and Coaching, Manufacturing, the Motor Industry, Performing Arts, Retail, Science, Sports Management, Supporting in Schools, Working with Children.

    What funding is available for Apprentices?

    • 16 -18 year olds: Full training cost met by the Skills Funding Agency
    • 19+: Skills Funding Agency may contribute up to 50% of the training cost
    • Apprenticeship Grant to Employer (AGE 16-24): £1500 per new apprentice if employer has not had apprentice within the last 12 months and has fewer than 1000 employees. Max 10 grants per employer
    • Wage Incentive: up to £2,275 each for employing a disadvantaged or disabled 18 to 24 year old from the Work Programme for at least 26 weeks."

    What is the Apprenticeship Grant to Employers?

    The apprenticeship grant for employers of 16 to 24 year olds (AGE 16 to 24) aims to support businesses, who would not otherwise be in a position to do so, to recruit individuals aged 16 to 24 into employment though the apprenticeship programme.

    The Skills Funding Agency will provide AGE 16 to 24 to eligible employers, in respect of qualifying apprentices, with an individual value of £1,500.

    AGE 16 to 24 is for employers with fewer than 50 employees, who are new to apprenticeships or haven’t enrolled a new recruit or existing employee onto an apprenticeship programme in the previous 12 months. Employers can be paid up to 5 grants in total.

    If you are interested in finding out more about the AGE 16 to 24 Grant please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/388156/AGE_Employer

    What are the benefits to employers?

    • "Better-trained employees, with the right skills
    • Provide your employees with industry specific expertise directly relevant to the business
    • Improved productivity
    • Business specific training to creating immediate positive impact to business
    • Motivated and loyal workers
    • Apprentices feel valued, which makes them motivated
    • Progression pathways available to higher qualifications, Foundation Degree, Degree and Professional Qualifications
    • Potential managers / leaders of the future
    • Improved retention especially in high turnover sectors
    • Apprentices are five times more likely to stay with a company than their peers who have not undergone Apprenticeship training (Labour Force Survey 2001–2004)."

    What qualifications do I need to do an Apprenticeship?

    The entry requirements for an Apprenticeship vary on which level of Apprenticeship you apply for and which employer it is with. Qualifications aren't always required but typically for an intermediate Apprenticeship you will need a few GCSEs or equivalent and for an advanced Apprenticeship usually you'll need at least 5 GCSEs, ideally with English and Maths, and some employers would also prefer that you have some Level 3 qualifications as well.

    Can I do an Apprenticeship at any age?

    You must be 16 or over to start an Apprenticeship. There is no age cap to be an apprentice.

    What's the minimum wage an Apprentice gets paid?

    Apprentices under 19 years old, or are in the first year of their Apprenticeship will be paid at least £3.40 per hour. If you are over 19 and you are past the first year of your Apprenticeship then you are entitled to the national minimum wage for your age, to see how much this is visit https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

    Where can I find out about Apprenticeship vacancies?

    "The majority of vacancies are advertised through the National Apprenticeship Services website https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship and these can also be viewed on our website in the Apprenticeship section on the vacanices page.
    Some employers also advertise on their websites especially larger businesses so if there is a company you would like to work for it is worth checking their websites."

    What are the growing industry sectors in Wiltshire?

    Between 2010 and 2020, total employment in Wiltshire is expected to grow by around 17,500 jobs across sectors including hospitality and computing services by 2,200 jobs. Manufacturing will continue to be significant.

    By 2020 it is projected that more than 1 in 4 jobs will require more employees qualified from Level 3 upwards and especially to degree level and above in the coming years.

    The financial services sector employs around 8% of the work force and is regarded locally as a ‘growth industry and a major economic driver’. Key professions include actuaries, underwriters, investment accounting and insolvency.

    Wiltshire and Swindon have identified key sectors which will be important to the economy in the future through growth and the demand for more employees. The driver of growth will be a move towards larger numbers of individuals employed in more skilled and higher value-added roles in the following priority growth sectors:

    • Advanced manufacturing including automotive
    • Health and Life sciences
    • Digital technologies
    • Finance and professional

    To find out more visit our Labour Market Intelligence page, where we have provided documents giving you more information about some of the industry sectors in Wiltshire.

    Where can I get advice for applying for jobs?

    If you are looking for a job, a good way to start is by searching a database of jobs held by Jobcentre Plus: https://www.gov.uk/jobsearch

    How do I start a business?

    What you need to do to start a business depends on your type of business, where you work and whether you take people on to help.

    Click here for further information: https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business

    I'm in the army and I've been relocated to Wiltshire. Is there any help for me?

    Wiltshire Council is working closely with key partners to ensure the right level of facilities and services including education, transport, leisure and healthcare provision are in place in time for the relocation of service personnel and their families.

    See more at:   http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/army-basing

    Is there any support with child care?

    From September 2014 the law changed to allow more two year olds to benefit from free childcare than ever before. In Wiltshire the funding is called ‘Better 2gether Funding’. - See more at: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/child-care-free-early-education-funding-for-2-year-olds#sthash.oX7fJllL.dpuf

    There is also support for all 3 to 4-year-olds in England, who can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year. If this is taken during term-time only, this would work out as 15 hours a week over 38 weeks of the year.From September 2017, the government will increase the free early education or childcare for families who meet certain criteria to 30 hours a week (if used over 38 weeks a year), see the Department for Education's (DfE) Childcare Bill. - See more at: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/child-care-free-early-education-for-3-and-4-year-olds#sthash.K76UCeiR.dpuf

    Other support can come through child tax credit which is eligible for parents who work 16+ hours and have children under 16 or under 20 and in eligible education and training, find out more here (https://www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit/overview).

    You can also see if your employer offers childcare vouchers which allows you to pay for childcare out of your pre-tax and national insurance income. to find out more visit (http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/childcare-vouchers).

    What is the minimum wage?

    The current minimum wage rates are:
       
    25 and over- £7.50
    21 to 24- £7.05
    18 to 20-  £5.60
    Under 18-  £4.05
    Apprentice- £3.50
       
    National Minimum Wage rates change every October. National Living Wage rates change every April.

    What is a zero hour contract?

    Zero hour contracts are also known as casual contracts. Zero hour contracts are usually for ‘piece work’ or ‘on call’ work, eg interpreters.

    Zero hour workers are entitled to statutory annual leave and the National Minimum Wage in the same way as regular workers.

    Employers are still responsible for health and safety of staff on zero hour contracts.

    I'm in education, am I entitled to anything?

    You could get a bursary to help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16 to 19 and:

    • studying at a publicly funded school or college in England (which is free to attend)  - not a university 
    • on a training course, including unpaid work experience
    • A bursary is money that you, or your education or training provider, can use to pay for things like:

        • clothing, books and other equipment for your course 
        • • transport and lunch on days you study or train
          • Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/1619-bursary-fund/overview

            The Student Bursary Support Service portal enables young parents and childcare providers to manage Care to Learn applications. Find out more here: https://studentbursarysupport.education.gov.uk

    Are there any business grants and loans available?

    For national finance and support for your business please visit https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support-finder or for information on start up loans visit https://www.gov.uk/start-up-loans

    For local Wiltshire support and advice visit the Wiltshire Business Support Service http://www.enterprisewiltshire.co.uk/business/support-and-advice or visit the Wiltshire Council business advice and support page http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/business-advice-support

    What childcare support is there?

    From September 2014 the law changed to allow more two year olds to benefit from free childcare than ever before. In Wiltshire the funding is called ‘Better 2gether Funding’. - See more at: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/child-care-free-early-education-funding-for-2-year-olds#sthash.oX7fJllL.dpuf

    There is also support for all 3 to 4-year-olds in England, who can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year. If this is taken during term-time only, this would work out as 15 hours a week over 38 weeks of the year.From September 2017, the government will increase the free early education or childcare for families who meet certain criteria to 30 hours a week (if used over 38 weeks a year), see the Department for Education's (DfE) Childcare Bill. - See more at: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/child-care-free-early-education-for-3-and-4-year-olds#sthash.K76UCeiR.dpuf

    Other support can come through child tax credit which is eligible for parents who work 16+ hours and have children under 16 or under 20 and in eligible education and training, find out more here https://www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit/overview

    You can also see if your employer offers childcare vouchers which allows you to pay for childcare out of your pre-tax and national insurance income. to find out more visit http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/childcare-vouchers

    Am I entitled to benefit support?

    To find out what benefits that you are entitled to visit (https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits)  or visit (http://www.jobcentreguide.org/claiming-benefits) for a guide to benefits.

    What disablity support is there in Wiltshire?

    The Wiltshire Local Offer provides information about the support and services for 0-25 year olds with special educational needs and or disabilities. It includes information on education, health, social care, leisure, travel, money, parent support organisations and the Special Educational Needs and /or Disabilities (SEND) Service, visit (https://www.wiltshirelocaloffer.org.uk/

    Adult care information can be found through the your care your support Wiltshire website, please visit (https://www.yourcareyoursupportwiltshire.org.uk/health-and-social-care/living-with-disability.aspx)

    Can I get help with transport?

    There are a variety of types of transport available to people across Wiltshire, to find out more please visit (https://www.yourcareyoursupportwiltshire.org.uk/getting-out-and-about/transport-in-wiltshire.aspx)

    Im young and unemployed what help is there?

    For young people aged 16-19 who are not in education, employment, or training (NEET), Wiltshire Council offer a NEET Personal Advisor service, for more information please ring: 01225 718230
    Alternatively you could visit your local Job Centre or visit http://www.jobcentreguide.org/

    I'm unemployed what help is there?

    You could visit your local Job Centre or visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/working/finding-job
    Alternatively you could visit http://www.jobcentreguide.org/ for information about JobCentre Plus, job hunting and claiming benefits.

    I'm not sure what benefits I'm entitled too?

    To find out what benefits that you are entitled to visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits  or visit http://www.jobcentreguide.org/claiming-benefits

    for a guide to benefits.

    Where can I find out about Wiltshire statistics?

    To find out about Wiltshire education, employment and skills statistics please visit our Data Dashboard page in the Poicy and Data section.

    Where can I find out about Government Policies?

    Government policies can be be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/government/policies. Alternatively you can search by policy area https://www.gov.uk/government/topics.

    I'd like to learn more about Employer statistics?

    The UK Commission for Employment and Skills is a publicly funded, industry-led organisation that offers guidance on skills and employment issues in the UK. 

    They also produce employment and employer statistics such as: the Employer Skills Survey, the Employer Perspectives Survey and Working Futures. 

    What is Wiltshire Council's strategy for Employment and Skills?

    Wiltshire Council on behalf of the Wiltshire Education, Employment & Skills Board, has produced the Wiltshire Education, Employment and Skills Strategy 2014-2020 which will guide the way in which key partners work together to respond to Wiltshire’s economic growth priorities whilst developing an inclusive economy that will provide equality of economic opportunity for all. 

    Through implementation of this strategy we aim to put employers at the heart of the employment and skills/education system in Wiltshire to drive growth in the Wiltshire economy and provide a structured and co-ordinated partnership approach to sustained engagement in education, training or work across all age and client groups.
    The strategy can be viewed in our Policies and Data section on the Employment and Skills Strategy page.

    Post Graduate qualification

    Masters level courses are known as 'postgraduate' qualifications. Generally, they lead to four main types of qualification:
    •postgraduate certificates
    •postgraduate diplomas
    •masters degrees
    •doctorates

    Most types of postgraduate qualification will include taught and research elements and many offer opportunities for part time study. There are a huge range of subjects to choose from which are are often linked to a specific profession. You can study a subject that's new to you, or choose a subject that builds on the knowledge and skills you gained during employment or education.

    For Master's courses, the normal entry requirement is a degree. However, universities also value skills, experience and knowledge gained through work and life and other qualifications.

    You can study for a postgraduate qualification at universities and via distance learning through the Open University and, sometimes, as an external student of a university.

    Postgraduate qualifications normally take between 9 and 12 months to complete full-time or longer part-time.
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