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Where can I learn more about Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are structured training programmes which can help develop potential employees and deliver real value both to the business and the learners by turning raw talent into a corporate asset.

Apprentices learn through a combination of on-the-job training and external training with a local training provider or college. This gives every learner the chance to work with experienced staff, learn job specific skills and study for a work based qualification.

For more information, visit

What is the Apprenticeship levy?

The Apprenticeship Levy will be introduced from April 2017 and will apply to all UK employers, both in the private and public sector, if their annual pay bill is £3 million or more. The purpose of the apprenticeship levy is to fund an increase in the number and quality of apprenticeships.

The levy is payable on annual pay bills of more than £3 million. Employers with an annual pay bill of less than £3 million will not pay the levy. These employers will continue to have access to government funding to support apprenticeships.

For more on how the levy will work, follow this link

Are all of the providers based in the Marches?

No. But all of the providers in our directory provide training or qualifications in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. Some are based in the wider Midlands regions and others deliver their courses nationally.

Are all of the providers colleges and universities?

Many are – offering a variety of different courses at different qualification levels. However some providers are specialist training organisations offering bespoke in-house training, workplace courses and bespoke and in-fill courses.

What is the Marches Skills Provider Network?

The Marches Skills Provider Network CIC (MSPN) is a community interest company which includes all of the major colleges and private training organisations across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin in membership.

The Network’s aim is to ‘promote the awareness and uptake of work based skills and training across the Marches region, which contributes to the economic prosperity of the region.’

Members provide; apprenticeships from intermediate level 2 to higher level 4/5, vocational qualifications from level 1 to level 5 and bespoke short courses to enhance the skills of your employees. With 25 members the Network provides a comprehensive offer of services across an extensive range of occupational areas to meet the skills priorities of the region.

What do the different levels of qualification mean?

Infill Courses – a course which may or may not lead to a qualification
Bespoke Courses – a course which can be designed and delivered to specific employer requirements
Level 2 Qualifications – equivalent to five GCSEs, A*-C
Level 3 Qualifications – equivalent to two A-levels
Level 4 Qualifications – equivalent to HNCs or Certificate of Higher Education
Level 5 Qualifications – equivalent to a Foundation Degree
Study Programme – a course of up to one year for young people aged 16
or over which is usually targeted at level 1 or below and is a preparation for work,
Apprenticeships or further study.

Improving the skills of your workforce can bring big benefits to your business.

It can fill in skills gaps that you may have and encourage and commit employees to your business.