Apprenticeships are a way of combining Government-funded training with work, so if you're employed this may be the best option for you to learn while you earn.
To be eligible you need to be in paid employment for more than 16 hours a week and have lived in the UK or European Union for at least three years.
The Apprenticeship is a framework of qualifications, and you must pass all of them before you leave training. These include:
-Functional skills tests in maths, English and ICT
-Personal Learning and Thinking Skills and Employment Rights and Responsibilities.
Apprenticeships are Government funded for eligible learners.For entry requirements see the individual course pages. From May 2017, non-levy paying employers - small and medium sized businesses - are required to contribute 10% of the costs of training, and learners are not legally allowed to pay this fee. Large employers can fund the entire cost through the Apprenticeship levy.
This is another source of Government funding that can cover all or some of the costs of your course, especially for Level 2 qualifications. This funding is mainly aimed at people looking to get back into work, and most of the courses we offer are taken for half a day a week, during term times to make it easier to combine your studies with your responsibilities at home.
Depending on your circumstances you can combine together qualifications to get the most out of your time in training, for example you can choose additional courses such as Functional Skills qualifications in English or Maths, and Workskills to help you get and keep a job.
If you're unemployed, in receipt of benefits and have lived in the UK or European Union for the last three years we can cover the full cost of a Level 2 course, and also the full cost of a Level 3 course if you're aged 19-23.
If you're employed then we may be able to offer part-funding – contact us for more information.
Advanced Learner Loans
If you're aged over 19, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for your course fees.
The loans are operated by the Student Loans Company which provides funding for Higher Education courses in the UK. Loans can be taken out for courses at Level 3 or above but are not available at Level 2. For more information see www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan/overview
You can finance up to four qualifications at the same time through Advanced Learning Loans, which can help with subjects such as Management, where there are separate NVQ and BTEC qualifications which are designed to be taken together. You can also choose to add Functional Skills qualifications or GCSEs in English and Maths at no extra cost.
Your loan does not need to be paid back until you earn at least £21,000 per year and you have up to 30 years to re-pay it. To apply you need to ask Smart Training for a letter which will contain all the details you need to use the loan website.
The Student Loan Company has specific eligibility criteria but will not carry out a credit check. If you don't hold a UK passport you will need to send in original identity documents.
The Advanced Learning Loan may not cover the full cost of your qualification – there may be a small top-up fee to pay; please contact us for more information.
Either you or your employer can choose to pay for your course fees if you're not eligible for any Government funding and don't want to take out an Advanced Learner Loan.
You can either pay the fees at the start of the course by bank transfer, credit or debit card, or by direct debit in monthly instalments for the duration of the course.
Fees are non-refundable if you leave the course early.
How to pay for fees:
If you're paying your own course fees or choose to take out an Advanced Learner loan then you may have a small top-up fee to pay. Here are your two options for payment:
Direct Debit – If you want to pay by Direct Debit just complete the Direct Debit Mandate at your sign up meeting and Smart Training will do the rest. You can spread the cost across the length of your course but you need to have paid in full before you finish training.
PayPal – Smart Training uses Paypal to process all credit and debit card payments or you can use your own Paypal account. Details of how to pay using Paypal will be on your invoice when you apply for the course. This option works best if you want to make irregular payments or pay your full fees in advance.
Full course fees need to be paid before training is finished. If you decide to take a break in training we will re-invoice you for any remaining fees that are due when you return. However, your payment options may change over time and we cannot guarantee the same payment option will still be available. Fees are payable at the start of training and are non-refundable if you leave the course early.
Interested in funding options?
Try our super smart funding finder.Funding finder
The training was great. The tutor was extremely encouraging and supportive - always willing to take the time to explain things to my staff and talk them through if they didn't quite understand something.
Gemma – Head of Staff Development