You can use apprenticeships to train both new and existing employees.
SkillsActive works with active leisure, learning and wellbeing employers to develop Apprenticeships so the training is directly relevant to your industry. We can help you identify which of your staff is eligible for funded training. We can also broker relationships so small and medium sized businesses can access funding normally only available to larger companies.
Apprenticeship funding is available from the Skills Funding Agency in England and Wales, Skills Development Scotland in Scotland, and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland.
However, the size of the contribution varies depending on your sector and the age of the apprentice.
SkillsActive can help employers in England reduce costs and train more people by identifying which of your staff could be eligible for funded training. Our Funding Eligibility Service is a simple, effective way to improve your business performance by making the most of available funding.
Apprenticeships aren’t just for big businesses - small to medium sized businesses in England can afford to train Apprenticeships through SkillsActive’s Group Training Association (GTA).
The Group Training Association enables employers in England running small to medium enterprises to take on more new staff as apprentices. It does this by creating partnerships between employers so they can access funding and discounts normally only available to bigger companies.
There’s a wide variety of Apprenticeships available in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Select a country below to learn more about the types of Apprenticeships available in your area.
SkillsActive has worked with employers and training providers to develop a set of Apprenticeship frameworks. These outline the minimum requirements apprentices need to complete the apprenticeship at each level and for each occupation, ensuring apprentices develop the skills their employers need.
For information and documents relevant to apprenticeships your country, see Frameworks and Guidance
Find out about Apprenticeship framework updates and other news relevant to Apprenticeships.
SkillsActive works on behalf of the active leisure, learning and well-being sector to develop a framework of qualifications, training and continuous professional that meet employer needs, ensuring the workforce is properly trained and qualified.
Through our National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure, we deliver those qualifications, ensuring the training is quality assured, cost effective and relevant to employers’ needs.
Our national committees and regional structure ensure that our UK-wide remit applies to all of the home nations. In addition to this, some key areas of country specific work are detailed below.
As part of our national partnership agreement with Sport England, we support national governing bodies of sport (NGBs) with their workforce development commitments laid out in their 09/13 plans.
Our team of relationship managers work directly with NGBs to embed more highly skilled and qualified people into their sporting infrastructure, ensuring they have the right people with the right skills developing their sport at a club, county and regional level.
Find out more about our partnership agreement with Sport England >
Our Northern Ireland manager, Siobhan Weir, works with partners throughout Northern Ireland to address the skills needs of the sport workforce.
Our Scotland manager, Pam Scott, works with partners throughout Scotland to address the skills needs of the sport workforce.
Our Wales team, lead by Richard Tobutt, works with partners throughout Wales to address the skills needs of the sport workforce.
SkillsActive works on behalf of the sector to create and deliver the qualifications employers need and want.
We make sure employers can access the right qualifications, based on national standards designed by employers, so the workforce is properly trained and qualified.
Read more about the Qualifications and Credit Framework
SkillsActive works with employers to ensure Apprenticeships across our sector deliver the knowledge and skills their business needs.
Our Outdoors Employers' Group (OEG) membership and long term support for the Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee (AAIAC) ensures that our UK-wide remit applies to all of the home nations.
We are an observer on the English Outdoor Council and work closely with a range of stakeholder organisations and employers across both England and the UK, for example:
Although we work with a range of outdoor national governing bodies (NGBs) across the UK, we have a dedicated remit to assist Sport England recognised outdoors NGBs with workforce development.
Northern Ireland's rapidly expanding outdoors sector provided a perfect setting for a recent pilot of the Level 2 Award in Introductory Work in the Outdoors. The project provided valuable feedback on using the award as either a qualification or a set of standards within a number of different sized outdoors organisations.
SkillsActive's Northern Ireland Employer Committee has two outdoor employer members and we work closely with Sport NI and Outdoor Recreation NI / Countryside Access and Activities Network.
Visit the Northern Ireland pages for the latest news.
We maintain a Scottish outdoor employers' committee, which provides us with direction and guidance on our work from a Scottish perspective. The group provides links into the Scottish Adventure Activities Forum, Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education, as well as our overall SkillsActive Outdoor Employers' Group.
Visit the Scottish pages for the latest news.
Contact is maintained with key Welsh outdoor organisations, both directly and through key partner organisations such as OEG and AAIAC. Specialised support is regularly provided to our Welsh national manager.
SkillsActive's Welsh Executive Committee has one outdoor employer member and we work closely with Snowdonia-Active and the Outdoor Partnership. Our overall SkillsActive Outdoor Employers' Group has Welsh representation.
Visit the Welsh pages for the latest news.
British Fencing delivers fencing to 9500 members across the United Kingdom. British Fencing National Development Manager Ben Campion says due to rapid expansion of the sport, most of the organisation’s 14-strong development team have only been in post since 2010 and are geographically spread. They also have some ambitious participation targets to achieve by 2013, requiring the full commitment of the team.
“We needed a session together to work out our individual and team strengths and get a strong grasp of the objectives of the organisation so we’re all working together towards that vision rather than separately.”
In early 2011, Ben contacted his SkillsActive account manager about the need for team building training. The Relationship Manager worked with Ben on a proposal and then came back to him with a priced list of three consultants capable of delivering the session.
SkillsActive has a register of expert consultants to support employers and partners who need additional, sector specific expertise. They specialise in everything from business coaching and preparing funding bids through to governance and endorsement support and cost from £375 and £500 per day, depending on the task.
British Fencing selected Di Horsley who specialises in team building, change management, leadership development and one to one coaching. An accredited management performance coach and former NGB Senior Client Manager with Sport England, Di has a proven ability to motivate individuals and teams to achieve at a high level. Previous satisfied clients include ASA and the British Equestrian Federation.
Di set up a preliminary meeting with Ben to identify the key outcomes for the full day session. These were:
Di says: “Their main challenges were to meet their Sport England targets, particularly around participation, and to identify how they could change their ways of working to become a stronger, more effective team.”
Ben says the full day session delivered in April was “brilliant” and provided the British Fencing development team with clarity around individual expectations and the organisation’s future direction.
“The session helped us to understand how we can work together better as a team to achieve our Sport England growth, excel and sustain targets. We now have a shared understanding of where the business is headed and how we as individuals and as a team can contribute to that.”
To find out how SkillsActive can support your business please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Giuseppe Noto joined Tideway Sailability club, which provides sailing opportunities for able-bodied sailors and disabled people, after suffering a spinal injury in a construction site accident in 2005.
Giuseppe, who had to learn to walk again following the accident, had no previous sport experience but his wife encouraged him to pursue sailing as a form of physical therapy - and he took to it like a duck to water.
“I was a natural,” he says. “I loved the freedom of sailing a dinghy as well as the obvious health benefits. I was in a dark place but sailing gave me a new lease of life.”
In 2010, the club had too few instructors to meet demand from the community so Giuseppe decided to apply for subsidised dinghy instructor training through the Mayor’s Sport Legacy Fund.
Managed by the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure, the fund provides London volunteers with up to 75% off the cost of training to deliver a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The funding reduced the bill for Giuseppe’s dinghy instructor training from £400 to £100.
Giuseppe, who averages 100 volunteer hours a month at Tideway Sailing Club and Erith Yacht Club during summer, says the challenging four day training was “life changing”.
“It gave me my self respect back. It’s a big step up from being a casual volunteer and a huge privilege to help able and disabled people develop their skills and their confidence on the water, just as I did.
Giuseppe’s students include military veterans, partially blind people, and people with mental health problems.
“Sailing is one of the very few sports in which able-bodied sailors and disabled sailors can participate on equal terms. My goals are to take senior instructor training and, eventually, make this my fulltime career.”
Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Sailing Development Officer for London Steve Mitchell says 45 sailing club volunteers have received subsided training through the fund, including 24 RYA Dinghy Instructors, six RYA Power Boating Instructors, nine RYA Power Boat Level Two and six RYA Advanced Dinghy Instructors.
“Sailing clubs depend on members as volunteers to maintain all aspects of the club operation and so training and supporting them is very important.
“The funding has been fantastic at reducing the cost of up-skilling club volunteers and thereby creating a new flow of trained club members who can now give back to their club and support the new club members.
“Knowing the many clubs and individuals who have received this funding, I am confident these people will do over and above their agreed 25 volunteer hours. Giuseppe is a good example of how the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund will have a last impact on sailing in London.”
The London Borough of Redbridge Swimming Club (LBRSC) has 30 staff delivering sessions to 320 members, from learn to swim classes through to national swimmers and master’s classes. Sixty percent of staff are volunteers.
Chief Coach Paul Robbins says the club had previously struggled to find teachers qualified to level 2 to take classes.
“Becoming fully qualified is prohibitively expensive for many people, especially in the current financial climate, and unfortunately we can only offer volunteers a small amount towards their training costs. This meant we found it difficult to find good level 2 teachers, and struggled to find cover for teachers when they were ill or on leave.”
In 2010, several of the club’s staff began ASA level 1 and 2 swimming teaching and coaching training with support from the Mayor’s Sport’s Legacy Fund. Managed by the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure, the fund provides London volunteers with up to 75% off the cost of training in exchange for volunteering hours, to deliver a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
LBRSC volunteer teacher and coach Kelsey Richards received 75% off her UKCC level 2 certificate in teaching aquatics as well as her UKCC level 2 certificate in coaching swimming thanks to the Fund - and now wants to progress to level 3.
“I would not have been able to finance these courses myself and am really happy to be able to volunteer for both my club and the community of Redbridge,” she says. “I love the sport and want to be able to coach other swimmers to reach their maximum potential and be the best coach I can be.”
Paul says 90% of the club’s staff have now received funding through the scheme, and several members have also put their hands up for coaching training so they can take on roles at the club.
“The subsidised training has provided current staff with fresh ideas and enthusiasm for their job.
It’s also given our members the opportunity to give back to the sport and become great teachers and coaches working for the club and our pool provider, Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure.
“We now have an abundance of qualified teachers within the borough, which has enabled us and Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure to provide classes for 50 extra swimmers. We’ve also had a few people attend ASA Level 1 and 2 coaching courses, which is great as I can now look at developing younger adults into quality coaches.”
Paul says the funding has been “priceless” for the club: “Both LBRSC and Vision’s objective for some time has been to improve the quality of teaching within Redbridge and this funding has helped us achieve that. The newly qualified teachers are the future of our club and I’m confident they will remain in swimming long term.”
There are 23 Riding for the Disabled (RDA) groups across London, providing leisure and therapy opportunities to more than 2000 disabled riders.
British Equestrian Federation London representative David Gadsby says the service wouldn’t be possible without the help of more than dedicated 1000 volunteers who are responsible for everything from looking after the horses and ponies to instructing riders and fundraising.
“Our para-equestrian dressage team is one of the most successful in the world - indeed, two recent medal winning Paralympians started riding in London - and this is largely because of the volunteers who help deliver the scheme.”
David says every group has an extensive waiting list of potential riders and demand can only be met by expanding and upskilling the volunteer base. However, providing CPD for volunteers is not always affordable for the charity.
The RDA was therefore grateful to receive support from the Mayor’s Sport’s Legacy Fund with training 70 volunteers in RDA roles and procedures. Managed by the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure, the fund provides London volunteers with up to 75% off the cost of training to deliver a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
David says the funding reduced the cost for individuals from £160 to £40: “We’re delighted the Mayor’s Sport’s Legacy Fund could support our efforts to ensure the people who help deliver equestrian sport in London have the skills they need to support the growth of the sport within the capital and create a grassroots legacy for 2012 and beyond.” Funding recipient Marcia Wolsey, who has volunteered with the Horse Rangers RDA for 15 years, says proper training for RDA volunteers is especially important as they work with people with special needs and large, sometimes unpredictable animals, making for a potentially dangerous situation.
“The training provided me with new teaching methods and ideas for our classes, which has motivated our riders and volunteer helpers. It gave me a better understanding of our riders’ disabilities and how to work with them, and an overview of the RDA’s health and safety rules and regulations.
“Training helps us to understand and progress, so that we will remain loyal and so that we and our riders can gain maximum enjoyment from the experience.”
Fellow recipient Victoria Padolsey, who volunteers two days a week at the Hampton Court Palace RDA group, says: “When you are offered training as a volunteer you automatically feel part of the group and that the group is investing time in you. As a result, you are motivated to achieve better results for your riders.”