Employers FAQ

Employers FAQ

If you have a question that is not answered below chat to us online or email hassan@appscluster.com

What is an apprenticeship?

What is an apprenticeship? Apprenticeships combine employment with government funded training. Employers can bring raw talent into their business whilst accessing government funding, and develop their skills and productivity in line with their business needs. For the apprentice, it provides a structured framework to learn skills that will launch them into the world of work.

A collaborative process

A successful apprenticeship programme requires strong collaboration between:

Apprentice Brings the attitude and drive to start their career, with a willingness to invest time in developing their own skills. They offer a business flexibility, new perspectives and realistic expectations for a low initial investment.

AppsCluster Mobile App Development Apprenticeship Provides sector speicifc training and work-based assessment. Expert recruiters match employers’ needs to apprentices’ skills, saving you time and money. We offer support and consultancy before, during and after the apprenticeship programme.

Employer Pays apprentices’ salary, commits to nurturing the skills of their new staff, and gives support and mentoring for longer term benefits. Gives their apprentice a safe, positive working environment with opportunities to progress.

What is the pre-apprentice work placement?

What is the pre-apprentice work placement?

The work placement is distinct to the 12 months apprenticeship period. The work placement is an opportunity for you to test drive a trainee. There is no obligation to pay or cover expenses.

What if we do not have a live android, iOS product or development?

AppsCluster is working with a wide range of firms from established business to business developers, start ups to well known consumer apps. Companies with no live Android or iOS product will be utilising the work placement to produce or improve their product specification document, or other R&D work.

Does the work placement need to take place in our office?

No the work placement can consists of meetings and the trainee working from home, we feel this option reflects the reality with much of the work in the tech sector.

When will the work placement need to take place?

For companies wishing to take part in Cohort 1 (12 month apprenticeship starting in Feb 2014) the work placement will take place between 2nd of Jan 2014 and 15 Feb 2014. For companies choosing to take part in Cohort 2 (12 Month Apprenticeship beginning in July 2014) the work placement will need to take place in June 2014.

More questions: chat to us online or email hassan@appscluster.com

Why choose AppsCluster?


AppsCluster are  the first to offer a accredited training in Android and iOS development covering object oriented programming and Eclipse and Xcode.

We worked closely with employers, entrepreneurs and developers to ensure that the right technical and professional skills are covered in the training.


AppsCluster’s apprenticeship training is structured so that training is front loaded and apprentices progressively increase their working hours as their competency in mobile development develops.

Our apprenticeship programme consists of 30% training and 70% work, one of the highest ratios of training in any apprenticeship programmes.

Front-loaded technical training

Around 75% of all training takes place in the first six months of your apprenticeship – this boosts their productivity faster.

Our trainers are experts in their fields and are part of team dedicated to a narrow focus on the fast changing sector of mobile application development.


AppsCluster always teaches the latest versions of Android and iOS operating systems.

Regular contact from dedicated staff

Once your apprentice has started work, you’ll be given a dedicated support team responsible for looking after your progress.

They will help you:

  1. draw up your training plan

  2. send you advance notice of  training weeks

  3. assess your apprentice’s portfolio of work-based training

  4. visit every 6-8 weeks to discuss their work and update their schedule with you

  5. ensure your apprentice achieves the targets you set

Detailed training schedules

We will draw up a training schedule for your apprentice’s learning so you can anticipate

  1. when your apprentice will be away on training

  2. what skills they will be learning

  3. projects you can allocate

  4. when they will achieve their qualification

  5. balancing their course workload with their role

Moving forward – ongoing consultancy

When your programme nears its end, AppsCluster  will give you further advice and guidance on how to create a personal development plan for your apprentice’s ongoing role:

  1. wider projects, roles and teams

  2. suitable salaries

  3. Advice on other support and qualifications available

Apprenticeship recruitment service

AppsCluster provides full recruitment support for your apprenticeship.

We work with a network of schools, colleges, careers professionals and recruitment websites to promote your vacancies and build a talent pool of candidates ready to step into work.

We only put forward candidates that show the maturity, attitude and ability to succeed in your business.

We offer:

  • Consultancy to identify your roles

  • Job advertising

  • Sifting and shortlisting of CVs
  • Initial assessment and face to face interviews

  • Opportunities for you to meet the candidates during their training

  • Shortlist of final interview candidates

How will an Apprenticeship benefit my business?

Apprenticeships can help businesses across all sectors by offering a way to find fresh new talent. Apprenticeships ensure that your workforce has the practical skills and qualifications your organisation needs, now and in the future. The mixture of learning and on the job experience ensures they gain the skills that work best for your business. Apprentices can help you to be more competitive and productive. Training apprentices also costs less than hiring qualified staff, reducing your training and recruitment costs. If you employ less than 1000 people, you may be eligible for a £2,500 grant per apprentice you employ.

Business requirements

There is no business size requirement in order to employ an apprentice. Our only requirements would be that you have a developer working on an active iOS or Android project. We also expect that you are able to provide a safe and clean environment for the apprentices to work in as well as a line manager to supervise their learning progress.

Do I have any responsibilities?

Your main responsibility as an employer, is to provide the opportunities for young people to safely achieve the skills and knowledge required for them to be recognised as competent in your industry.

The following list indicates events leading to recruitment of apprentices in 2013-14:

  • Your apprentice may be required to attend college one day a week.
  • As the employer you will be expected to fully support your employee by giving them tasks which relate to their work role along with time to complete them effectively.
  • From time to time the assessor will make appointments with the apprentice and their supervisor to complete reviews, action plans and observations etc.

How will I select an individual to become an Apprentice at my company?

AppsCluster will work closely with you to find a suitable candidate, we can help advertise your vacancy, both on private training providers and on the National Apprenticeship Service website. Once a Job Description and Person Specification is tailored, wee can then select the most suitable applicants for you to interview.

If you already have a candidate in mind, then we can help. Email us with your request at appscourse [a] appscluster.com and we will begin the training process for your staff member.

When will they start? How long will it take?

Apprentices can start at any time during the year. It normally takes no more than a year to complete, but there is flexibility.

Because AppsCluster plans to provide an intensive period of training prior to the apprentice starting his or her role we will coordinate an appropriate time table that balances your needs and the training needs of the apprentice.

How AppsCluster will support you:

To assist you with finding the right people and training them to your requirements, AppsCluster will carry out a large proportion of the process, from promotion and recruitment to training.

We aim that 100% of those who complete the apprenticeship, will achieve qualifications in all required outcomes. This is attributed to a number of factors including the closely scrutinised recruitment process and the continuous assistance offered by AppsCluster throughout the programme.

  • Recruitment:

    • Recruitment can be a time-consuming and costly process.  AppsCluster will ease the burden by providing template Job Descriptions, Job Adverts, Apprentice Contracts and facilitating effective inductions.

  • Aptitude Testing:

    • All applicants will undergo aptitude tests during the early stages of recruitment.  Tests include Numerical, Verbal and Logical Reasoning. Test results indicate suitability for jobs in programming.

  • Interviewing:

    • Copies of aptitude test results are provided to employers to enable joint shortlisting. Template application forms are supplied to each employer partner prior to interviews, which are carried out by the employer. AppsCluster will also provide template interview questions and scoring sheets

  • Induction:

    • AppsCluster will introduce apprentices to their portfolio and provide all material required to achieving relevant qualifications.

  • Monitoring:

    • AppsCluster will be responsible for assisting you with your apprenticeship programme and will visit the regularly company every 6 to 8 weeks to monitor progress and deal with any queries that may arise.

How is the Training Funded?

The programme is funded by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) under ApprenticeshipsNI.

AppsCluster act as an agent in administering and paying out funding to employers on achievement of apprenticeship outcomes.

A grant of up to £2,500 is available for every Apprentice employers take on.

How much will it cost?


The minimum wage for apprentices aged 16-18 is £2.65 per hour. This also applies to those aged 19 and over, in their first year of an apprenticeship. Once your apprentice has completed the first year they then must be paid the standard National Minimum Wage.


Available funding can cover up to 100% of the training costs. For Apprentices aged 16-18 funding levels are more enhanced. Based on government funding priorities employers may be required to make contributions for apprentices aged 18-24. This will be discussed in further detail with you in your first briefing meeting.

Funding Opportunities

There are potential funding opportunities for employers who recruit a new apprentice aged 16-24. For further information about these funding opportunities, please visit the following links:



Will the apprentice be motivated?

Apprentices tend to be eager and flexible, as well as being loyal to the company that invests in them. An apprentice is with you because they want to be, they have made an active choice to learn on the job and have committed to a career in your sector.

What is the content of the training that AppsCluster Provide?

A thorough outline can be found on our page Mobile APP Developer Training Units

How will they learn?

The programme will be delivered using a variety of methods for learning and assessment. Our aim is to plan a learning program to suit your requirements, utilising a combination of the following methods;

  1. On site training

  2. One to one coaching

  3. Training manuals

  4. Bite sized lessons

  5. On line learning

  6. Video conferencing

  7. Taught sessions in College/Training room

How will I know when they are competent at specific tasks?

Assessment can be tailored to suit organisational needs as well as those of the apprentice, utilising a combination of the following methods;

  1. Observations

  2. Product evidence

  3. Professional discussions

  4. Written assignments

  5. Question and answer

  6. Personal statements

  7. Witness testimony

  8. Computer based assessments

  9. Recognition of prior achievement

What will happen when they have completed their Apprenticeship?

On successful completion, the Apprentice can progress within your organisation and or seek further advanced training. AppsCluster’s trained Advice and Guidance advisers will provide support and assistance to Apprentices and Employers.


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