QEST, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust famous for the scholarships it awards to skilled craftspeople who want to advance their skills, last year piloted an Apprenticeship Scheme in a bid to support new talent to the craft world as well as to address the nationwide issue of youth unemployment.
The organisation reports that the pilot was a success. QEST sponsored six apprentices and four more at the start of 2015. Feedback has been positive from both apprentices and their employers.
QEST is now looking for the next round of apprenticeship applications. Deadline to apply is 28 August, so you need to move quickly. You can find out how to apply here. Interviews for those whose applications are selected will be held on the week commencing 16 November.
In the future, QEST will hold scholarship interviews each spring and apprenticeship interviews each autumn.
Criteria for the QEST Apprenticeship Scheme:
- You are a ‘team’ consisting of both apprentice and employer – you have already established a working relationship and are required to apply together. Please note that it is obligatory for both apprentice and employer candidates to attend the interview should you make it to this final stage in the assessment process.
- The apprentice must show acumen and dedication, and must envisage working with the company long term.
- The employer must offer the opportunity to an individual who would otherwise be unable to take this career path. They must demonstrate why they are in need of QEST’s funding to employ the apprentice and must agree to support the apprentice with at least the minimum wage for 3-5 years.
- We do not accept applications to undertake courses (MA, PGDip, short courses, etc) at educational institutions. For this sort of training you would be eligible to apply for QEST Scholarship funding, interviews for which will take place in spring 2016. Check the website again toward the end of 2015 for information regarding Scholarship applications.
Support from QEST will cover:
- Funding to supplement wages above the minimum Apprenticeship wage
- Funding to supplement training and equipment / material costs
- A brief document outlining how to deal with any VAT issues that may arise from receiving ‘income’ for taking on an apprentice
- A meeting with a mentor, if needed, to help structure the apprenticeship.