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Failed A-Levels To Apprentice At 10 Downing Street!

10 Downing Street

Josh Tapper has become a familiar face on our TV screens. For 3 years Josh featured on Channel 4’s Gogglebox, alongside his mother, father, and sister. However, Josh swapped commenting on the latest television shows to supporting the Prime Minister and the top members of her team by becoming an apprentice.

Josh took his A-levels at Yaven College in Borehamwood and had originally planned on studying International Relations at Birmingham University. After much thought, Josh decided to apply for the communication apprenticeship at the Civil Service. Josh was delighted to be selected as one of 27 successful apprentices and is now working alongside 2,000 staff members at Number 10.

One option available to students is apprenticeships. There have been 3.7 million apprenticeship starts since May 2010, with 1.31 million since May 2015 and the Find an Apprenticeship website – the Government’s database of apprenticeship opportunities – has over 19,000 vacancies on it at any one time.

The vast majority – more than 4 in every 5 – of apprentices believe that their career prospects have improved since starting their apprenticeship. Today, apprentices can learn and earn through a degree and higher level apprenticeship in a wide range of sectors, such as Law, Engineering, Digital, Chartered Surveying, Aerospace, and Nuclear. 



Chancellor Philip Hammond announced there would be an extra £80m released to help small firms take on apprentices.

Mr. Hammond, in his Spring Statement, said: "We’re committed as a government to delivering three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 with the support of business through the apprenticeship levy.


"What’s in it specifically for SMEs?

Small businesses with a wage bill of less than £3 million per annum will be required to make a 10% co-investment contribution towards the cost of any apprenticeship training with the government funding the remaining 90%. Larger employers who pay into the Levy will not have to pay the 10% contribution.


Businesses with fewer than 50 employees won’t be required to pay any apprenticeship training if they employ apprentices under the age of 19, and may also be eligible to apply to receive a VAT free apprenticeship grant of up to £1,500 to assist in employing a new recruit aged between 16 and 24.

For those employers already employing apprentices, anyone accepted onto training before May 1, 2017, will be funded for the full duration under the terms and conditions that were in place when that scheme started.


Who provides the Apprenticeship training and how does it work?

The training still needs to be provided by a Government approved list of training providers, however as part of the new system to further engage businesses in the apprenticeship programme employers themselves can also apply to become training organisations and help set the standards and framework for the apprentice training programmes.

Under the apprentice scheme, an apprentice attends training delivered by the training provider, for 1 day a week, and spends the remaining 4 days a week working in the business.


Who Pays the Apprentice’s Salary?

The apprentice salary is still paid for by the employer, as before. It is the costs of the training that the employer can now get funded as part of the new Levy scheme.


For apprentices under 19 (and those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship) the hourly rate of pay from 1 April 2017 is £3.50 ph.


If your apprentice is aged 19 or over, or if he/she has already completed the first year of their apprenticeship, they are entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage as follows:


£7.50 ph for workers aged 25+

£7.05 ph for workers aged 21 to 24 inclusive

£5.60 ph for workers aged 18 to 20 inclusive

Please also bear in mind that your new apprentice will become an employee of your company, and you will need to ensure that you have an Apprenticeship Agreement incorporated into your employment contract. A basic Apprentice Agreement by itself, will not replace the need for a written statement of particulars required under the terms of the Employment Rights Act 1996."

 - (Information provided by crossley.co.uk)


Josh Tapper and Neil Hammond spoke to Biz:

Let's Talk: Failed A-Levels To Apprentice At 10 Downing Street

Biz spoke to Gogglebox star Josh Tapper who swapped commenting on the TV show to now being an apprentice at 10 Downing Street joined by Neil Hammond, an advisor at National Careers Service.