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Employer FAQ's

What funding am I entitled to? Will Government funding pay the salary of my apprentice? 

The Government’s Apprenticeship Levy will cover between 95% and 100% of the cost of the training for your apprentice, depending on whether or not you pay into the Apprenticeship Levy. If you do contribute as a company, the Levy will cover the entire cost of upskilling your employee. If you do not contribute to the Levy, you will need to contribute up to 5% of the cost of the training. Speak to your SoM representative to discover whether you are Levy paying or not, and what contribution (if any) you are expected to pay. In either instance, the Apprenticeship Levy will not pay the salary of your apprentice – this is the responsibility of you, the employer. 

How much should I pay my apprentice? 

The apprentice minimum wage is currently £4.81 per hour but at SoM we recommend offering a more realistic salary. Our apprentices work hard to gain their qualification alongside their jobs and should be offered a salary to reflect this. As such, we recommend offering an annual salary of at least £16,000 to your apprentice, depending on their role and experience. 

How many hours per week should my apprentice be contracted to work? 

It is recommended that your apprentice has a full-time contract (25 hours+) so that they are able to carry out the tasks set in the training, alongside the tasks of their role (as set by you, the employer, in their job description). The training is designed to enhance your apprentice’s day job, not distract away from it, and so a part-time role would not be suitable for one of our apprenticeships. 

What are ‘off-the-job’ hours and how many will my apprentice need to allow for each week? 

Off-the-job hours (OTJ) refers to the time your apprentice will need to spend on carrying out training tasks and project work required to meet the learning objectives throughout the apprenticeship training. The official guideline from the Apprenticeship Service is that the employer should allow their apprentice 6 hours each week to fulfil training requirements, whilst still carrying out their day-to-day tasks. 

What is my involvement in the process, if any, as the employer/line manager? 

In our experience, apprenticeships work best when the apprentice has strong support from within their organisation and so you will be involved in providing this support to your apprentice. You will be asked to attend the initial interview with your apprentice and the Onboarding Manager at SoM. This is an informal interview to ensure that all parties can be formally introduced and is a chance to discuss motivations and expectations. You are also expected to take part in regular ‘Progress Reviews’ with your employee and their personal coach. These take place roughly every 10 weeks and usually last between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the level of support required. These reviews are an integral part of the programme and ensure that the learner is receiving optimal support throughout their training.  

What is the duration of a SoM apprenticeship? 

At SoM, our apprenticeships are 15 months long – 12 months of training + 3 months EPA (End Point Assessment). 

Learner FAQ's

What is the duration of a SoM apprenticeship? 

At SoM, our apprenticeships are 15 months long – 12 months of training + 3 months EPA (End Point Assessment). 

How does the assessment process work?

There are five work-based assignments you must complete, which will be marked by your tutor each semester. On completion of your learning and submission of all assignments, we will support you in preparing and building your portfolio of evidence to showcase at EPA. (End Point Assessment). Guidance will be given on expectations from you at EPA as the portfolio of evidence will be discussed with your Assessor.

Who pays my salary whilst on my apprenticeship? 

Your employer is responsible for paying your salary (via PAYE) whilst you are undertaking your apprenticeship training.  

What GCSEs do I need to be eligible for an apprenticeship? 

In order to take the EPA (End Point Assessment) at the end of your training, you will be required to have a GCSE (grade C / level 4 or above) in Maths and English. Don’t worry if you don’t possess these right now, at SoM we can advise you on how to achieve your Functional Skills in Maths and English whilst carrying out your apprenticeship so that you’re ready in time for EPA.  


You will undertake a Functional Skills assessment in Maths and English regardless of your GCSE grades – this is to ensure we can provide additional support in these areas if necessary. 

How will I access the learning? 

All SoM learning material is delivered virtually. You will be able to access everything you need to carry out the learning via your SoM online learning portal. We recommend that you take part in the live sessions, but if an occasional schedule conflict occurs, all sessions are recorded and accessible within the portal for you to catch up on. 


Your employer should provide the equipment necessary to enable you to take part in the training.  


What additional support does SoM provide?

At the start of your apprenticeship you will be assigned a dedicated skills coach who will support you with your learning, EPA preparation, OTJ hours, pastoral care and more. 


Each module will be led by an expert tutor who will help you meet all your learning objectives through interactive workshops. The learnings from these sessions will help you to develop skills and knowledge required for your day-to-day role. 


You will also have a nominated mentor at your place of work (usually your line manager) who should offer support to you throughout your training and accompany you in your progress reviews with your SoM skills coach. 


In addition to this, you’ll also have access to the SoM WhatsApp group and learning platform which includes additional learning resources.  


You will also be invited to EPA Readiness sessions to help you prepare for your End Point Assessment. EPA resources and guidance can also be found on your learning portal.


Your mental health and wellbeing is important to us. If you have any issues or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact your tutor, jane@schoolofmarketing.co.uk or amber-rose@schoolofmarketing.co.uk

What happens if I do not pass an assessment?

There are four possible gradings: Develop Further, Pass, Merit and Distinction. If you achieve Develop Further in your assignment, then you have seven days to resubmit your assignment to improve your grade. We can arrange a 1:1 with you to discuss your tutor feedback and support you with this in the best way we can. Please contact your tutor, jane@schoolofmarketing.co.uk or amber-rose@schoolofmarketing.co.uk if you have any serious issues or concerns.

What is Gateway?

Gateway is the door between the two core stages of the apprenticeship.


Stage one of the apprenticeship is where you gain knowledge and skills of digital marketing. Stage two is where you demonstrate that competence at End Point Assessment, where you will be expected to complete a synoptic assessment. This is external to SoM.

How involved should my line manager be?

Your line manager should support you at every step of your learning journey. Your line manager is expected to help you identify assignment projects, support your professional development and help you manage your learning hours and workload. They will also be expected to attend your 1:1 meeting with your tutor each semester. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact jane@schoolofmarketing.co.uk or amber-rose@schoolofmarketing.co.uk.

I’m having issues with the SoM learning portal

If you have any issues with the SoM learning portal, whether that be access to Semesters or tutorial links, or uploading learning hours or your assignment for example, please contact amber-rose@schoolofmarketing.co.uk or david@schoolofmarketing.co.uk as soon as possible.

How many hours of learning will I need to undertake each week? 

The official guideline from the ESFA is that a minimum of 6 hours each week should be allowed for you to fulfil the apprenticeship training requirements. These are known as “off-the-job hours” (OTJ) which are based on your contracted working hours. To fulfil your OTJ hour target, you’ll be expected to attend online tutor-led sessions (over 1-3 days of workshops each month), job shadowing, group discussions, mentoring sessions, building your portfolio of evidence and many other tasks/activities.  These OTJ hours should be taken during your normal contracted working hours. Your skills coach will be on hand to support you with this. 

How do I upload my assignment?

Log in to the SoM learning portal. Once logged in, visit your dashboard then select ‘My Progress’ from the left-hand side menu column. Select the relevant semester assignment ‘View’ button. Here you will be able to upload your assignment evidence via the purple box. 
When saving and uploading your assignment file for submission, please use the following naming convention:
Semester Number_Your Name_ Title of Work _Version Number_Date
E.g. Semester 4_Joe Bloggs_Overcoming Problems Through Stakeholder Collaboration_Version 1_17/11/2021
Before uploading your assignment to the platform, please ensure that the file is within the maximum upload size. You may need to compress any large images or video files in order to ensure that you do not exceed the following limits:
• Document: 60 MB
• Audio: 100 MB
• Video: 200 MB

What should I include in my assignment cover sheet?

You will be required to complete section 1 of the cover sheet, indicating the page number or section of the work you are about to submit which covers the Technical Competencies and Underpinning Skills, Attitudes and Behaviours. A witness testimony is also required from your Manager to support this before submitting for marking which is to be recorded in section 2.

What’s the difference between a 1:1 and a Progress Review?

You will be expected to have a 1:1 meeting with your tutor and line manager between Week 2 and 3 of each Semester. This is an opportunity to ask any questions you or your line manager may have, address any issues or concerns, get assignment project advice and so forth.


Your Progress Review should occur approximately every 12 weeks, (Week 6/7). This is an opportunity to check in with you and see how you are finding the Semester and together, we will establish some SMART objectives to help you progress. It is not mandatory for your line manager to attend, however they will be expected to share feedback on your learning journey so far. You, your line manager and SoM will be required to sign and date the progress review once completed.

How do I get access to my cohort calendar?

Once you have completed your onboarding process, we will send you a calendar invitation to your email address. This is where you can access tutorial links and other learning sessions quickly and efficiently. Please contact amber-rose@schoolofmarketing.co.uk if you have any issues or questions.

How will I be assessed? 

End Point Assessment (EPA) will be dependent on the apprenticeship programme you have enrolled on. Usually this consists of portfolio evidence, knowledge exams, a professional discussion and an employer reference. At the end of your learning, we will arrange a meeting with you and your line manager (this is known as Gateway), where we will review your progress and ensure you’re ready for EPA. You won’t progress to EPA until all apprenticeship requirements have been met. 

I have a degree, can I still take part in an apprenticeship? 

Yes, as long as your degree doesn’t conflict with the apprenticeship subject. For example, if you hold a degree in Digital Marketing, you wouldn’t be suitable for our Digital Marketing Apprenticeship because the qualification you possess is at a higher level than what our apprenticeship offers. 

What hours do I work? Do I get holidays and time off? 

You will work the contracted hours agreed with your employer at the start of your employment and you will be legally entitled to take the annual leave as set out in your contract.  You will be given your programme schedule at the beginning of your apprenticeship, so you can plan your annual leave accordingly. There will be breaks between each of your learning modules where we encourage you to take annual leave. If your planned annual leave conflicts with any of your learning sessions please inform your skills coach. 

How much will I get paid? 

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £4.81 per hour. At School of Marketing, however, we encourage the employers we work with to pay a minimum annual salary of £16,000 to their apprentices in their first year. This is, however, dependent on your employer. 

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship? 

  • Get paid a salary whilst training throughout your apprenticeship, with no university debt 
  • Boost your employability by gaining nationally recognised qualifications 
  • Gain exposure to industry experts and learn from their experiences  
  • Open up future opportunities, whether that’s in further education or a better paid job 
  • Get a feel for the work environment and improve your transferable skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving  
  • Enjoy student discounts with an NUS card and/or TOTUM Pro card 
  • Ability to apply to professional bodies including CIM and BCS 
  • Receive a free copy of ‘The Marketing Playbook’ by our CEO, Ritchie Mehta 

Onboarding FAQ's

When is your next apprenticeship intake? 

All new learners will be onboarded on to the next available module workshop for their chosen programme, given approx. four weeks’ notice so we can start the learner journey as soon as possible and give them time to settle in and complete their onboarding paperwork. 


What needs to be completed at enrolment? 

  • Setup of the employer account within the Apprenticeship Service system 
  • Interview with employer, learner and SoM  
  • Initial assessments in Maths and English 
  • Enrolment form 
  • Individual Learner Plan and Skills Scan 
  • Functional skills exemptions 
  • Consent form  
  • Next of Kin 
  • Copy of learner’s ID 


Once we have the completed enrolment form, we will then complete the following: 

  • Commitment Statement  
  • Full registration on Digital Apprenticeship Service Account (funding) 
  • Apprenticeship Agreement 
  • Ace 360 upload (future step for EPA) 

What are the next steps post-enrolment? 

Once we have everything we need, the learner will be invited to an induction to welcome them to the programme. Learners will be sent calendar invitations to their upcoming workshops and will also be given access to the SoM learning platform, where they can begin their self-study. The skills coach will be in touch with the learner to arrange their 1:1. 

Eligibility FAQ's

In order to take part in an apprenticeship with SoM, there are certain eligibility criteria that need to be met. An apprentice must: 

  • Be over the age of 16 
  • Be living in England for at least 50% of their working hours 
  • Be in employment with a PAYE registered company 
  • Be paid a salary via PAYE 
  • Not undertake any other qualification during the apprenticeship 
  • Not already hold a qualification at the same level or above in the same subject that they wish to study 
  • Have lived in the UK continuously for 3 years 


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