Topic outline

  • Introduction

    Trailblazer apprenticeships have been specifically developed by employers to provide a comprehensive training programme preparing animal technologists for their roles as animal technologists.  They contain the skills, behaviours and knowledge required to be effective animal technologists.

    We will be offering:

    • a level 2 apprenticeship designed for technicians new to the industry and just beginning their career in animal technology
    • a level 3 apprenticeship designed for those preparing to become licenced technicians.

    These apprenticeships are specifically for apprentices in England. If you’re an employer with operations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you may also want to contact the local apprenticeship authority:

    Apprenticeship summary

  • Level 2 Animal Care Apprenticeship

    This apprenticeship provides the basic skills, knowledge and behaviours required to maintain and care for laboratory animals. As part of the apprenticeship the apprentice will complete the IAT Level 2 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science & Technology.

  • Level 3 Animal Technologist Apprentices

    This Apprenticeship is designed for technicians who have completed their IAT Level 2 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science & Technology and who have a genuine interest furthering the welfare of laboratory animals and good science. This Apprenticeship offers employers a chance to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours of junior technicians in preparation for the demanding role as a Licenced Animal Technician. 

    The apprentice will develop the technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with the functional and personal skills, required to be an effective Personal Licence Holder. These are acquired through a combination of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context.

    The apprentice will complete the IAT Level 3 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science & Technology as part of the apprenticeship.

  • Recruitment

    There are rules governing what an apprenticeship is. The main ones are:

    • the apprentice must be employed in a real job; they may be an existing employee or a new hire
    • the apprentice must work towards achieving an approved apprenticeship standard or apprenticeship framework
    • the apprenticeship training must last at least 12 months
    • the apprentice must spend at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training

    Employing an apprentice is very simple. The National Apprenticeship Service can provide all the information you need to know in order to employ an apprentice.

    There is also the Apprenticeship employer helpline

    Email: Telephone: 08000 150 600

  • Employer's Responsibilities

    The employer is responsible for employing the apprentice for a minimum of 12 months, this includes paying the apprentices’ wages, for more than 30 hours a week. Employers must pay at least the National Minimum Wage for apprentices, although most pay their standard rate for the role. It must be a genuine role.

    The employer must ensure that apprentices have an appropriate induction to the apprenticeship and their specific organisational role.  They must also ensure access to suitable training (20% must be away from the work place) and mentoring is available. Apprentices must have the right to work in England and at least 50% of their work must be in England.

    Venture Forward will work with the employer to support the mentor, and provide training and record keeping for the apprenticeship.

    Apprenticeships can be used to train both new and existing employees.

    Further information can be found at

    • Venture Forward's responsibilities

      Venture Forward will provide the apprentices with:

      • an induction to the apprenticeship
      • access to a dedicated virtual learning environment containing learning, support and training materials
      • on-line, Skype and telephone support from IAT accredited assessors and experienced trainers that have relevant animal technology and post-graduate teaching qualifications and experience

      Venture Forward will support the employers by providing:

      • standardisation training to support in-house training & assessment of apprenticeship competency
      • support for audit trails, record keepingand quality assurance
      • work based visits
      • telephone and Skype to support witnesses, mentors and assessors 
      • Training

        Venture Forward will continue to deliver the Institute of Animal Technology Level 2 and 3 qualifications as part of the apprenticeships using a mix of on-line and face to face delivery. We will also prepare the apprentices for the external End Point Assessment.  The fees for the apprenticeships  can be met from the Apprenticeship Levy paid by your organisations. The Levy can only be used for new skills needed as part of the apprenticeship.

        We will also be running regional workshops where apprentices from different organisations can meet and get additional tuition and support.

        • Assessment

          During the apprenticeship the apprentice will get a lot of formative assessments helping them create a robust portfolio of their learning achievements. They will also complete the relevant IAT qualification.

          The End Point assessment is the final assessment which determines if the apprentice has successfully completed the apprenticeship.

          20% of the apprenticeship costs goes towards this summative End Point Assessment. You can only spend the funds in your digital account or access government support to pay for approved assessment organisations that are listed on the Register of apprenticeship assessment organisations. These organisations must be separate from your own organisation and Venture Forward.

          • Next steps

            Contact us to get the process started:

            • Identify your apprentices from within the workplace or externally.  The following website is useful if you are looking externally
            • Select candidates and carryout any security checks you may require.
            • Induct apprentices and we start their training.
            • We help monitor and review the apprentices progress, keeping records of any assessments or evidence that demonstrate that they have covered the assessment criteria leading to the End Point Assessment.
            • You will get regular visits and support from Venture Forward & Cambridge Regional College throughout the process.
            • At the end when the apprentices are ready Venture Forward will organise the End Point Assessment with the Recognised Assessing Organisation.