SASE? What’s That?

When you’re preparing to start an apprenticeship, you’ll be hearing the term SASE quite regularly and, unlike in those days before e-mail when the SASE stood for “self-addressed sealed envelope” those initials now stand for “Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England”, which was published in January 2011 by the National Apprenticeship Service, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education.

Acting as a governing body, the SASE defines the minimum requirements to be included in a recognised English Apprenticeship framework. All businesses and organisations taking on apprentices have to comply with it. Designed to promote fairness and transparency, SASE offers the most positive experience for apprentices, ensuring, for example that they are entitled to more than 180 hours of guided learning per year and, if necessary support to improve numeric and literacy skills.

In short, SASE is designed to ensure, “All apprenticeships deliver high quality, nationally-recognised qualifications relevant to the skill, trade or occupation of the learner and employer.” Their words, not ours, but we can hardly disagree. A tight and efficient apprenticeship scheme is more likely to lead to more work for apprentices, internally and externally. It also could go some way to explain a level 2 apprentice is likely to earn 73,000 more in a lifetime than a university leaver, a figure that reaches over 100,000 at an advanced level.

Over 85000 employees offer apprenticeships in 200 different roles, with the government soon to make a major push in funding in this area by 2014-15. As university fees rise, places decrease and the job market shrinks, an apprenticeship scheme can be a rewarding and relevant answer for those looking to continue their education.

Businesses looking into an apprenticeship scheme approach SASE first with an interest or proposal. Next, staff from their Sector Skills Council will assist in the development of learning programme to meet current standards and apprentices’ goals. Once the framework is developed, the company submits it to the SASE for approval, if not further consultation. Each business and industry sector has its own representatives within the SASE, specialising in that sector’s specific requirements.

If you’re thinking of getting an apprenticeship you can get guidelines about them as well as the other apprenticeships available at You’ll also get more guidelines as well as guidelines about foundation degrees, gap years,voluntary work as well as sponsored degrees, as well as over 300 distance learning videos