Trailblazer Apprenticeships

Leaders walking

ILM – leading the way in Management Apprenticeships

ILM's market leading Management Apprenticeship offer is fully mapped to the new Trailblazer standards and available now for on-programme delivery, with a new and improved offer launching in early 2017.

We lead the way on apprenticeships - ILM develops over one third of all management apprentices each year. We do this by working closely with employers, colleges, independent training providers and higher education institutions to interpret and influence Government policy, and by actively helping to design the new apprenticeship standards we aim to meet the needs of the changing UK economy.

Find out how apprenticeships are changing in our webinar

ILM involvement in Trailblazers

We believe that working closely with employer groups and providing our expertise in assessment and curriculum design will develop the next generation of industry-building apprenticeships. To maximise this, we have been actively involved in the development of all of the following Trailblazer standards:

  • Level 2 Team Leader
  • Level 3 Team Leader / Supervisor
  • Level 5 Operations / Departmental Manager
  • Level 6 Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship
  • Level 4 Entrepreneur
  • School Business Managers (Level TBC)
  • Executive Principals Degree Apprenticeship (Level TBC)

Apprenticeship Levy

From April 2017, the Government will be introducing the apprenticeship levy to fund apprenticeships in business. For UK employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million, businesses will need to pay 0.5% of their total pay bill into the apprenticeship levy, while SMEs will continue to be funded by provider allocations, and Trailblazers will be funded using the interim model. From 2020, non-levy-paying employers will receive funding directly in the same way as levy-paying employers.

For up to the minute updates on the Apprenticeship Levy, click here or for general funding information, visit our funding pages.

Trailblazer Standards

Team Leader/Supervisor - Level 3

As a Team Leader your responsibilities may vary from supporting, managing and developing your team members, to managing projects or planning and monitoring workloads and resources. Delivering operational plans, resolving problems, or building work relationships are also key factors in becoming a successful Team Leader.

You can also fit a variety of roles as Team Leader, from Supervisors and Project Officers to Shift Supervisors, Forepersons, or Shift Managers.

Entry requirements: typically be five GCSEs at Grade C or higher.

Funding cap: £5,000

Download the ILM Guide to the Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship at Level 3 (including the standard)

Download guidance on how the Level 3 Diploma in Management aligns to the standard at Level 3

Download the full Team Leader/Supervisor Apprenticeship Trailblazer Assessment Plan at Level 3

Operations/Departmental Manager - Level 5

Level 5 managers are responsible for everything from creating and delivering operational plans, managing projects, and leading and managing teams, to managing change, financial and resource management. Responsibilities also include talent management, coaching and mentoring. Roles may include those of Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Divisional Manager, Department Manager as well as other specialist managers.

Entry requirements: typically be five GCSEs at Grade C or higher.

Funding cap: £9,000

Download the ILM Guide to the Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship Trailblazer Standard at Level 5 (including the standard)

Download guidance on how the ILM Level 5 NVQ in Management and Leadership aligns at Level 5

Download guidance on how the ILM Level 5 in Principles of Leadership and Management aligns at Level 5

Download guidance on how the ILM Level 5 in Leadership and Management aligns at Level 5

Download the full Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship Trailblazer Assessment Plan at Level 5

Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship - Level 6

Chartered Managers oversee people, projects and operations delivering long term organisational success. They are typically able to deliver impact combined with commitment to continual learning and development to achieve the professional recognition of their ability. As a Chartered Manager, your roles may include being a Manager, Senior Manager, Head of Department or Operations Manager; as well as anyone with significant management responsibilities.

Entry requirements: typically A Levels.

Funding cap: £27,000

Download the full Apprenticeship Standard for a Chartered Manager (Level 6)

Download the full Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Assessment Plan (Level 6)

Moving to Trailblazer Apprenticeships

If you are currently delivering ILM Management Apprenticeships at Levels 3 and/or 5 you are in a strong position to transition onto the new Standards, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Our existing Level 3 and 5 qualifications and resources provide great coverage and support of delivery of the new Trailblazer Standards. To support you every step of the way in delivery of the new Trailblazer Standards, we are also working to develop a wider offering of additional specialist products, through close consultation with our customers.

End point assessment

ILM is approved to offer end point assessment for the Team Leader / Supervisor at Level 3 and Operations / Departmental Manager at Level 5 trailblazer apprenticeships.

Our specialist assessment team are working to design and develop innovative end-point assessments in accordance with the assessment plans for these standards.


*All ILM qualifications are awarded by The City and Guilds of London Institute which was founded in 1878 and is incorporated by Royal Charter.

Contact us

Questions about Trailblazer Apprenticeships? Get in touch with us

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Call us +44 (0) 1543 266867

Funding guidance

Confused about funding for apprenticeships?

Visit our funding pages