Information for Current Apprentices

Below you will find a variety of questions, information and documents that should be helpful for our existing apprentices.

Looking for current apprenticeship opportunities? Step Forward is no longer accepting applications for future cohorts. Please look at our section about other organisations.

Safeguarding | Health & Safety | Student Support | Careers |
Useful Organisations | Absence from Training | Handbooks | Other Organisations



The Challenge believes that it is unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people.

Whilst we keep all information confidential, if we believe you or others may be at risk of harm, we may have to pass some information on to others. We would always let you know before we do this.

We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the young person is paramount
  • All young people, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • Working in partnership with young people, their parents, carers and their agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

Types of abuse and concerns:

Physical abuse
Emotional abuse
Sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Self harm
Domestic violence
Forced marriage
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Honour killings

If you are worried about any of these or anything of a similar nature whilst on the programme contact your Mentor or Tutor/Job Coach or Email  Please read our full safeguarding policy here

PREVENT & British Values

Step Forward takes seriously its Prevent duty to protect our apprentices from indoctrination in any form of extreme ideology which may lead to the harm of yourself or others.

We are committed to helping prevent people from being drawn into violent and non-violent extremism which can create the conditions conducive to terrorism, and popularise views that may lead to terrorism.

All of our staff are trained to be vigilant for spotting signs of extremist views and behaviour, and to report anything which may cause concern. Equality and diversity are core to our mission and pervade everything that we do. We place a strong emphasis on ‘British values’, the common values that all communities share such as self-respect, tolerance and democracy.

We work hard to broaden our apprentices’ experience, and to prepare them for life and work in our society.  Vigilance over our apprentices’ safety is particularly important because of their open access to electronic information through the internet. We aim to safeguard young people through educating them on the appropriate use of social media and the dangers of downloading and sharing inappropriate material which is illegal under the Counter-Terrorism Act.

Democracy and the Rule of Law: We promote this through our Learner Voice, in our Professional
Development (PD) curriculum and by engaging apprentices with the right to vote. If you have not yet registered to vote, you can do so at GOV UK.

We have a Code of Conduct and a Disciplinary Policy in place and a focus on developing employability skills, such as following company policies and procedures.

Individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance: We promote awareness of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) within our Pathway Training and Professional Development build greater understanding of people’s differences and promote social integration in line with the vision of The Challenge, in that we aim to create “A more integrated society where there is understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences.”

Equality & Diversity

Step Forward is part of The Challenge, the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society. The Challenge design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others.

The promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion is central to our culture.  Step Forward is committed to making sure everyone is treated fairly in line with the Equality Act 2010. This includes:

  • Removing barriers apprentices may face due to their differences
  • Eliminating discrimination

‘Diversity’ is about recognising and valuing peoples’ differences – for example, their backgrounds, skills, and experiences.

‘Inclusion’ is ensuring that no-one is excluded from opportunities to fulfil their potential.

Anti-Bullying & Harassment

Differences of attitude or culture and the misinterpretation of social signs can mean that what is perceived as bullying by one person may not seem so to another. However, the defining feature is that the behaviour is unwanted by the recipient. Bullying or harassment may be present in the form of, but not limited to:

Emotional: Ignoring, pestering, excluding, tormenting, insensitive jokes or pranks, damaging
property belonging to another person, demanding money or property, obscene gestures, threats, name calling.

Physical: Pushing, kicking, prodding, hitting, punching or any other use of physical contact,
stalking, damage to possessions.

Racist: Persistent racial taunts, graffiti, gestures, inappropriate language or an insulting attack on the basis of their ethnicity, culture, religious beliefs or colour, or failing to take into account cultural differences.

Sexual: Unwanted or inappropriate physical contact or sexual comments.

Homophobic: Verbal, physical or emotional bullying behaviour because of, or focusing on, the issue of sexuality.

Verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, making derogatory remarks, intrusive questioning or goading, jokes, unfounded criticism.

Cyber: All areas of internet such as email and internet chat room misuse, threats by text messaging and misuse of associated technology, e.g. camera and video facilities. This includes uploading of images to/from the internet that may be hurtful or insulting to an individual or group. Visit CEOP for more information.

Hate Crime: Hate crime is any offence committed against a person or property which is motivated by the offender’s hatred of people because they are seen as being different. People do not have to be members of a minority community to be victims of hate crime. Any incident where an individual or group of people are targeted because they are believed to be of a different race, religion/belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or have a disability can be reported as a hate crime.

All allegations or signs of bullying or harassment will be taken seriously and investigated by Step Forward.

Health & Safety

It is the firm policy of The Challenge to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all its apprentices, in accordance with current legislation.

Accident and Incident Reporting: If you are unwell or experience an injury whilst at the Step Forward Training Venue, please inform a member of staff immediately.

First Aid: If you require a first aider whilst at the Step Forward training venue or at Step Forward events, please contact a member of staff immediately. There is a list of first aiders and their contact numbers on display in each training room.

Fire Alarms/Evacuations: All staff and apprentices must evacuate the building when the fire alarm sounds. Each training room details the nearest fire exit and displays the fire procedure. Once you have evacuated the building you must assemble at the meeting point which is located in the Elizabeth House car park, ground floor. No-one may re-enter the building until the alarms have been turned off and the fire department have declared the premises to be safe.  The fire alarms are tested weekly whereby a brief alarm signal will sound. On these occasions evacuation is not needed, and staff will be notified of these prior to testing.

Please read our full health & safety policy here.

Student Support

We are here to support you with any problem or difficulty that could be affecting you on the
programme. Below is a list of the support we can provide.

Pastoral Support
Tutor/Job Coach: If you are experiencing any challenges with your studies then your Tutor/Job Coach is the person to turn to. They will provide you with expert and specialist support when completing
assignments, revising for exams or preparing for your End Point Assessment. They are also
there to help you with any challenges you are experiencing at work.

Professional Development Mentor: Your Mentor will be the person to contact if you are experiencing more personal challenges and can advise on the following:

Mental health, physical health and sexual health
Additional learning support
Financial support
Travel and transport queries
Personal and relationship difficulties
Careers guidance


Step Forward has a holistic concern for each of our apprentices. We will give you our support in the area of health: mental, physical, and sexual.

Physical Health: Keeping active, and eating a balanced diet are two key aspects of physical health, and Step Forward will encourage these aspects of life throughout your time with us on the programme.

Mental Health: Your mental health is as important as your physical health.  Promoting good mental health and wellbeing can help you feel empowered and more resilient to cope with life’s challenges.  Mental Health problems can affect up to 1 in 10 young people. If you think that you may have a mental health condition, in the first instance speak to your doctor or access NHS specialist services such as NHS IAPT.

Your Mentor can support you in the following ways:

  • Organise careers guidance 1:1 meetings
  • Looking for job vacancies
  • Job applications and interview preparation
  • Applications for Further Education courses, such as Level 4 Apprenticeships
  • University applications through UCAS

Don’t struggle in silence. Your Mentor will be there to support you by listening and signposting you to specialist agencies and organisations, as well as delivering sessions as part of Professional Development curriculum to support your happiness and wellbeing.  Visit NHS IAPT for more information.

Sexual Health: Step Forward is pleased to be working with Brook, a charity that specialises in sexual health and happiness for under 25s.  At our training venue you can access:

  • A free and confidential drop in service on training days
  • Advice and guidance around sexual health and healthy relationships
  • Signposting to local services across participating London boroughs
  • A C-Card that allows you to pick up condoms, female condoms and lubricants wherever you see the Come Correct logo

Financial & Housing

We want your experience at Step Forward to be as smooth and trouble-free as possible.  As a student you have so many important things to deal with aside from your studies – money, accommodation, travel and so on.  Sometimes money is tight, and this can affect you in many ways. If you are having money or housing issues please speak with your Mentor who can provide you with support and guidance on the following things:

Financial issues and dealing with debt
Housing and accommodation
Childcare costs

NUS Apprentice Extra: As a Step Forward Apprentice you are eligible to apply for an NUS Apprentice Extra card.  The card costs £11 and gives you many excellent discounts in-store and online.  To apply for your card now head to the Apprentice Extra.

TFL Apprenticeship Oyster: The majority of our jobs are based in TFL Zones 1-6. Just as with any job, you will need to pay for your travel to work. You will have to budget for getting to and from your place of work, and to the training venue. However, you should be eligible for an Apprentice Oyster Card which will give you a 30% discount on travel cards and bus and tram passes, which could be the cheapest way to travel. More information can be found at TFL.


Apprenticeships.Org provides apprenticeship opportunities where you can search by location.

BestCourse4Me is designed to be used by students, teachers and parents. They have up to date employment statistics (salaries over a period of time and time spent unemployed after completing university), and entry requirements for the universities, as well as a full list of university courses offered in the UK, both academic and vocational. They also have a list of resources for teachers, such as lesson plans, and a list of important dates for higher education applications so nothing should be let slip. They do this by comparing salaries and employment statistics of people for a wide range of A-levels, degrees, universities, and careers.

Careers Box hosts films/videos outlining different job roles, from personal experience.

Career camel offers lists of jobs, internships, advice & courses.

Growing Ambitions provides an alphabetical listing of careers roles. Detailed descriptions of the work, hours and environment, pay, skills and qualities required, how to get in, training, getting on.

Kudos Inspire, a software package designed for 13-19 year olds. Helps identify potential careers based on subject choices. Allows students to create a personal statement, and/or statement for CV. Identifies appropriate subject choices to enable specific careers.

National Careers Service, for access to self-diagnostic tests, succinct overviews of careers, telephone support lines.

Not Going To Uni is the one stop site for apprenticeships, gap years, distance learning and jobs. Attractive website with sponsored opportunities from employers.

Prospects offers graduate careers advice site.

Push is the leading independent/informal guide to UK universities, student life, gap years, open days, student finance and all things student.

Remploy exists to improve the lives of disabled people and those with complex needs through the power of work. They believe that everyone has something to offer. So they work to find their strengths. Once they know their skills, they match them to proper jobs with carefully chosen employers who help them achieve.

UCAS provides an application service to university for undergraduate, postgraduate and international applications.

U-Explore is a flagship platform that supports schools, colleges and academies to deliver statutory, curriculum-focussed careers education, providing students with information about job roles, businesses and careers pathways and bringing the world of work into the classroom. Access a wealth of engaging features including over 2,000 written and video job profiles across 14 industry sectors, real work environments and 360-degree Virtual Tours.

Useful Organisations

British Dyslexia Association
Listens to, and acts upon, the needs of dyslexic people

Sexual health & wellbeing for under 25s, including C-Card scheme

Bullying UK
Professional, non-judgmental support and advice

Careers Advice Service
Information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work

Carers Trust
Advice and support for young carers

Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities

Keep safe online

Friendly, confidential drugs advice

Let’s Talk About It
Providing a greater understanding of the support PREVENT can offer

Men’s Advice Line
Advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse

The Mental Health Charity

The Mix
Support and information specially for young people

The National Autistic Society
Providing information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for autistic people

NHS Choices
NHS Choices helps you to make the best choices about your health and lifestyle, but also about making the most of NHS and social care services in England

IAPT services provide evidence based treatments for people with anxiety and depression

The UK’s leading children’s charity, preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover
Call 0800 028 3550 for FGM help

The National Union of Students
Apprentice Extra

Supporting people with disabilities at work

Refuge supports women, children and men through a range of services, including refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach and culturally specific services

The Samaritans
A safe place to talk at any time you like
Call 24 hours a day on 116 123

Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else

Information on all forms of transport in London including cycle hire and apprentice Oyster card
Apprentice Oyster Card

UK Government
Information on benefits, childcare, citizenship, disability rights, education, housing, work and voting

Women’s Aid
Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children

Young Stonewall
Supporting young lesbian, gay, bi and trans people

Absence from Training

Annual leave on a training day
Complete a request for absence form and email your Tutor/Job Coach with 1 month’s notice to request annual leave. The Tutor will give guidance based on what is planned for the session.  If your Tutor/Job Coach approves your annual leave request, email your Line Manager and cc your Tutor/Job Coach and Mentor to inform them that you are taking annual leave.  Private study may be required to ensure you catch up on anything missed at training and that you are able to meet assessment deadlines. Download the form here.

Sickness or other unauthorised absence on a training day
Email your Line Manager and cc your Tutor/Job Coach before 9am on the first day of sickness to inform that you are absent.  Private study may be required to ensure you catch up on anything missed at training and are able to meet assessment deadlines.

Other appointments
In line with the Code of Conduct, respect that Step Forward commitments take precedence over other activities during training days (9:00am – 5:00pm). Personal appointments such as doctors, dentists, driving lessons must, as far as possible, be made outside these times.


You can view the current Apprentice Handbook here.

Other Organisations

Level 3 & 4 apprenticeships in…

  • Management
  • Technology
  • Software Development
  • Digital Marketing
  • Financial Service and Accounting
  • Business Admin

3aa website / 0207 278 0636

City Gateway
Level 2 & 3 apprenticeships in…

  • Customer Service
  • Business Administration

City Gateway website / 0203 727 6300

Hawk Training
Level 2, 3 & 4 apprenticeships in…

  • Childcare
  • Business Administration
  • Customer Service
  • IT

Hawk Training website / 0203 131 6469 / 0208 891 0992

Just IT
Level 3 & 4 apprenticeships in…

  • IT Support and Networking
  • Digital Marketing
  • Software Development

Just IT website / 0207 426 9835

QA Apprenticeships
Level 3 & 4 apprenticeships in…

  • IT Technician
  • Software Developer
  • Digital Marketer
  • Business Administration

QA Apprenticeships website / 0345 074 7825

White Hat
Level 2, 3 & 4 apprenticeships in…

  • Business Administration
  • IT
  • Digital Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Accounting

White Hat


Not only does Step Forward develop your skills and confidence, it allows you to expand your horizons and believe in yourself. On this course, I achieved things I didn’t think I was capable of and a lot of that is due to the amazing support I received along the way.

Jordanna Knight

Step Forward 2016 Graduate