What are Apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity of working whilst you continue learning. You will be doing a real job, for a real employer, which means you will earn a wage at the same time. You will spend some time working and some time learning. You will be learning on the job.

There are over 250 different types of apprenticeships available across a wide range of sectors. These can be found listed on the National Apprenticeship Service website or you can speak to Miss Hunt for more information.

What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

There are lots of benefits to doing an apprenticeship.
These include:
  • Earning while you learn
  • Learning through 'hands-on' experience (on the job training)
  • Receiving training
  • Learning job-specific skills for your chosen career
  • Gaining qualifications specific to your chosen industry
  • You get paid holidays!

How much will you earn?

Unlike full time employment, there is no set rate of pay for an apprentice. However, an employed apprentice must earn at least £2.73 per hour. The average weekly wage for an apprentice is around £170 but this may be more depending on the job role. 

What qualifications will  you get and how long it will take?

You will work toward a work-based qualification such as a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) which is industry specific to your chosen job role, and other nationally recognised qualifications. Some apprenticeships will now integrate literacy and numeracy work to ensure the highest standards are reached throughout the duration of the apprenticeship. 

There is no set time to complete an apprenticeship. The length of time taken will depend on the ability of the individual and the employers' requirements. On average they can take between one year and five years to complete depending on the type of apprenticeship, the level and may also vary based on the content. An apprentice should work at least 30 hours per week. 

What levels of apprenticeships are there?

There are three levels of apprenticeships available:
  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeships (Level 2)
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships (Level 3)
  • Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4 and above)
All apprenticeships much include the following elements:
  • A competencies qualification
  • A technical knowledge qualification
  • Either Key Skills or Functional Skills or GCSE with enhanced content (eg Maths and English)
More often than not, an apprenticeship with will require you to have achieved at least a Level 2 in Maths and English (GCSE grade A*-C). However, this is not always the case and you will need to check this when applying.
If you do not meet the entry requirements for chosen apprenticeship, there may be a pre-apprenticeship programme available to give you the opportunity to increase your levels over a period of 3 months to a year with a view to then joining an appropriate apprenticeship.

What can doing an Apprenticeship lead to in the future?

Although apprenticeships can be very demanding, they are also very rewarding. You will  gain choices in your chosen career as you have been trained specifically with the skills that you employer wants.

You could also progress onto university as many Higher Education institutes value your skills and knowledge and will happily offer a place on a Foundation Degree or other higher level qualifications. 

What types of Apprenticeships are there?

Each type of the apprenticeships groups below are subdivided in to different roles. Click on each sector to see a list of role guides:

How to apply for an Apprenticeship?

There are four main ways to search and apply for apprenticeships:
Other employers such as BMW, BT, Marks and Spencer and many more often run their own apprenticeship schemes. If you are interested in carrying out an apprenticeship in a specific area or with a particular employer, it is important to contact them directly - the sooner the better.

Support Available
  • NUS
    The National Union of Students is the national voice of students helping them to campaign, get cheap student discounts and provide advice on living student life to the full. They provide advice and support to students in further education and their own leadership training for students interested in representing students at their own colleges. Apprentices are entitled to an NUS Card for the cost of £11. More information can be found directly on the Apprentice Extra.

    In some local authority areas, you may be entitled to a travel discount, such as the Apprentice Oyster photocard in London, visit TFL Apprentice website for more details. 
Visit the Resource section to see the National Apprenticeships 'A Guide to Apprenticeships'