If you’ve got a good idea of where you want to go with your career and like the idea of earning while you learn, an Apprenticeship could be for you. You’ll get top quality training, developing skills and gaining qualifications on the job.
Is an Apprenticeship right for you?
First you’ll need to decide which career suits you best. Next, you’ll have to decide whether you can commit to the demands of an Apprenticeship. Being an apprentice means juggling work and study over a long period of time.
How long does an Apprenticeship last?
It varies - depending on the sector, the qualification you’re going for and the skills you already have. Generally, an Apprenticeship takes between one and four years to complete.
Who can apply?
You need to be 16 or over to apply for an Apprenticeship.
Entry requirements will depend on the Apprenticeship you want to do. There are three levels available:
Apprenticeships (equivalent to five good GCSE passes)
Advanced Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A level passes)
Higher Apprenticeships (lead to qualifications at NVQ Level 4 or, in some cases, a Foundation Degree)
Depending on your grades in GCSE Maths and English, you may need to take a literacy and numeracy test.
Money and holidays
Apprentices should normally receive a minimum wage of £95.00 per week. The wage applies to all apprentices aged under 19
If you’re already doing an Apprenticeship with an employer, you should continue to get a weekly wage of at least £95. If you work in agriculture, the minimum wage may be different.
Many employers tend to pay more as you develop your skills. Research has found that the average apprentice takes home around £170 per week.
Like most other employees, employed apprentices get at least 20 days paid holiday per year. This is on top of bank holidays.
Apprenticeships are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for work-based training. There are over 85,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in more than 130,000 locations; there are almost 200 Apprenticeships suitable for hundreds of job roles. There are three levels of Apprenticeship available:
1 - Intermediate Level Apprenticeships
- Intermediate apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2, Key Skills and, in some cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC.
- These provide the skills you need for your chosen career and allow entry to an Advanced Level Apprenticeship.
2 - Advanced Level Apprenticeships
- Advanced level apprentices' work towards work-based learning qualifications such as NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge based certificate such as a BTEC.
- To start this programme, you should ideally have five GCSEs (grade C or above) or have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.
3 - Higher Apprenticeships
- Higher Apprenticeships work towards work-based learning qualifications such as NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation Degree.
However, all Apprenticeships include the following elements:
- An appropriate work-based qualification such as a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at either Level 2 or Level 3;
- Either Key Skills (e.g. working in teams, problem-solving, communication and using new technology) or Functional Skills (e.g. Maths and English) qualifications;
- A technical qualification such as a BTEC or City & Guilds (relevant to the specific Apprenticeship);
- Other qualifications or requirements as specified by the particular occupation.