Is an Apprenticeship Right for Me?

An apprenticeship is when an individual works and learns at the same time. As an apprentice, you will be working in a real job and get paid a salary; you will be employed by a company and have a contract of employment.

Whilst you are working, you will also be working towards a package of qualifications alongside your job. These qualifications will be directly relevant to the job that you are doing, whatever role you are working in.

There are different kinds of Apprenticeships:

  • Intermediate – a level 2 qualification
  • Advanced – a level 3 qualification
  • Higher – a level 4 or 5 qualification like foundation degree or HND (Higher National Diploma)
  • Degree – this offers a full Batchelor’s degree or a Master’s degree. Your employer and the government pay your tuition fees so that you don’t have a university loan. Higher and Degree apprenticeships are limited so employers look for the best applications who are very committed.

What are the benefits?

You do a real job for a real employer where you gain valuable workplace skills and experience. You can achieve qualifications whilst at work, with the safety of a contract of employment and pay. As an employee you will be entitled to paid holiday, support and training from your organisation.

You will become more employable because you have experience of work, plus your career prospects will improve once you’ve completed your apprenticeship.

Who can apply?

Anyone can apply to do an apprenticeship. You can start from age 16 when you complete Year 11. Employers look for people with a positive attitude who are willing to work hard and learn new skills. You need to be organised to be an apprentice; this is because you will be working and studying at the same time.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

An apprenticeship can take between 1 to 4 years to complete, though some are longer. The length depends on the skills you already have, the qualifications involved and the industry sector. For anyone starting aged 16-18, the minimum duration is 12 months.

Is it right for me?

If you …

  • can work as part of a team as well as independently when required
  • are organised
  • have good time management skills
  • have good communication skills; written and spoken
  • are motivated
  • are positive
  • are hardworking
  • are willing to work and learn at the same time

…then an apprenticeship could be for you!

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