What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training so learners can earn while they learn. Apprentices achieve nationally recognised qualifications. They will be employed by a company and have a contract of employment – this means they have the same entitlements a other employees. There are a variety of job roles from Accountancy to Engineering, IT to Health and Social Care – they’re available form Level 2, intermediate level, to Level 7 – post graduate level.

Whilst working, apprentices will be working towards a package of qualifications along side their job. These qualifications will be directly relevant to the job they are doing, whatever role they are working in.

Are there different types of apprenticeship?

There are apprenticeships available at intermediate, advanced, higher and degree levels. These cover more than 1500 job roles across 17o industries, including:

  • Nursing
  • Graphic design
  • Horticulture
  • Engineering
  • Advertising
  • Surveying
  • Education, and more

There are thousands of quality apprenticeship vacancies available online at any one time. See gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship for further details.

What are the levels equivalent to?

  • Intermediate is a level 2 qualification, such as GCSE
  • Advanced is a level 3 qualification, such as A-Level
  • Higher leads to higher education qualifications like NVQ level 4, HNDs and foundation degree
  • Degree apprenticeships offer a full Batchelor’s or Master’s degree. The government pay the tuition fees so that the learner does not have a traditional university loan. Higher and Degree apprenticeships are limited so employers look or the best applicants who are very committed.

Who offers an apprenticeship, and who can apply to be an apprentice?

They can be offered by large or small companies. It’s important to research and find out about the company before applying for the scheme. Some companies can have amazing opportunities for their apprenticed where they might work on some really innovative and creative projects, or even travel overseas.

Research conducted by the National Apprenticeship Service shows that more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment at the end of their apprenticeship.

Anyone can do any apprenticeship after age 16 on completion of Year 11.

Employers want people with positive attitudes who are willing to work hard and to learn new skills. Learners need to be organised as they will be working and studying at the same time.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

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

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

  • A real job with a real employer
  • Opportunity to gain valuable workplace skills and experience
  • Paid work with a contract of employment
  • Holiday pay
  • A chance to achieve qualifications
  • Support from colleagues and a training organisation
  • More employable because of the experience of work
  • Career prospects improve on completion of the apprenticeship

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