An apprenticeship is an opportunity for you to gain the skills, knowledge and experience you need to get into many careers. Apprenticeships combine work, training, and study, letting you ‘earn while you learn’.
There are many different apprenticeships available across a wide range of industries, and for a wide variety of job roles. In fact, there are apprenticeships for more than 1,500 job roles. As a paid employee, each apprentice works alongside their studies. All apprentices are paid a wage and have a contract of employment. There are no student fees – your training costs are funded by the government and your employer, even if you do a degree level apprenticeship.
The minimum apprenticeship wage is £3.90 per hour (£117 per week) but many employers pay more than this. The actual average apprenticeship wage per week paid by employers is £170.
It is an ideal option if you have a clear idea of the career path you want to follow, providing you with practical, on-the-job training, and classroom-based instruction. Approximately 90% of apprentices are employed when they have finished their apprenticeship with approximately 70% staying with the same employer.
Apprenticeships are available from level 2 up to level 7. It is hoped that in the future, apprenticeships will go up to level 9 which is the equivalent of a PhD. If you are studying for your GCSEs, an employer may want you start on a Level 2 apprenticeship, but this is because you have been studying for academic qualifications and will gain the vocational skills the employer needs in your apprenticeship. The same goes for you if you are studying for your A’ levels – do not be disappointed if an employer wants you to start on a level 3 apprenticeship. However, some employers will let you move from A’ levels to a degree level apprenticeship. You may start on a lower level apprenticeship but move onto a higher level apprenticeship with the same employer.
- Level 2 (intermediate) – Equivalent to 5 GCSE passes at grade A*– C or 9 – 4
- Level 3 (advanced) – Equivalent to 2 A’level passes / Level 3 Diploma / International Baccalaureate
- Levels 4, 5, 6 & 7 (higher) – Equivalent to foundation degree and above
- Levels 6 & 7 (degree) – Equivalent to bachelors or master’s degree
List of apprenticeships
Click here for an A-Z list of the apprenticeships which are available. Not all of these will be available locally, so you may have to look outside of this area to find an apprenticeship you are interested in.
Hints and tips on applying for apprenticeships
Click here for some hints and tips on writing apprenticeship applications.
Click here for a list of websites to search for and apply for apprenticeships.
Local apprenticeship opportunities
Click here for a list of employers who take on school leavers for their apprenticeship schemes.