An apprenticeship is a work-based training programme for people who want to develop their skills and get experience in a particular sector.

Apprentices spend most of their time in work and training on the job and a small amount of time studying. Apprenticeships often lead to a recognised qualification.

Who can do one?

Apprenticeships are for anyone above the age of 16 who isn’t in full-time education. There isn’t an age limit but they’re normally aimed at 16-24 year olds.

Why should I do one?

Apprenticeships are the perfect way to get experience in the area you want to work in. You’ll learn about the job as you go, develop your skills, and have something for your CV at the end. It’ll also help you work out if the job you thought you wanted is really for you.

Will I get paid?

Yes. 16-18 year olds and 19 year olds in their first year of an apprenticeship get paid £2.73 an hour. Everyone else gets paid the national minimum wage.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Anywhere between one and four years, depending on the level and type of apprenticeship.

What qualifications do I need to get an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships aren’t based just on academic achievement so requirements will vary. Some might not ask for any qualifications at all.

What qualifications can I get?

Apprenticeships are structured in various ways but the three main types of qualification you can get are:

  • National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) or Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF): This competency-based qualification shows you have the skills and knowledge to do the job

  • Technical qualification: These give you the specific knowledge you need to do a technical job

  • Functional skills qualification: These build up your literacy, numeracy and ICT skills 

Within this there are three different levels of apprenticeship:

  • Intermediate level apprenticeships (Level 2): Equivalent to 5 GCSE passes

  • Advanced level apprenticeships (Level 3): Equivalent to 2 A level passes

  • Higher level apprenticeships (Level 4)Can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

All you need to do is go on the government guide to becoming an apprentice and follow their three-step application process.