Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships

Can I be an Apprentice?

An Apprenticeship is a real job – giving you hands-on experience, a salary and the opportunity to train while you earn.

If you’re 16 or over, you can be an apprentice as long as you live in England and are not in full-time education.

Depending on the level, apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete.If you do not feel ready for an apprenticeship, a traineeship is a course designed to prepare you for one.

See our guide Apprenticeship vs Traineeship – What’s the difference?

You can apply for an apprenticeship vacancy if you are:

  • 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education
 
 

As an apprentice, you’ll get:

  • work experience, alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills, knowledge and behaviours
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Apprenticeship information

  • What?
  • Why?
  • Pay?
  • Where?
  • How?
  • More Information

Apprenticeships are very much like normal, full time jobs but with tailored training and qualifications included within them. To give you the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for the job role.

As an Apprentice you'll be employed on a full time or part time basis, and will have time set aside as part of your employment to work towards Apprenticeship qualifications working with your employer and training provider.

It usually takes between one and five years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which level you take and in what industry.

There are hundreds of different apprenticeships to choose from. Whether you’re at the start of your career, want to change career direction, or if you’re returning to work after a break.

To start your career you usually need a combination of experience in the workplace, employability skills and qualifications.

An apprenticeship gives you all of these by combining on the job training with study meaning you can earn while you learn. With some apprenticeships you can even get a degree.

It usually takes between one and five years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which level you take and in what industry.

Reasons why an apprenticeship could be right for you:

  • Earn a wage whilst learning
  • Gain practical and relevant work experience
  • Develop the key skills that employers want within the industry – an attractive prospect for future employers
  • Achieve career-relevant qualification(s)
  • Avoid student loans

The national minimum wage for an apprentice aged 16-18 is £3.70 per hour – increasing to £3.90 in April 2019.

The same applies if you’re 19 and over and in the first year of your apprenticeship, after that you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

However many employers pay more than this. The same applies if you’re 19 and over and in the first year of your apprenticeship, after that you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. However many employers pay more than this.

As an apprentice, you are paid for your normal working hours and your time spent training as part of your apprenticeship (usually one day per week).

Pay is dependent on the industry, location and type of apprenticeship, for example some higher apprenticeships can pay as much as £500 per week.

For a current example (Jan 2019) – an opportunity for a Apprentice Accountant in Somerset pays £14,050 

Apprentice Accountant

Many businesses employ apprentices, small employers with less than 10 employees, all the way up to large multi-national and global companies based in England. You may want to apply locally or be prepared to apply for an apprenticeship away from home.

Apprenticeships are available in many industries from A to Z, from Accountancy through to Zoology.

What interests you? That is an important question because what an employer is interested in when they are looking for an apprentice is punctuality, reliability and having a real interest in the job, alongside a willingness to learn.

There are many ways to find an apprenticeship:

  • Ask your Local Councils
  • Approach companies direct
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Adverts in the local paper
  • A follow on from Work experience
  • Contact your local Training Provider and/or College
  • Word of mouth

You can also search live vacancies to see what is available and apply using the Find an Apprenticeship tool.

You can expect to complete an application form and provide an up to date CV. Some employers will ask you to take a short test before an interview or give you a task to complete. You can then expect an interview with the employer.

Good luck – Please bear in mind applying for an apprenticeship is applying for a job – others may be interested as well, it may be competitive, so be your best you that you can be.

For more information, contact us.

Higher and degree apprenticeships

You can

  • Gain your qualification
  • Learn professional skills, knowledge and behaviours
  • Progress your career
  • Earn a wage

With a degree apprenticeship you can achieve a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. And just like traditional degrees, an apprenticeship is a great route to a great career.

The fees are paid by the employer and government.

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are level 4-7.  Please see our ‘Apprenticeship and education level equivalents‘ guide.

Parent’s guide to apprenticeships

As a parent, you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. There are many options available to young people after they leave school.

What is an apprenticeship?

It’s a genuine job, with training, meaning you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally recognised qualification. 

Apprenticeships are now available to from Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE) to Level 6 & 7 (equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree)

Useful links

Higher and degree apprenticeships

You can

  • Gain your qualification
  • Learn professional skills, knowledge and behaviours
  • Progress your career
  • Earn a wage

With a degree apprenticeship you can achieve a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. And just like traditional degrees, an apprenticeship is a great route to a great career.

The fees are paid by the employer and government.

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are level 4-7.  Please see our ‘Apprenticeship and education level equivalents‘ guide.

University vs DEGREE Apprenticeship ?

Degree apprenticeships are available and the number is expected to grow over the next few years.

Most university Bachelor’s degrees are completed within 3-4 years. Apprenticeship degrees can take anywhere between 3-6 years depending on the employer and/or the university.

Apprenticeship and education level equivalents

Myth Busting

Myth or Fact?

Apprenticeships are

MYTH: “Apprenticeships are only for young people (16-18)”

FACT:  Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages; anyone over the age of 16 living in England can apply. There are different entry requirements depending on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level.

MYTH: “Apprenticeships cannot be used for existing staff”

FACT: Apprenticeships can be used to upskill and/or retrain employees of any age, including older workers or existing staff, as long as the apprenticeship is giving them new skills to enable them to achieve competence in their chosen occupation.

MYTH: “Apprenticeships are only entry level – they are for people who didn't do well at school”

FACT: Apprenticeships are an alternative route into skilled employment. They are a great way to earn while you learn, gain vital work experience and start a successful career, without taking out a student loan.

MYTH: “Apprentices just make tea and coffee”

Employers hire apprentices so that they can get the future talent that their business depends on so, from day one you are given real work experience alongside industry professionals, where your opinions and contributions are valued.

MYTH: “There aren’t any apprenticeship vacancies in the South West”

The Department of Education reported 54,000 apprenticeships were started in the South West during 2016/17.

In 2018, there were over 500 West Somerset apprenticeship vacancies posted.

Apprenticeship Vacancies

MYTH: “An apprenticeship won’t lead to a full time job”

In fact, more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends, with 67% remaining with the same employer.