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Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is an opportunity for you to get on-the-job training alongside studying part-time, whilst getting paid. Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industries and are offered by many well-known companies. Your learning will take place in a college or training facility. There are different levels of apprenticeships that you can access, depending on your age, what qualifications you have, and the type of apprenticeship.

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An apprenticeship is an opportunity for you to get on-the-job training alongside studying part-time, whilst getting paid and securing a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industries and are offered by many well-known companies. Your learning could take place at a university, in a college, or a training facility.

Anyone in England aged 16 years old and above, whether employed, unemployed or leaving school. There is no upper age limit, and there are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship, however some employers may ask for GCSEs (A-C) in English, Maths and Science.

If you are under 19 you must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage of £3.70 an hour, however many employers pay more than this and the average weekly wage is £200.

If you are 19 after completing the first year of your apprenticeship, you must be paid at least the full National Minimum Wage.

All apprentices are employed, and have a contract of employment. You are counted as a regular employee so get all the benefits such as holiday and sick leave as well.

An apprenticeship can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of apprenticeship, the apprentice’s ability, and the industry sector. As a guide, an Intermediate Level 2 apprenticeship usually takes around 12 to 18 months and an advanced Level 3 apprenticeship around 24 months.

There are three levels of Apprenticeship:

  • Level 2: Intermediate Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to five A* GCSEs)
  • Level 3: Advanced Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to two A-Levels)
  • Level 4, 5 and 6: Higher Apprenticeship (Degree level)

Degree apprenticeships are a new type of programme offered by some universities. Students can achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree as part of their apprenticeship. Apprentices are employed throughout the programme, and spend part of their time at university and the rest with their employer.

You can apply for an apprenticeship on the government website (www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship). You can search for apprenticeships here and apply for them as you would with a job application.

Got more questions? Why not chat to a current university student on Unibuddy 

More useful resources

  • Introduction to Apprenticeships

    Using this worksheet you’ll find out more about what an apprenticeship is, what the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship are, and what it can lead to in the future.
    Download
  • Finding an Apprenticeship

    Applying for an apprenticeship can be confusing, so we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to find them.
    Download

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