What is an Apprenticeship?
An Apprenticeship is a work based training programme where you will earn a wage working alongside experienced staff to gain work skills. Off the job, you will receive training towards nationally recognised qualifications, usually at a local college. Anyone living in England, over 16 and not in full-time education can apply.
Competition for Apprenticeships with employers can be fierce, so you will need to show committment and be aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and the company who employ you.
Yo can find an Apprenticeship suitable for your career here.
What are the advantages of doing an Apprenticeship?
As an Apprentice, you earn while you learn, gaining practical and transferable skills while keeping your options open. You will:
- Earn a salary
- Get paid holidays
- Receive training
- Gain qualifications
- Learn job-specific skills
You will do real work for a real employer, earning at least the minimum wage as acquire your qualifications. You will be work a minimum of 16 hours per week although 30 hours is recommendede. Career progression is excellent and average earnings are higher than for those who do not do an Apprenticeship.
As an employee, you will have exactly the same employee rights as anyone else employed by the company. This includes: a regular wage, holidays, fair working hours and rest breaks.
What are the different levels of Apprenticeship?
Apprentices normally work towards an NVQ or similar at different levels which correspond with national educational standards, as follows:
- Intermediate Apprenticeships (Level 2 equivalent to 5 GCSEs)
- Advanced Apprenticeships (Level 3 equivalent to two A-level passes)
- Higher Apprenticeships (equivalent to Level 4 or in some cases a foundation degree)
You will also study appropriate functional skills in Maths, English and ICT.
How long do Apprenticeships take?
Apprenticeships can last from one to four years. Usually they take 12-24 months. The time it takes to reach the required level varies depending on apprenticeship and career.
Are you currently in paid employment?
If you are already in paid employment and you would like to explore the possibility of completing an Apprenticeship you can contact your local training provider who will be able to support you. Many training providers have dedicated teams of specialist staff who will speak to you and your employer in detail to determine if an Apprenticeship is the right choice for you.
Are you unsure if an Apprenticeship is for you?
Some people know which job they would like to do to complete their Apprenticeship but others need additional help and guidance to make the right choice. If you are undecided about Apprenticeships or would like to talk to specialist staff to choose the right job role many learning providers attend careers events and host open evenings. The events are a great way for you to speak to training providers about the areas that interest you and receive guidance and support on your next steps.
Advice and guidance
For more advice and guidance on Apprenticeships in the West of England area including:
- The support you will receive while completing your Apprenticeship
- Where and how you will complete your Apprenticeship
- What you can do once you have completed your Apprenticeship and career progression
Please contact the National Apprenticeship Service.