An apprenticeship is a paid job which also gets you qualified for the career path you want. It is one of the options available to school leavers and anyone else who wants to earn whilst they learn.

Many prestigious employers now see apprenticeships as a way of recruiting and developing staff with the higher level specialist skills needed for the success and productivity of their business. As a result of this there are many opportunities available and more individuals are choosing apprenticeships as a way of shaping long term careers. Check out the up to date list of vacancies above.

  • It’s a paid job – you can start earning straight away.
  • You’ll get recognised and desirable skills and qualifications that employers want.
  • Opens the door to great opportunities to progress – both in your career and into higher level training.
  • You are an employee so you receive all the same benefits that other employees get, such as a pension and paid holidays.
  • Gives you increased earning potential.
  • Apprenticeships are available from GCSE level right up to Masters Level.

Apprenticeships are designed to focus on being more vocational than anything else. Allowing the student to gain a large amount of on-the-job training and work experience whilst still earning a qualification that is equivalent to a formal education at the end of it. This allows students to earn a wage while studying and in the case of a higher apprenticeship, earn a degree  without the student debt that comes with it, through pathways such as University. As well as this, they will be ahead of those University Graduates, due to the experience they have gained through working in the desired field during the apprenticeship. 

As apprenticeships are real jobs, entry requirements will vary depending on the employer’s requirements. If necessary, apprenticeship training providers can help prepare individuals to reach the levels required by the employer, before they go for interview.

1. Choice

There is a lot of choice available in apprenticeships from intermediate to masters, and the range of sectors covered is extensive, from hairdressing or Digital marketing to Strategic Management.

2. Employment Rights

An apprentice is employed with the same rights as other employees, they will receive for example, an employment contract and paid holiday.

3. Costs

Training costs are paid for by your employer and the Government so there will be no cost to you.

4. Training Structure

You will be combining your apprenticeship with your job so you will spend some time each week with an approved training provider/college or University.

5. Length of Study

This depends on your apprenticeship, but it could take anywhere between 1 year and 5 years to complete. Remember – only an apprenticeship gives you a structured approach to career progression, the more you learn the more you earn.

6. Wages

The minimum apprenticeship wage is currently £4.81, however those who are older than 19 are paid minimum wage for their age. However, lots of employers pay well over this rate.

7. Avoid Debts

If you choose to do a degree apprenticeship rather than the traditional route to a degree, you will avoid the tuition fees of up to £9000 per year as well as the costs of living away from home.

8. Discounts

Apprentices can purchase an NUS apprentice extra card which gives you great discounts for some well-known brands and services.

All apprenticeship vacancies are listed online at Go to this website and search for “Apprenticeships”.

We give a full rundown of the process in our How to Find an Apprenticeship article.

If you’re 16 or over you can become an apprentice, if you spend at least 50% of your working hours in UK for the duration of the apprenticeship, and you are not already in full-time education. There is no upper age limit to become an apprentice.

The time it takes to complete an apprenticeship will often vary depending on a few factors. It depends on the level of the apprenticeship, the student’s skills/abilities and the sector that it is in. But typically, it can take anywhere between 1 – 5 years to complete. 

There are a variety of  apprenticeship levels available. As to which would be appropriate, depends on current skills and qualifications. Each apprenticeship will have an equivalent education level. 

  • Level 2 (Intermediate) – This apprenticeship is the equivalent of 5 GCSE passes at A*- C or 9 – 4. 
  • Level 3 (Advanced) – This apprenticeship is the equivalent of 2 A level passes. 
  • Level 4,5, (Higher) – These apprenticeships are the equivalent of a Foundation degree and above. 
  • Level 6 and 7 (Degree) – These apprenticeships are the equivalent of a Foundation degree and above.