If you’ve got a good idea of where you want to go with your career and like the idea of earning while you learn, an Apprenticeship could be for you. You’ll get top quality training, develop skills and gaining qualifications on the job.

Apprenticeships – earn while you learn
To give yourself the best chance of success in your career, you’ll need to carry on developing your skills throughout your working life. Apprenticeships give you the chance to learn – and gain qualifications.There are over 100,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in more than 160,000 locations; there are more than 250 different types of Apprenticeships available offering over 1,400 job roles.

Is an Apprenticeship right for you?
First you’ll need to decide which career suits you best. Next, you’ll have to decide whether you can commit to the demands of an Apprenticeship. Being an apprentice means juggling work and study over a long period.

How long does an Apprenticeship last?
It varies – depending on the sector, the qualification you’re going for and the skills you already have. Generally, an Apprenticeship takes between one and four years to complete.

Who can apply

  • You need to be 16 or over to apply for an Apprenticeship.
  • Entry requirements will depend on the Apprenticeship you want to do.
  • There are three levels available:-
    • Apprenticeships (equivalent to five good GCSE passes)
    • Advanced Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A level passes)
    • Higher Apprenticeships (lead to qualifications at NVQ Level 4 or, in some cases, a Foundation Degree)
    • Depending on your grades in GCSE Maths and English, you may need to take a literacy and numeracy test.

Money and holidays

  • A new National Minimum Wage of £3.30 per hour (1st October  15)  now applies to apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships but not higher apprenticeships.
  • The wage applies to:-
    • All apprentices aged 16-18
    • Apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their Apprenticeship
  • If you’re already doing an Apprenticeship with an employer, you should continue to get a weekly wage of at least £99 ( based on working 37 hours per week)
  • Many employers tend to pay more as you develop your skills. Research has found that the average apprentice takes home around £200 per week.
  • Like most other full time employees, full time employed apprentices get at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year. This is on top of bank holidays.

Qualifications
Apprenticeships (and Advanced Apprenticeships) can lead to:

  • A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at Level 2 or Level 3
  • A Key Skills qualification, like problem solving and using technology
  • (In most cases) A technical certificate, such as a BTEC or City & Guilds Progression Award
  • Other qualifications needed for particular occupations

Finding out more and making an application
You can find out more – or search and apply for Apprenticeship vacancies in England – on the national Appenticeships website.

Another source of useful information is the “not going to uni” site. Here you can pick up the latest job vacancies and opportunities for young people in your age range.