Information for Learners

What are Apprenticeships?

As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Off the job, usually on a day-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications. Anyone living in England, over 16 and not in full-time education can apply.

Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of Apprenticeship, the apprentices’ ability and the industry sector. The minimum salary is £2.65 per hour; however, many apprentices earn significantly more.

Who are they for?

Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16years-old whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. You just need to be living in England and not taking part in full-time education.

There may be different entry requirements depending on the Apprenticeship and the industry sector. However competition for places with employers can be fierce, so you will need to show that you are committed, and aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and the company who would employ you. You also need to be happy to work as both part of a team and individually, and be able to use your own initiative.

Training

Apprenticeships are designed with the help of the employers in the industry, so they offer a structured programme that takes you through the skills you need to do a job well. There are targets and checks to make sure that your employer is supporting you and you are making progress.

As an employee you will be in employment for most of your time as most training takes place on the job. The rest usually takes place at a local college or a specialist training organisation. You can complete this off-the-job training on day release or over a number of days in a block. The amount of time you spend varies according to your Apprenticeship. It could be anything from one day every other fortnight to two days every week. So all the things you study will be useful in your job and help you succeed in your future career.

Levels

Apprenticeships are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for work-based training. There are over 85,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in more than 130,000 locations; there are almost 200 Apprenticeships suitable for hundreds of job roles. There are three levels of Apprenticeship available:

1 - Intermediate Level Apprenticeships

      - Intermeidate apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2, Technical Certificate and Key Skills.

      - These provide the skills you need for your chosen career and allow entry to an Advanced Level Apprenticeship.

2 - Advanced Level Apprenticeships

      - Advanced level apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as NVQ Level 3, Technical Certificate and Key Skills.

      - To start this programme, you should ideally have five GCSEs (grade C or above) or have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

All Apprenticeships must include the following elements:

A competencies qualification which must be achieved by the apprentice to qualify for an Apprenticeship certificate, and which is the qualification required to demonstrate competence in performing the skill, trade or occupation to which the framework relates

A technical knowledge qualification which is the qualification required to demonstrate achievement of the technical skills, knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and knowledge and understanding of the industry and its market relevant to the skill, trade or occupation to which the framework relates. Sometimes an Apprenticeship framework may have an integrated qualification which combines competence and technical knowledge elements in which each element is separately assessed.

Either Key Skills (e.g. working in teams, problem-solving, communication and using new technology) or Functional Skills (e.g. Math’s and English) qualifications or a GCSE with enhanced content (e.g. Math’s and English).