Apprenticeships are about combining full time work with studying towards a career. You will complete a nationally recognised qualification as you gain valuable work experience, giving you an edge in the job market. While completing your apprenticeship you will be paid a basic salary and given on the job training by your employer as well as attending a college. Generally it will take between one to four years to complete an apprenticeship and earn a qualification in your chosen field.
Who are apprenticeships for?
Anyone over the age of 16 can do an apprenticeship. They are ideally for individuals who what to develop their prospects and build a career in a certain field. You need to be sure of what you’re hoping to go into before you start as apprenticeships train you in specific industries rather than being broadly about a subject you could use in any number of jobs (like English or maths).
What types of apprenticeships are there?
Subject-wise, many different types. There will be some you’ve heard of, like carpentry or hairdressing, and some you might not have thought vocational courses were available in, like law or journalism. Level-wise, you can do an Intermediate Apprenticeship (level 2 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework), an Advanced Apprenticeship (level 3), or a Higher Apprenticeship (level 4). There are also traineeships which are similar but aim to prepare you for a specific job so it’s worth looking into these as well.
How will I pay for it all?
Funding for apprenticeships is available through the National Apprenticeship Service. The amount varies depending on your age and the sector. 16-18 year olds will receive a 100% contribution to their training, while 19-24 year olds will receive up to 50% and over 25 year olds will get contributions depending on the sector they wish to train in.
Where do I start?
You’ll need to think carefully about the career you are interested in and the type of work that it entails. Then you need to start researching employers and colleges that offer apprenticeship opportunities – you can do that right here on Training and Courses. Bear in mind that applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for a job - first impressions count!
But don’t I get paid to do it?
Yes. You’ll be paid a wage while you’re doing the apprenticeship by your employer. The government covers some or all of the training costs which will be paid to the company you’re working for and the college teaching you. It’s worth noting that the pay will be less than other employees who aren’t studying because the National Minimum Wage for apprenticeships is lower than for others.