Are you thinking about your next step and considering an apprenticeship? There are thousands of exciting apprenticeships in pretty much every job role you can think of, but it can be a challenge to understand all the different types of apprenticeships.
This guide to intermediate apprenticeships will help you understand the first level of apprenticeship. There are four levels of apprenticeship in all - check out this guide to all four to figure out which one is right for you.
'Intermediate apprenticeships are the first level of apprenticeship you can do - and you could start at 16. Find out how they could kickstart your career'
Why should I do an intermediate apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are paid jobs with training, and often the option to gain professional qualifications. Intermediate apprenticeships are the first level of apprenticeship, and you normally need GCSEs in maths and English to start them.
This means that if you're thinking about leaving school after your GCSEs, an intermediate apprenticeships could be a great way to begin your career. Intermediate apprenticeships offer a way into careers as different as childcare worker, mechanic or pharmacy assistant, and many other too.
They are also known as "entry level apprenticeships", or sometimes "level 2 apprenticeships”. Once completed they’re equivalent to five GSCEs. Intermediate apprenticeships are popular: almost 260,000 people started one in 2016-17.
Can I apply for an intermediate apprenticeship?
Since you’ll be gaining that all-important work experience out in the real world, an intermediate apprenticeship will put you in a great position to make your next exciting career move. That could be bagging yourself a permanent job in the field, or stepping up to do an advanced apprenticeship, or even a higher apprenticeship, which could give you a university degree.
To apply for an intermediate apprenticeship, you must be 16 or over.
Some apprenticeships don’t require any formal qualifications in order to be accepted, though you’ll need to have functional skills in English and maths. If you’ve already done these subjects at GSCE level you will have these skills, and if you didn't get your GCSEs, you may be able to study for a functional skills qualification alongside your apprenticeship.
What qualifications will I get?
A range of different qualifications are available depending on the intermediate apprenticeship you choose. You will gain work-based learning qualifications (such as an NVQ level 2), and in most cases also a knowledge-based qualification (like a BTEC).
Level 2 apprenticeships can include:
- GCSEs grades 9-4 / A*-C
- BTEC First Diplomas and Certificates
- OCR Nationals
- Key Skills Level 2
- NVQs at Level 2
Intermediate apprenticeships take at least one year, and usually not longer than two.
So what kind of opportunities are there?
Do you want to be an IT technician? Or a chef? How about a career in childcare? You can do an intermediate apprenticeship in lots of different areas. They cover 1,200 job roles in a huge range of industries, including:
- Customer service
- Administrative and clerical
- Hair and beauty
- Construction and engineering
- Art and design
- Hospitality and catering
- Sport and fitness
Watch this video to find out why Annie chose to do an intermediate apprenticeship in trees and timber:
What will the intermediate apprenticeship be like?
You’ll be working for an employer, learning and practising all the core skills of your chosen industry. You will also spend time at a training provider or local college, gaining qualifications.
The work on level 2 apprenticeships is usually very hands-on and practical, giving you a good insight into your job and sector. You’ll learn from knowledgeable tutors and work alongside experienced staff.
And will I get paid?
Yes! That’s one of the great benefits of doing an intermediate apprenticeship: your employer will give you a salary and paid holiday time off.
The minimum pay for an apprentice under 19 or in their first year of an apprenticeship is £4.30 per hour (2021). All other apprenticeships receive the national minimum wage for their age group.
Overall the amount will vary depending on which apprenticeship you go for, but the average weekly wage is £170. Learn more about how much apprentices are paid.
Where can I find out more?
If you like the sound of an intermediate apprentice and want to take the next step, Success at School can help! Start with our post on how to find an apprenticeship, which shares 5 different ways to find apprenticeships.
Also, check out Success at School’s page dedicated to listing all the latest apprenticeship opportunities.