An apprenticeship is basically a job with training. You’ll get paid a wage and you’ll also get the chance to study towards a qualification.
Usually you’ll work four days a week and have one day for studying. The main benefit is that you’ll get lots of practical “on the job” experience while also getting a qualification too – both great for your CV and job applications.
This option could work for you if you want to start earning while continuing to study. Lots of employers rate apprentices because they finish their training with bags of real life work experience.
Apprenticeships can take anywhere from one to four years, depending on the level.
What can I get an apprenticeship in?
Pretty much anything! There are around 23,000 apprenticeship opportunities listed on the government's Find An Apprenticeship tool every month.They cover everything from advertising to zoology, from nursing to plumbing, so there’s an excellent chance that there's an apprenticeship out there for you.
Who can apply?
You can apply for an apprenticeship if you’re aged 16 and over. Because it’s a full time job, you’ll need to have left school or college.
Types of apprenticeships
There are lots of different types but it breaks down to three levels:
Intermediate – like studying for five GCSEs.
Advanced – like studying for two A-levels.
Higher – like taking an NVQ Level 4 or foundation degree.
Degree – like taking a bachelor's or master's degree.
What qualifications do I need to become an apprentice?
It depends on the level – if you’re applying for an intermediate one, you might not need any at all. It can really help though if you have Cs or above in GCSE maths and English.
If you’re applying for an advanced apprenticeship you’ll normally need to have done an intermediate one or have around five GCSEs at A*-C.
If you’re after a higher apprenticeship you’ll need to have done an advanced one already, or have a couple of A-level passes or a level 3 NVQ.
Will I get paid as an apprentice?
Yes! The great thing about apprenticeships is that you have an employer – and they have to pay you by law. Employers must pay apprentices at least £4.15 per hour - that rate applies if you're under 19 or if you're over 19 and in your first year of the programme (2020).
If you're an apprentice aged 19 or over, and you've completed your first year, then you'll be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age (from April 2020 that will be at least £6.45).
How do I find an apprenticeship?
Search online for the government's Find An Apprenticeship tool. You can then enter your location and chosen industry. You can also speak to your careers adviser at school to see what’s available in your local area.And don't forget to check out the apprenticeship opportunities right here on our website.
By Natasha Boydell