Apprenticeships– What are they? Who are they for?

What is an apprenticeship?

As an apprentice you will: 

  • Train for the workplace
  • Get hands-on experience 
  • Earn a salary and get the same rights as employees, including sick leave and holiday pay
  • Spend at least 20% of your working hours training or studying, undertake ongoing assessments, including an end-point assessment.

It can take between one and six years to complete an apprenticeship, depending on: 

  • the apprenticeship you choose 
  • your apprenticeship level 
  • your previous experience 

If an apprentice needs to take a break from their learning, it could take them longer to complete their apprenticeship.

What are the different apprenticeship levels?

Level 2- These apprenticeships provide basic knowledge and skills for specific jobs and are equal to GCSEs.

Level 3- These apprenticeships offer more specialised knowledge and skills and are equal to A levels.

Levels 4 to 7- These apprenticeships focus on higher-level professional skills and can be equal to a foundation degree, a Higher National Certificate (HNC), or a Higher National Diploma (HND). 

Levels 6 to 7- These apprenticeships lead to either a full bachelor's or master's degree.  Some apprenticeships require certain qualifications, e.g. GCSE English and maths. You may be given extra training to meet these qualifications. You may also have to meet academic requirements to apply for a higher or degree apprenticeship.

When you complete your apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent education level. For example, if you complete a level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent of an A level.

Who are apprenticeships for?

Apprenticeships are open to everyone over the age of 16, not in full time employment or education and are living in England.

There is no upper age limit to become an apprentice.

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