As it is now compulsory for students to stay in education or training until they are 18, apprenticeships are becoming a lot more desirable and sought after. With businesses understanding and valuing the idea of training and shaping a young mind from scratch, and with learning and development opportunities for young people, it is clear to see how apprenticeships are appealing. Continuing studying at school or moving onto university aren’t the only paths, so what is an apprenticeship?


A job, a qualification, a future

Apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to work for an employer, earn a salary and gain a qualification whilst gaining valuable workplace skills and experience.

Anyone living in England, over 16 years old and not in full-time education can apply to be an apprentice.


Earn while you learn

All apprentices aged under 19 must receive the appropriate national minimum wage of £4.81 per hour (April 2023) 


A job

All apprentices should work for at least 30 hours a week, apart from in exceptional circumstances. Over 150,000 employers are offering apprenticeships in more than 200,000 locations. Apprenticeships are available at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher (degree) level, covering more than 170 industries and 1500 job roles, from advertising to youth work via environmental engineering and nuclear decommissioning.


A qualification

Quality is key to apprenticeships. All apprenticeships must be at least 12 months long and lead to a national qualification that is respected by employers around the world.


A real future

After finishing, the majority of apprentices (85%) will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) staying with the same employer. A third (32%) of all former apprentices had received a promotion within 12 months of finishing and, of those in work, three quarters (75%) reported taking on more responsibility in their job. Employers think that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you will:

• work alongside experienced staff

• gain job-specific skills

• earn a wage and receive holiday pay

• study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week)

• Apprenticeships take 1 to 4 years to complete depending on their level.


Levels of Apprenticeships 

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels, see below for details


Level Equivalent Educational Level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE pases at grades 4-9
Advanced 3 2 A level passes


4, 5, 6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree


For more information see .GOV Apprenticeships Guide

For apprenticeship vacancies see .GOV Apprenticeships

Not going to Uni? Visit the Not Going to Uni website

For more information see UCAS Apprenticeships in England

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