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Here at, we are fully supportive of the opportunities apprenticeships can bring for people.

There are so many reasons to start an apprenticeship and some of these include:

  • The concept of ‘earn while you learn’ is such an attractive one, giving people an income whilst still building up professional knowledge and gaining qualifications when they could be racking up debt paying University tuition fees.
  • The route to a great career without the need to go to University full-time to gain the necessary qualifications.
  • Some people are not academically gifted and are not keen on pursuing further studies, however learning ‘on the job’ gives them every chance of the successful career they are seeking.

Often jobs which are more “hands-on” or vocational in nature have excellent apprenticeships that suit those who are less academically gifted and allow for excellent careers.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job combined with training. Being an apprentice means that you have a job and the ability to gain recognised qualifications and essential skills whilst you are working and earning a wage. You will undertake a job role which you will learn as you go with the help of mentors in the “on-the-job” training portion of the apprenticeship and you will learn the academic side of things in the “off-the-job” training part of the apprenticeship. You will be paid for both parts and the “on-the-job” training portion tends to account for 80% of the work, with the “off the job” training accounting for the remaining 20%. There are four main types of Apprenticeships:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Higher Apprenticeship
  • Degree Apprenticeship

There are four different types because different jobs need different levels of qualifications, some higher than others. Some of those with higher educational outcomes also have correspondingly higher entry requirements in terms of qualifications.

How long do Apprenticeships Last?

They would normally last between two and three years. This can depend on the type of apprenticeship and the level of qualification you are working towards as some degree apprenticeships can take as long as six years to complete.

What would I Learn?

This depends on the job you are training for. There are an incredible amount of career paths available for apprentices and there are over 150 different apprenticeship routes available. Every apprentice in the country adheres to an approved study programme which means that the people who are doing the same job role as you in Manchester or Devon will learn the same skills. The approved study programmes for each are referred to as “apprenticeship standards” because they bring each qualification into line with the rest, standardise outcomes and mean that you will gain a recognised and valued qualification. By the end of your apprenticeship you will have the qualifications, skills and experience which match exactly what your employer wants. It also makes you far more employable when you want or need to move on.

Where would I Train?

Where you train during your apprenticeship will all depend on what you are doing. Your employer will decide how they want you to be trained to do their work, and this could include:

  • On the job training at the premises of the company.
  • At college which could be full-time or part-time.
  • At a training centre which you could attend once a week or in blocks of a few days or weeks.
  • At home because there is now a move toward offering more of the study element remotely.

What is certain is that you will have training but how, how often, when and where will be up to your new employer. This is something that you should discuss with them when preparing to apply for an apprenticeship.

How can I secure an Apprenticeship?

To gain an apprenticeship, you need to be aged 16 or over. There is no upper age limit for apprenticeships.

You have to apply for an apprenticeship just like any other job, and your potential new employer needs to know you are committed to being a successful apprentice before they will hire you. This is not to say that it is impossible to leave an apprenticeship if it just isn’t working out for whatever reason, but you should be prepared to explain that reasoning to the next employer or apprenticeship provider that you engage with. Legitimate reasons for leaving an apprenticeship early may be things like being bullied, having sudden family caring responsibilities or suffering from poor mental health.

It is even possible that you will be made redundant from an apprenticeship and this is something that it is prudent to consider before joining one. Look at the company and the industry in which it is based and think about whether what they do is likely to face an upturn or a downturn in the years to come.

There is support for apprentices who have been made redundant and we have collated some of it for you..

What Will I Be Paid?

Pay for apprentices can vary from employer to employer, with some offering quite high salaries even for apprenticeship positions. There is a national minimum wage for apprentices which matches the minimum wage for young people aged 16-18.

Some apprenticeships in business and finance in particular pay more but they are also much harder to get accepted onto and tend to ask for much higher academic achievement rates before they will accept a candidate.

Advice for Parents and Teachers

Many parents and teachers don’t really know all that much about apprenticeships as they have historically not been as well-promoted as some of the other educational destinations in the UK. Apprenticeships are increasingly being seen as a huge positive and a way to potentially close the UK’s skills gaps.

Parents and teachers should read our guide in order to better understand the opportunities that are presented by apprenticeships and the doors that they open to early career advancement. Apprenticeships are an excellent way for talented young people to fulfil their potential and take their place in the workforce of the future.

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