What’s an Apprenticeship?
A real job that includes a government approved training scheme. An average of at least 6 hours a week of paid time is spent on off the job training. Traditionally that was a day a week at college, but now it is much more likely to be a flexible arrangement structured around the needs of the business and the apprentice and could include block release as well as online training.
How long does an Apprenticeship last?
An apprenticeship must be a minimum of 12 months, but can be up to six years, depending on the Level and job role. Each apprenticeship is part of a Career Route and Pathway so that you can progress from one apprenticeship to another. Most apprentices stay on with their employer when they complete their apprenticeship.
How old do you have to be to become an apprentice?
You have to be at least 16 to start an apprenticeship – but there is no upper age limit! They are not just for school leavers! Graduates can also become apprentices. And if you are returning to work after a break or looking to change direction, an apprenticeship is a good option to consider. Some employers also use apprenticeships to up-skill existing staff.
What do apprentices get paid?
Just like any kind of employment, pay rates vary according to the role and the employer. Minimum Wage legislation applies to apprenticeships, but you will find that most employers pay more than NMW and there are opportunities with employers listed on this web-site where an apprentice will start on over £20,000 pa.
Does the apprentice pay for the training?
No. The apprentice doesn’t pay anything towards their training. Even if it’s a degree apprenticeship there are no university fees! Large employers contribute to the training cost by paying an Apprenticeship Levy. Small employers may be asked to contribute up to 5% of the cost of training.
What Job Roles can be an apprenticeship?
Almost anything! There are over 600 job roles approved as Apprenticeship Standards and another 50 in development. They range from Air Traffic Controller to Zoo Keeper and Aquarist, from traditional trades such as Plumber and Electrician to new roles including Cyber Security (Degree Apprenticeship) or Data Analyst. You can now become a fully qualified Doctor, Lawyer or Accountant through the apprenticeship route.
What are Career Routes and Pathways?
All Apprenticeships are based on occupations recognised by employers. Each Apprenticeship fits into one of 15 ‘Routes’ and within each route are several ‘Pathways’.
- AGRICULTURE, ENVIRONMENTAL AND ANIMAL CARE
- BUSINESS AND ADMINISTRATION
- CARE SERVICES
- CATERING AND HOSPITALITY
- CREATIVE AND DESIGN
- EDUCATION AND CHILDCARE
- ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING
- HAIR AND BEAUTY
- HEALTH AND SCIENCE
- LEGAL FINANCE & ACCOUNTING
- PROTECTIVE SERVICES
- SALES MARKETING AND PROCUREMENT
- TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS
You can find out more about the Routes and Pathways here:
What does the Level of an Apprenticeship mean?
The Level of a qualification indicates how difficult it is. For example GCSE’s are either level 1 or Level 2 and A levels are level 3. A Batchelor’s Degree (BA or BSc) is a Level 6 qualification.
You can read more about qualification levels here: https://comparequalifications.co.uk/
Apprenticeships are also allocated a level. Level 2 apprenticeships are referred to as Intermediate Apprenticeships, Level 3 are Advanced Apprenticeships.
Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 are Higher Apprenticeships and those that include a degree are known as a Degree Apprenticeship. There are also Level 7 apprenticeships that include a master’s degree or professional qualification.
Sometimes you will have to step down levels when you start an apprenticeship because you are learning new, practical skills that will underpin your career. So don’t dismiss an apprenticeship opportunity just because you already have qualifications at a higher level.