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What are apprenticeships?

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 get holiday pay
  • get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.

Apprenticeships are available in lots of different occupational areas including Business, Engineering, Law, ICT and Construction.

Levels of apprenticeship

Name Level Equivalent education level
Intermediate 2 GCSE
Advanced 3 A Level
Higher 4,5,6&7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6&7 Bachelor's or master's degree

Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.

Who can apply?

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:

  • 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education

What can they earn?

The national minimum wage (NMW) for apprentices is £3.90 per hour from April 2019. The apprentice NMW applies to apprentices aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship. Apprentices aged 25 and over, and not in the first year of their apprenticeship, will be entitled to the National Minimum Wage. This is the legal minimum pay per hour, most receive more. The Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2016 estimated the average gross hourly pay received by apprentices in Great Britain was £6.70 an hour for level 2 and 3 apprentices which is equivalent to nearly £14,000 per year.

For more detailed information on apprenticeships, please see the following links:

Apprenticeship Guide 2024

A Guide to Apprenticeships

The A-Z of apprenticeships

The Essential Guide to apprenticeship support

A Parent’s Guide to Apprenticeships

For more information about Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships, please visit the Sixth Form section of our website.