1. Applications and qualifications

Apply for an apprenticeship

Anyone in England can apply for an apprenticeship if they’re:

  • 16 or over
  • eligible to work in England
  • not in full-time education

First search for a vacancy on the Apprenticeships website, then register on the site and apply.

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

Work and study

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

An apprentice:

  • works alongside experienced staff
  • gains job-specific skills
  • earns a wage
  • studies towards a related qualification (usually 1 day a week)

Levels of apprenticeship

There are 3 levels in England:

  • Intermediate – equivalent to 5 GCSE passes
  • Advanced – equivalent to 2 A level passes
  • Higher – lead to NVQ Level 4 and above or a Foundation Degree

Read more information on the levels of apprenticeships on the Apprenticeships website.


Apprenticeships can lead to:

  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) at Level 2,3,4 or 5
  • Functional Skills qualifications, eg in maths, English or ICT
  • a technical certificate, such as a BTEC or City & Guilds Progression Award
  • knowledge-based qualifications, such as a Higher National Certificate (HNC), a Higher National Diploma (HND) or a Foundation degree

Find out about apprenticeships in Scotland and Wales.

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