How apprenticeships work
Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.
As an apprentice you’ll:
- be an employee earning a wage and getting holiday pay
- work alongside experienced staff
- gain job-specific skills
- get time for training and study related to your role (at least 20% of your normal working hours)
Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.
Levels of apprenticeship
Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels.
|Level||Equivalent educational level|
|Higher||4,5,6 and 7||Foundation degree and above|
|Degree||6 and 7||Bachelor’s or master’s degree|
Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.
Who can start an apprenticeship
To start an apprenticeship, you’ll need to be:
- 16 or over
- living in England
- not in full-time education
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school but you’ll need to be 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays to start the apprenticeship.
If you have relevant experience
You could spend less time training or qualify earlier if you have relevant experience. This includes having:
- qualifications, such as a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in a relevant subject
- industry or sector experience
- completed training, such as an IT course
You can agree this with your training provider and employer when you start your apprenticeship.
If you need more experience
If you feel you’re not ready for an apprenticeship, a traineeship is a course designed to prepare you for one.
Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Different organisations deal with: