Become an apprentice

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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
Intermediate 2 GCSE
Advanced 3 A 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 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 apprenticeships in: