The Basics

The following information has been provided by the Apprenticeship Guide.

An apprenticeship, which must last for a minimum of 12 months, combines hands-on work with the opportunity to train and obtain qualifications. It’s also a paid position, so you earn while you learn. At least 20% of your time is set aside for learning, usually at a college, university or training provider.

The rest of your time is spent applying your knowledge and skills in the actual workplace, doing the job that you set out to get. At the end of it, you’ll gain official certification, which will be equivalent to traditional qualifications. Apprenticeship levels are set and equivalent to as follows:

  • Level 2 (Intermediate): GCSEs at grades A* to C
  • Level 3 (Advanced): A-levels at grades A to E
  • Level 4 (Higher): foundation degree
  • Level 5 (Higher): foundation degree/first year of bachelor’s degree
  • Level 6 (Degree): bachelor’s degree
  • Level 7 (Degree): master’s degree

It’s important to note that there are caveats. Apprenticeships are designed to be flexible, so, for example, an employer may offer a level 6 or 7 apprenticeship, considered to be at the higher level, without giving you the option of getting an actual degree qualification, while others will.

It’s essential that you check before applying – the qualifications on offer and the level at which you’ll train will be made explicit, so you’ll be able to decide if you’re happy to undertake an apprenticeship at the degree level without the prospect of being awarded one at the end of it. Many intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships will also give you the opportunity to obtain qualifications such as diplomas in relevant areas.

There is no maximum age limit for an apprenticeship, but they are for those aged 16 or over, living in England and not in full-time education.

Added Benefits

1.    Get a qualification: Finishing your apprenticeship earns you a recognised qualification, showing future employers your skills.

2.    Earn while you learn: Unlike traditional education, Apprenticeships pay you a salary, letting you avoid student debt and become financially independent. For the most up to date information about what you can earn during your Apprenticeship visit

3.   Real work experience: during an Apprenticeships you’ll learn job-specific skills through on-the-job training, giving you an advantage in job hunts.

4.    Develop skills: Tackle real challenges to improve thinking skills and soft skills like adaptability and resilience.

5.    Job security: Many Apprenticeships lead to full-time jobs, providing stability and commitment from the company.

6.    Pursue interests: Small group learning means personalised guidance at your own pace.

7.    Support network: Connect with other apprentices and professionals for advice and job opportunities. You’ll also receive ongoing evaluations to ensure timely training with the offer of extra help if needed.

8.    Paid Holidays: You’re entitled to the statutory minimum of 20 days of paid holidays per year, plus bank holidays, of which there are currently eight.

9.    Employee Benefits: Many employers offer additional benefits such as gym memberships, private healthcare, and travel loans. The current minimum age for a workplace pension is 22 but some employers offer a pension to all of their employees.

10. Career options: Completing an apprenticeship sets a clear career path with skills you can use in many industries, helping you move up in your career.

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