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web 1An apprenticeship is a genuine job, with training, which means your son or daughter can earn while they learn and gain a nationally recognised qualification.

Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond. Over 50 national universities are currently offering a range of degree apprenticeships.

There are four levels of apprenticeship to apply for depending on your child's current skills and qualifications:

NameLevelEquivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes
Advanced 3 2 A Level passes
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor's or master's degree

All apprenticeships include elements of on and off the job training leading to recognised qualifications. The on-the-job training takes place in the workplace and a college or training provider provides the off-the-job skills and knowledge training.

Apprenticeship roles are available in a wide variety of sectors including law, IT, media, fashion, publishing, accounting, journalism, engineering, nuclear and lots more.

What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is the most direct route into the workplace and there are other benefits too -

  • Earning a salary and paid holiday.
  • Working alongside experienced staff.
  • Gaining job-specific skills.
  • Excellent progression opportunities - to further study or within the workplace.
  • Increased future earning potential - apprentices enjoy marked salary increases on finishing their apprenticeship and on their earnings over their lifetime.

You may also be interested in our article 8 Surprising facts about apprenticeships.

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

Anyone over the age of 16, living in England can apply for an apprenticeship. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and the job. 

For more detail about entry criteria for specific apprenticeships look at the vacancies at www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.

How do you apply for an apprenticeship?

At any one time there are up to 28,000 apprenticeships vacancies available online at www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship. Once the right job comes up, your son or daughter can simply register on the website and apply online.

Where can you undertake an apprenticeship?

With any employer with an apprenticeship vacancy. Some of the biggest and most well-known companies in Staffordshire recruit apprentices including JCB, Finning and Jaguar Land Rover for example, as well as many smaller, well-established local businesses.

How much does it cost to do an apprenticeship?

You, or your son or daughter should not be asked to pay anything to the cost of completing an apprenticeship.

If your son or daughter is aged 16-18 years, the National Apprenticeship Service will cover the full cost of the training.

If they are aged 19-24, the National Apprenticeship Service will cover 50% of the cost and the employer would be expected to cover the other 50%.

How much to apprentices get paid?

The minimum wage for apprenticeships is £3.50 per hour, but many employers pay more than this. The salary will depend in the sector, region and apprenticeship level, for example some Higher Apprenticeships pay up to £500 per week.

For more detail on salaries browse the vacancies in different occupations at www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.

How long does an apprenticeship take?

Apprenticeships typically take between one and four years to complete, depending on the type of framework. There is no set time to complete it as they vary widely in content and size. The length of time taken will depend on the ability of the individual apprentice and the employer’s requirements.

Where to next?

When your son or daughter finishes their apprenticeship they should be well equipped to follow their chosen career, with over 90% of apprentices securing a job at the end.   

Your son or daughter could carry on working up the ranks in the workplace or go on to higher education, part time or full time, in a college, university, or in the workplace as a graduate apprentice.

Employers value apprenticeships because they give employees experience as well as communication and team building skills. 

For further information see:

Video: you can get a degree with an apprenticeship


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