What is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are essentially a job with training. They are a fantastic way to gain a qualification through work-based learning, whether you’re starting or changing your career, or if you’re looking to upskill.
Apprenticeships are linked to specific job roles and ensure you develop the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary to succeed and excel in your chosen career. They include an industry-relevant professional qualification and take between one and four years to complete through a combination of work-based assessment, practical workshops, progress reviews and classroom lessons.
At the end of your Apprenticeship, you will demonstrate all you have learned in an independent assessment which will prove competence in your job role and help you progress in your career.
With an Apprenticeship, you can earn a salary while learning the key skills and behaviours you need to advance in your career. You’ll develop practical experience on the job, while simultaneously studying for a professional qualification.
Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers anymore, if you’re aged 16 or over, you can progress your career with an Apprenticeship in a variety of industries. You can start with an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Levels 2 or Level 3), and progress all the way up to a Degree-Level Apprenticeship (Level 6) and a Masters-Level Degree (Level 7)**.
*Please be aware that this information is for England only.
**You will not receive a masters degree upon completion of a Level 7 Apprenticeship.
Benefits of becoming an apprentice
Earn a salary while you train for a professional qualification
Choose from a wide range of industries
Avoid university fees
Become a valuable asset to an employer
Achieve your career goals
Keep your current contract and role at your employment but use the Apprenticeship to develop your skills and career
Take advantage of Apprenticeship travel and retail discounts
How long does an Apprenticeship take to complete?
Each Apprenticeship is different so they vary in length. An Apprenticeship can take between one and four years to complete, depending on the level of the programme. For example, a Level 3 Apprenticeship can take around 18 months, whilst a Level 7 Apprenticeship can take over 3 years to complete.
As an apprentice, 20% of the time you are paid to work (equivalent to around one day a week), is spent on off-the-job training, meaning you get time to learn during your working hours. Your training can consist of lectures, online learning, assignments, shadowing, coaching sessions, 1-2-1s, and projects.
What’s involved in an Apprenticeship?
Every Apprenticeship, regardless of sector or level, is now designed around a specific job role. For that job role, employers have determined what are the key Knowledge areas employees need to know and the key Skills and Behaviours employees need to demonstrate to prove they are competent in that role. These Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours are then listed and described in what’s called an Apprenticeship ‘standard’.
Essentially, whilst you are on the Apprenticeship you are working to learn the knowledge (usually through completion of a professional qualification) and develop and demonstrate the skills and behaviours (through interactive workshops, 1-2-1s, e-learning and be shown new skills in the workplace).
At the end of the Apprenticeship, you must then demonstrate everything you’ve learned in an End Point Assessment, which will be independently assessed. The End Point Assessment is specifically designed to test your career-ready skills, and may consist of a reflective statement, interview, professional discussion, or a portfolio. Your EPA gives you and your employer the confidence that you have met the standard required for that particular job role and help to progress your career.
How much will I get paid?
Apprentices are entitled to get paid at least the National Minimum Wage. Currently the National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £4.15 an hour. Many employers pay more than this, but you should not get any less.