Skip to Main Content

Careers: Apprenticeships



Information for Parents

Amazing Apprenticeships have some excellent materials to help young people and their parents learn more about apprenticeships.   Their guide, Apprenticeships: Hints and Tips for parents and carers is a great place to start to find out more.

Have you heard about Higher and Degree Apprenticeships?   You can discover more about these on the UCAS website.  Amazing Apprenticeships provide a bulletin of vacancies for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship combines studying with on-the-job training; it provides the opportunity to develop practical skills, earn a wage and work towards nationally recognised qualifications.

Different apprenticeships are available all over England, at companies large and small, in a wide range of industries and organisations, from local organisations to large national brands.

As an apprentice you will work for an employer and either attend college to complete some technical training, or an assessor will visit you in the workplace to carry out the training with you there.

Apprenticeships can take one and six years to complete, depending on which apprenticeship you choose, what level it’s at, and your previous experience.

Your salary will depend upon the industry, location and type of apprenticeship you choose. Apprenticeship wages are relative to your age but note that many employers pay more than the minimum rates. Find out more about apprenticeships on the Amazing Apprenticeships website.

Rate my Apprenticeship release a guide each year which provides a good overview of the career options at 16, 17 and 18.  You can view the digital guide online

→ You earn a regular salary as you learn, with at least 20% of your time spent in off the job training

→ The majority of your time will be spent in the workplace gaining practical experience

→ You receive high quality training paid for by your employer and the government

→ You train to be fully competent in your chosen occupation

→ You’re on a career path, growing your skills - with lots of future potential for you

→ You get valuable hands-on experience working whilst you learn, which helps you progress in your working life

→ Apprenticeships are a great opportunity to get on job ladder or supercharge your career

Many organisations advertise their apprenticeship vacancies (similar to a job vacancy) on their website or through social media platforms. One option is to research apprenticeship vacancies in this way and apply online.

The government advertises apprenticeships through their Find an Apprenticeship portal.

You can also regularly review our apprenticeship vacancy page where we advertise positions on behalf of employers.

If you’re struggling to find a vacancy, we advise applicants who want to be an apprentice to apply for a full-time college course in a related subject, as well as applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

On the course details section on our application, it asks if you would be interested in an apprenticeship if a suitable vacancy should become available. By selecting yes, this allows us to invite you to an apprenticeship day and support you with finding a vacancy, whilst also having the back up plan of the full time course you are applying for.

If you secure an apprenticeship after you have enrolled onto a full time programme, don’t worry! We will transfer you onto an apprenticeship and you can start your working career, taking with you the skills and knowledge that you have already developed on your study programme.

Types of Apprenticeships

Intermediate Apprenticeships are also known as Level 2 Apprenticeships and are generally equivalent to 5 GCSE passes and offering a practical pathway to learning. 

Studying towards a qualification at the same level of 5 GCSE's, you will work to achieve a work related qualification such as an NVQ Level 2 and/or a knowledge based qualification such as a BTEC Level 2, which is applicable to the sector your apprenticeship is based in. 

Entry requirements differ based on the employer so it's always best to check their preferred entry qualifications. If you are a school leaver and have not obtained a grade 4 or above in GCSE English and/or Maths, these subjects may be added to part of your apprenticeship study.

Progress routes are available through completing an Intermediate Apprenticeship for example, moving onto an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Advanced Apprenticeships are also known as Level 3 Apprenticeships and are generally equivalent to two A Level passes.  

Entry requirements differ based on the employer so it's always best to check their preferred entry qualifications. However, you would usually need at least 5 GCSE's at 4/C or above, including GCSE English and Maths. There are also opportunities to progress from an Intermediate Apprenticeship to an Advanced Apprenticeship. 

Students who have already obtained a Level 3 qualification may choose to progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship to gain further work based skills and experience in a particular sector. 

Progress routes are available through completing an Advanced Apprenticeship for example, moving onto a Higher Apprenticeship.

Higher Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to gain a Level 4 qualification or higher, with most apprentices receiving an NVQ Level 4, Higher National Diploma, or Foundation Degree. 

The duration of a Higher Apprenticeships can take between 1-5 years to complete, depending on the qualification and may involve some part time college/university based study. 

Entry requirements differ based on the employer so it's always best to check their preferred entry qualifications. However, you would usually need at least 5 GCSE's at 4/C or above, including GCSE English and Maths and a Level 3 qualification such as A Levels, an NVQ or a BTEC (generally from a relevant subject area to the apprenticeship).

Progression onto Higher Apprenticeships can be competitive - the competition is tough due to limited vacancies and employers offering progression support to existing employees.

Degree Apprenticeships provide the opportunity for students to achieve a full bachelor's or master's degree.

They can take between 3-6 year to complete depending on the programme, with the duration of the course being spilt between working for an employer and part time study at a university. Amazing Apprenticeships have a Rapid Read about degree apprenticeships which you might find useful.

Degree apprenticeships are a relatively new mode of study and so vacancies are limited making competition tough, though it's expected that vacancies will increase over the coming years. UCAS has a wealth of information to help you learn more about degree apprenticeships.

Amazing Apprenticeships publish degree apprenticeships vacancies in Nov and Feb each year.

Apprenticeships Overview

Tips for finding apprenticeships

1. Explore opportunities           

Explore the vacancies in your sector of interest

2. Get organised

Create your CV & Covering Letter and have a professional sounding email address.  Relevant work experience will help you stand out and show your commitment.

3. Know your skills and strengths

What skills are employers looking for?    What are you good at and do you have examples which show this?   Employers will be looking for skills such as good communication, team work, creativity, leadership, resilience and problem solving.   Pages 5 - 10 of the Step-by-Step guide to applying for an apprenticeship provides some pointers for identifying your strengths.

4. Research the company

Before applying research the company by looking at their website or following their social media output.   If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, consider setting one up.  The National Careers Service provide an overview about setting up a LinkedIn profile. 

Apprenticeship Occupational Maps

Image of the Apprenticeship Occupational Maps

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!' "– Audrey Hepburn