Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace. Off the job, usually on a day-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications. Anyone living in England, over 16 years-old and not in full-time education can apply.
Typically an apprentice works 4 or 5 days a week full time for an employer and takes between 1 – 4 years to complete depending on the level of Apprenticeship, the apprentices' ability and the industry sector. The minimum salary is £2.68 per hour; however, many apprentices earn significantly more.
The majority of time is spent in the workplace and is supported by a mentor. The remaining learning is delivered by a learning provider which could be a specialist provider or a Further Education College
There are more than 250 different types of Apprenticeships available offering over 1400 job roles. These include:
Business I Health & Social Care I Hospitality I Construction I Dental Nursing I Hairdressing
There are three levels of Apprenticeship available:
1 Intermediate Level Apprenticeships
Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 2 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification.
2 Advanced Level Apprenticeships
Apprentices work towards work-based learning such as a Level 3 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge based qualification.
3 Higher Apprenticeships
Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 4 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation Degree.
Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16 years-old whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. You just need to be living in England and not taking part in full-time education.
There may be different entry requirements depending on the Apprenticeship and the industry sector. However competition for places with employers can be fierce, so you will need to show that you are committed, and aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and the company who would employ you. You also need to be happy to work as both part of a team and individually, and be able to use your own initiative.
No set entry requirements for most Apprenticeships but most colleges ask for GCSE or equivalent in line with standard entry requirements.
More employers look for relevant work experience in the sector.
Apprenticeships such as engineering or construction require C grades in Maths or Science GCSE.
Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised on the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) website all year round.
Large organisations such as BMW, BT and British Gas advertise on their websites and recruit at set times each year.
Further information about Apprenticeships visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk