The Purpose of an apprenticeship is gaining on the job experience and earning a salary while working towards a qualification.  When you start your apprenticeship, you will be employed and working a real job, while at the same time studying for your qualification, alongside college or distance learning. Upon completing your apprenticeship, you will have gained the hands on and practical experience that employers look for, and knowledge to continue and advance in your chosen industry. After completing an apprenticeship, you will receive your certification for completing the qualification, whether it be diploma, degree or higher. There are four different levels of apprenticeships; based on your current qualifications you will be able to complete higher level apprenticeships. The length of the apprenticeship may vary based on the level of the course. The lower level apprenticeships usually vary between 12 – 18 months however advanced level courses can be longer such as 2 – 3 years or more. Higher and Degree level apprenticeships can take between 3- 6 years to complete.

Intermediate – Equivalent to 5 GCSE passes

Advanced – Equivalent to 2 A Levels

Higher – Equivalent to qualifications such as a foundation degree

Degree – Comparable to a Bachelors or Masters degree

Below are some frequently asked questions and their answers.


Is there an age restriction?

As long as you are over 16 years old there are no age restrictions for becoming an apprentice. If you start an apprenticeship over the age of 19 you may be able to receive additional government funding.


Where and how can I apply?

You can apply for an apprenticeship at any time of the year, it just depends when employers are hiring. Employers will list what type of apprenticeships it has, as well as level, length and what your role responsibilities will be. Some recruitment websites will offer apprenticeship vacancies when they become available, alternatively there are some recruiters and NGO’s like 5E that specialise in finding vacancies for people looking for an apprenticeship.


What industries have Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are divided across 17 sectors, from Information Technology to Creative Media, and Engieneering to Fitness.


Is an apprenticeship right for me?

If you enjoy learning by doing and you like the idea of working towards your career while learning and earning it is likely an apprenticeship is right for you. It is a great way to getting your foot in the door and open lots of potential paths. If you are not sure there are plenty of career advisors you can talk to and research you can do. Ultimately only you will know if an apprenticeship is right for you based on your own ambitions and situation, if you feel it is the path you want to take speak to the right people and do as much research as possible. Below are some helpful links that can help shed light on if an apprenticeship is right for you.


5E’s information on Apprenticeships and the Programmes it run –  Click here

A helpful apprenticeship guide,as well as apprenticeship vacancies – Click here

The UK Goverments informtion on Apprenticeships – Click here

Getmyfirstjob, a website providing apprenticeship vacancies –  Click here




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