Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. As an apprentice you will:
- Work alongside experienced staff.
- Gain job-specific skills.
- Earn a wage and get holiday pay.
- Study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week).
- Apprenticeships take 1 to 4 years to complete depending on their level.
Levels of Apprenticeship:
There are four levels of apprenticeship:
- Intermediate Apprenticeships, which are equivalent to five good GCSEs.
- Advanced Level Apprenticeships, which are equivalent to two A-levels.
- Higher Apprenticeships, which can lead to a HND, HNC or foundation degree.
- Degree Apprenticeships, which lead to a full undergraduate degree and include study at a university.
On this page we are looking at Intermediate Apprenticeships: click below to find out about the higher level apprenticeships.
Higher Level Apprenticeships
Who can apply?
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:
- 16 or over.
- Living in England.
- Not in full-time education.
How to apply:
There are 3 steps to applying for an apprenticeship.
- Search for an apprenticeship.
- Sign in or create an account on the national apprenticeship site.
- Complete and submit your application.
Pay and Conditions
You will be paid during your apprenticeship and will be entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.50 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year of their apprenticeship. You must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age if you’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed your first year.
You must be paid for:
- Your normal working hours (minimum 30 hours per week).
- Training that’s part of your apprenticeship (usually one day per week).
Holidays: you will get at least 20 days paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays.
Intermediate Apprenticeships Explained
Your qualification will be at Level 2, roughly equivalent to five GCSE passes at grades 9* to 4.
The specific qualification will depend on the apprenticeship. It will often be an NVQ, but there are other qualifications available, like BTECs. You can find a full list of level 2 qualifications on the National Careers Service website.
What subjects can I study?
All of the main areas covered by apprenticeships have intermediate apprenticeships available. However, options are limited in some of them. For example, most ICT apprenticeships are at the advanced level, with intermediate opportunities more limited.
However, an intermediate apprenticeship can be a stepping stone to a higher qualification. If the specific subject you are interested in isn’t covered, check the entry requirements of other apprenticeships and courses to see what the best next step is.
Search for apprenticeship opportunities online to find out what is currently available. Link below:
What kind of work can you do?
There are a huge range of different jobs available, including health and social care, hospitality and mechanical engineering. Usually, the work will be practical, and you won’t specialise much within the job – for example, on a teaching assistant apprenticeship, you would gain experience helping children in the classroom generally rather than focusing on a specific area like children with special educational needs.
What qualifications do I need?
Apprenticeship entry requirements always vary, but as a guideline, you can expect to need a few GCSEs at 9*- 4, including English and Maths. Alternative qualifications, like a level 1 NVQ, could also be enough.
Remember that you’ll need both a job and a course. These might have different entry requirements, so check both.
How long does an apprenticeship take?
All apprenticeships must take at least one year. Intermediate apprenticeships rarely take longer than two years, but some lead straight into an advanced apprenticeship, meaning they take longer overall.
To access the Government’s website click below:
Telephone: 0800 015 0400 or 0247 682 6482
Please click on the link below to download an informative PowerPoint on Apprenticeships.