Benefits include earning a salary, getting paid holidays, receiving training, gaining qualifications and earning job-specific skills.
Types of apprenteships available
The national apprenticeship website says there are over 150,000 employers 'offering apprenticeships in more than 200,000 locations, covering more than 170 industries and 1,500 job roles'.
Specific examples include:
- Animal care.
- Teaching assistant.
- Healthcare support worker.
- Dental nurse.
- Pharmacy technician.
- Cabin crew.
- Travel services.
- Design assistant.
- Hair and beauty.
and lots more…
All apprentices must receive the appropriate national minimum wage. The rate per hour depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice. The rates are usually updated every October. For the latest information go to the Government website.
It is worth noting though that many employers of apprentices pay more than the minimum wage.
The following are the types of apprenticeship you can apply for depending on your current skills and qualifications:
- Intermediate level apprenticeship. These are generally considered to be the same as five GCSE passes.
- Advanced level apprenticeship. These are generally considered to be the same as two A Level passes.
- Higher apprenticeship. These can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree.
- Degree apprenticeships. These enable apprentices to achieve a full bachelor's or master's degree as part of their apprenticeship.
Higher and degree apprentiships
If you have Level 3 qualifications, such as A Levels, you can also consider Higher and Degree apprenticeships:
The UCAS website states that higher apprenticeships provide an opportunity to gain a higher education qualification, such as an NVQ Level 4, HND or foundation 26 degree. They can take from one to five years to complete, and involve part-time study at a college, university or training provider.
In March 2015 these were launched by the government. They have been developed by businesses, universities and colleges. Apprentices will split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree from a top university while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession.
The UCAS website has much useful information about degree apprenticeships, including what types are available. You can also use the apprenticeship website to check out the latest apprenticeship vacancies.
Entry requirements vary. An apprenticeship is like a job and students need to demonstrate a strong interest in their chosen apprenticeship area and be ready to start a job!
You need to check the apprenticeship vacancies for the specific entry requirements. For example, some may want four or five GCSEs at grades 9 – 4, others may ask for a level 2 qualification in English and maths (such as GCSEs at grades 9 – 4). Some may ask you to take a numeracy and literacy test before you are accepted onto the apprenticeship.
Higher and degree level apprenticeships may require level 3 qualifications, such as A Levels. Also, many employers will expect or require applicants to have qualifications in subjects related to the particular apprenticeship on offer. Check apprenticeship vacancies for details of subjects available and entrance grade requirements
How to apply
You need to search and apply using the apprenticeship website.
You can also check out employers' websites if you have a particular employer in mind. Other useful websites include:
Traineeships are an option if you want to work but need extra help to gain an apprenticeship or job. Traineeships will give you the opportunity to develop the skills and workplace experience that employers require.
You can search and apply for traineeships using the apprenticeship website.
- Apprenticeships: includes information on the different types of apprenticeships available and has real apprenticeship and traineeship vacancies.
- Unifrog: for log-on details please see Mrs Higgott in the Careers Library.
- UCAS website: has useful information about degree and higher apprenticeships.
- Get my first job: includes apprenticeship and traineeship vacancies.
- Not going to uni: advice and support on alternative options.
- National Minimum Wage.
- Careermap: search and apply for apprenticeships using a map.
- Rate my apprenticeship: includes useful information and apprenticeship vacancies.