What it is....

What are apprenticeships?

  • Apprentices are employees of large or small companies who learn a particular trade or skill alongside experienced staff.
  • They are paid to do this and are also entitled to paid holidays.
  • They are also given release from work to go to college to gain a recognised qualification in their chosen industry.

Who can apply?

  • Anyone aged 16 or over can apply as long as they are not in full time education.
  • It doesn’t matter if you have had another job in a different career or have been registered unemployed.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

  • It will last between 1 and 4 years depending on the industry and also the ability of the apprentice.

What types of apprenticeships are there?

  • Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care
  • Business, Administration and Law
  • Education and Training
  • Health, Public Services and Care
  • Leisure, Travel and Tourism
  • Arts, Media and Publishing
  • Construction, Planning and Built Environment
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Retail and Commercial Enterprise

What sort of training is there?

  • Most of the training takes place ‘on the job’ and is given by experienced staff.
  • There is a minimum 30 hours per week on job training.
  • The remainder of the time will be spent working towards a work based qualification at a local college.
  • This may be from 1 day every two weeks to 2 days every week depending on the industry, level and individuals ability.

What are the benefits?

  • Paid employment - £3.70 per hour minimum from apprentices under 19 and those over 19 who are in their first year. Otherwise it is at least the national minimum wage.
  • Paid holidays - this will vary from industry to industry and employer to employer.
  • Qualifications - every apprentice will study for a work based qualification at the same time as their on the job training.
  • Some apprentices use their apprenticeships as a springboard into higher education where they complete a full degree.

Are there different levels of apprenticeship?

  • Intermediate(Equivalent to 5 good GCSE passes).
    • Level 2 competence qualification and functional skills.
  • Advanced(Equivalent to 2 A levels)
    • Level 3 competence qualification and functional skills.
  • Higher(Leads to NVQ 4, foundation degree or higher)
    • Level 4, 5, 6 and 7 competence qualification and functional skills.
  • Degree (Leads to full degree)
    • Level 6 and 7 competence qualification and functional skills.
  • All levels must include a competence qualification which:
  • Leads to a transferable apprenticeship certificate
  • Demonstrates that an individual can perform the skill, trade or occupation to the required level.
  • There must be a technical knowledge qualification which is the theory part of the apprenticeship and tends to be studied at college.
  • There must be key skills and functional skills which are learned as part of the ‘on the job’ training.

How do I apply?

  • Go to and register your details there.
  • Create a ‘myhome’ page
    • Put on your areas of interest
    • Search online from here.
  • Interests can be matched by:
    • Occupation
    • Employer
    • Keyword
    • College
    • Location
  • Apprenticeships are applied for online
    • Application form is re-usable, so only has to be filled in once.
    • Multiple applications are possible
    • Status of application can be viewed online.
  • Direct
    • Small local companies may not advertise.
    • Apply directly to these.

What support and advice can I get?

Wize Tips

  • Anyone over 16 may apply if they are not in full time education.
  • Job searches can be done online.
  • There are different levels of apprenticeships.
  • You will learn from experienced staff ‘on the job’.
  • You will get paid while you learn.
  • You will study for a qualification.