Are you thinking about going down the apprenticeship route but have a few questions before you do? This area is for anyone that is looking to become an apprentice but needs some more information.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a nationally recognised qualification that introduces young people to the world of work by combining practical training in a job with study. Apprenticeships can last from 1 to 4 years and allow you to get paid as you learn.
Do I need qualifications to become an apprentice?
Entry requirements on age and level of past qualifications differ, depending on the sector and the job. Some apprenticeship roles are incredibly competitive, with high requirements all the way up to A-level. Whereas other employers prioritise interest towards the job and industry and therefore may require Maths and English passes at GCSE level.
You can show enthusiasm by getting work experience in the field you want to go in to.
Which industries offer apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are available with a wide variety of industries. This list of possible areas to work in shows the variety of opportunities on offer to you.
For examples of current apprenticeship vacancies with local and national employers go to the government apprenticeship website.
What are the benefits of apprenticeships over university?
Apprentices get a head-start in their careers with practical experience, whilst their peers are still in education.
Apprentices can quickly work their way up to pay scales comparable to graduate salaries.
An apprenticeship will teach you job-specific skills that will prepare you for a career in a specific industry.
How much will I get paid? How much holiday do I get?
The minimum wage for an apprentice under the age of 19 is £3.70 an hour. This is for a minimum of 30 hour working week. After the first year this increases to £4.20 an hour for under 18s and £5.90 for 18-20 year olds. For people aged 20-24 the hourly rate is £7.38. The rates change every April.
Apprentices should be considered in the same way as a full time member of staff. Meaning they have the same entitlement regarding holidays and sick pay and so on.
What do I get when my apprenticeship ends?
Your apprenticeship will be recognised by employers as equivalent to the standardised in-school qualifications. For example, Level 2 apprenticeships are equivalent to passing 5 GCSE grades, whilst a Level 3 apprenticeship is equivalent to 2 A-level passes.
All apprentices train to industry recognised standards and some even gain additional qualifications on top of their apprenticeship. Many apprenticeships now have an end-point assessment. Apprentices also benefit from invaluable work experience in their chosen field, allowing them to compete for further work in the industry. Many businesses will offer their apprentices full-time work at the end of their apprenticeship.
How do I become an apprentice?
All apprenticeship opportunities are listed on the UK Government’s online ‘Find an apprenticeship’ service. Access the ‘Write a winning apprenticeship application’ guide to help you with your online application.
You will need to prepare a CV to send to employers you are interested in working for. If your initial application is successful you may face an interview. If you are unsuccessful, make sure to ask for feedback so as to better prepare yourself for your next apprenticeship application.