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An apprenticeship is a way to gain the skills, knowledge and experience you need to get into many careers. They combine work, training, and study, letting you 'earn while you learn'.

There are many different apprenticeships available across a wide range of industries, and for a wide variety of job roles. As a paid employee, each apprentice works alongside their studies. There are no student fees - your training costs are funded by the government and your employer.

It’s an ideal option if you have a clear idea of the career path you want to follow, providing you with practical, on-the-job training, and classroom-based instruction.

As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on the level you undertake. Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels as follows:

Name Level Equivalent educational Levels
Intermediate 2 A-Level
Advanced 3 GCSE
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you are still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:

  • 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education

UCAS have teamed up with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) to help students access a range of apprenticeship opportunities/vacancies with an apprenticeship search tool - you can access their a hub to set up an account and sign up for apprenticeships alerts via the following link: 


The National Careers Service has advice on writing applications and what to do at interviews.

There are many resources available online regarding apprenticeships and the following resources provide a useful overview: 

http://www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships - Apprenticeships

http://amazingapprenticeships.com/about-ask/ - Apprenticeships - support for schools 

http://www.ucas.com/apprenticeships-uk - UK apprenticeships

http://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch - Search & apply for an apprenticeship

http://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/apprenticeships-223 - Search apprenticeships  

http://allaboutapprenticeships.co.uk/ - Find and apply for apprenticeships in your area

Apprenticeship helpline

Tel 0800 015 0400 (8 am to 10 pm)