Become an

Become an

Become an

Become an

What's an apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a real job with training which would allow you to earn while you learn, and gain a national recognised qualification. Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete and cover 1500 job roles across many industries. They are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England and can have different entry requirements depending on the sector and job. Apprenticeships are available right up to University degree level and beyond. The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.50 per hour but many employers pay more than this. The average gross weekly wage for an apprentice is £200 (Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2011). This is dependent on the sector, region and Apprenticeship level e.g. some Higher Apprenticeships can pay as much as £300 to £500 per week.

Daniel, who is 23 and lives in south Liverpool is straight to the point:

“I would recommend thinking about an apprenticeship to anybody. Going to university was an option after my A-levels and most of my friends went to uni. But financially and career wise I certainly don’t feel as if I made a mistake by not joining them. I am much further ahead then I would have been even if I had gained a degree"

As an apprentice Daniel benefited from being paid a real wage, gaining skills employers want, being supported by mentor and making progress in his chosen career.

  1. Earn a salary (you may also be eligible for help towards travel costs)

  2. Training in the skills employers want

  3. No cost to the apprentice for the qualification.

  4. Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace;

  5. Increased future earning potential – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training, and those with an Advanced Apprenticeship earn around £117,000* more than those without, over the course of their career

  6. Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor;

  7. Paid annual leave entitlement 

* Returns to Intermediate and Low Level Qualifications (September 2011)
The following handy hints can help as you begin to take the practical steps to becoming an apprentice:

  1. Before you start to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy print off copies of anything that might help you such as your: UCAS Personal Statement | CV | Personal Statement Achievement Portfolio | Copies of certificates. Keep copy of job advert and any supporting materials.
  2. Check all the job details including location, closing date and role.
  3. Circle all the buzz words in the job advert, or write them all down so that you have a checklist of the kinds of words to include in your application. Also use the tool on the Find An Apprenticeship website to support with your application process: To find out how to write a winning apprenticeship application:  CLICK HERE
  4. Remember you have more skills than you think so identify and evidence skills from any work experience, social activities and voluntary experience you might have.
  5. If an employer is asking for GCSE grades 9 - 4 (A* to C) and you did not achieve these grades, it could still be worth applying for the job. State you are willing to work towards achieving Functional Skills within the duration of the apprenticeship.
  6. Ask someone else to take a look through your application to check for spelling and grammar mistakes and to give you some final feedback.

A Traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience that gives young people the skills and experience that employers are looking for. It consists of work preparation training, English and Maths for those who need it, and a high quality work experience placement.

You could be suitable if you are:

  • Motivated to work.
  • Unemployed, or work fewer than 16 hours per week and have little work experience.
  • Aged between 16-24 and qualified below Level 3


A traineeship is probably not right for you if you:

  • Already have the skills and experience needed to find an apprenticeship or work.
  • Are 25 years old or older
  • Are already employed

To find if a traineeship is for you please download the Traineeship Factsheet below.

Below are the different levels of Apprenticeships that you can apply for, depending on your current skills and qualifications:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship (also known as level 2) – with an equivalent education level of 5 GCSE passes at grades 4 - 9
  • Advanced Apprenticeship – (also known as level 3) – with an equivalent education level of 2 A level passes
  • Higher Apprenticeship – (also known as levels 4 and 5) – with an equivalent education level of Foundation degree and above
  • Degree Apprenticeship – (also known as level 6 and 7) – with an equivalent education level of a Bachelor’s or master’s degree

The core components for Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships are:

  • A nationally recognised vocational qualification
  • Functional skills (eg literacy, numeracy, ICT)
  • A technical certificate such as a BTEC or City & Guilds
  • Other professional qualifications or requirements as specified by the particular job

The core components for Higher Apprenticeships are as above but exclude the functional skills element.


Download our useful information


A guide to Apprenticeships


A–Z Guide To Apprenticeships


Higher Degree Apprenticeships


Traineeships Factsheet


Parent’s Guide to apprenticeships


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