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Apprenticeships have changed and are becoming an increasingly popular study option, offering an alternative to the traditional sixth form/college pathway. 

Apprenticeships are a great way to gain hands-on experience whilst studying towards an industry-recognised qualification as well as earning a wage. 

So, What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a genuine job and under all circumstances, an apprentice will be employed from day one. Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

An apprentice will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • be given time for study related to their role (the equivalent of one day a week)

What levels are there?

All apprenticeships include elements of on the job and off the job training, leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships also require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice`s ability and competence in their job role. The levels range from Intermediate (Level 2) through to Degree apprenticeships (Level 7) equivalent to a Master’s Degree.

Name Level Equivalent
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE's at a pass
Advanced 3 2 A level's at a pass
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor's or Master's degree


At 16, students can apply for an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship. To apply for a higher or degree apprenticeship, you must be 18 and over.

What do apprentices earn?

The national minimum wage (NMW) for apprentices is currently £4.15 per hour from April 2020. The apprentice NMW applies to apprentices aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for each apprenticeship will vary. When using The National Apprenticeship Service to search for an apprenticeship, all vacancies will clearly state what the entry requirements are for the job role being advertised. There will be different entry requirements depending on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level.

For more information of what an apprenticeship entails and where to find them, please use the links below:

A guide to apprenticeships

A parent's guide to apprenticeships

The AZ of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships in England

Find an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships & School Leaver Jobs

Entry level jobs search. Find apprenticeships & school leaver jobs

Amazing Apprenticeships - Apprenticeship resources teachers & schools


Traineeships And School Leaver Programmes