Watch this video to find out more about apprenticeships:

What is an Apprenticeship?

  • A paid job combining training, work experience and study
  • A way of training for a trade or a profession
  • Apprentices work towards qualifications such as an NVQ, a BTEC or  a City & Guilds
  • Apprentices work alongside experienced staff
  • Most job sectors offer apprenticeships – e.g. business administration, motor vehicle, engineering, childcare and hairdressing
How long do Apprenticeships last?

They vary in length. They normally last between 1 – 4 years.

Who can apply?

You must be 16 or over. There is no upper age limit.

What do employers want?

An employer is investing time, money and training into an apprentice. Typically, they look for:

  • Good record of timekeeping and attendance
  • Enthusiasm
  • Willingness to work towards a qualification
  • Ability to work as part of a team and independently
  • Probably good grades in Maths and English
What qualifications are needed?

Entry requirements are set by the employer. They may ask for two or more GCSE’s (grades 4 – 9) or equivalent and possibly additional GCSEs.


  • Earn while you learn
  • No student loan
  • Gain a recognised qualification
  • Gain work experience
  • Build confidence
  • Develop skills
  • Paid holidays

  • They are popular so can be very competitive
  • May be paid less than qualified colleagues
  • Graduate starting salaries are usually higher
  • Not available for certain careers. For example, a degree is essential for most medical careers.
  • It can be hard to change career direction once you have started an apprenticeship
  • If you drop out of an apprenticeship, you are back to square one
  • When you are used to getting paid, it can be difficult to go back into unpaid education
  • Some apprentices find the responsibilities stressful. For example, getting into work on time or completing the daily workload.
  • Missing out on the university experience
  • Shorter holidays than university or college

Apprenticeship Levels

Name  Level Equivalent Qualification
Intermediate Apprenticeships 2 GCSE
Advanced Apprenticeships 3 A level
Higher Apprenticeships 4 – 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree Apprenticeships 6 – 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree
Sandwell MBC regularly takes on apprentices. Watch this case study:
If you are in a career that helps the environment, there are plenty of green employment options.

Watch this video for some ideas about green apprenticeships.

To find out about apprenticeships in Sandwell, watch this video.


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