What is an Apprenticeship?

If you have a clear career idea, you could consider an apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship combines on-the -job training with study. It is a way of training for a trade or profession. You learn, work towards qualifications, gain work experience and get paid.

Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industry sectors. These include: business administration, ICT, motor vehicle, engineering, childcare and hairdressing.

How long does an Apprenticeship last?

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

Who can apply for an Apprenticeship?

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

What do employers want?

Employers look for:

  • Good record of attendance
  • Good timekeeping
  • Enthusiasm
  • Willingness to work towards a qualification
  • Ability to work as part of a team and independently

What qualifications do I need?

Entry requirements depend on the Apprenticeship. Employers may ask for two or more GCSE (grades 4 -9) or equivalent. Some intermediate apprenticeships do not ask for any formal qualifications.

What are the advantages of an Apprenticeship?

  • Earn while you learn
  • No student loan
  • Training for recognised qualifications
  • Gaining practical experience in the work place
  • Build confidence
  • Develop skills
  • Paid holidays

What are the disadvantages of an Apprenticeship?

  • Apprentices may be paid less than qualified colleagues
  • Graduate starting salaries are usually higher
  • You can’t get into certain careers with an apprenticeship. 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 don’t finish 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 every day or completing the daily workload.
  • Missing out on the University experience
  • Shorter holidays than university or college

Levels of Apprenticeship

Depending on your qualifications, there are different types of apprenticeships you can apply for:

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

Apprenticeships are popular as they are an attractive way of getting into work. This means they are very competitive.

So you need to put together a strong application.

Connexions Sandwell can help you with this.

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