Apprenticeships Explained
What is an Apprenticeship?

Giving you the chance to study, whilst still earning money, an apprenticeship is an ideal way to gain a nationally recognised qualification.

Regardless of whether you’re just leaving school and looking for your first job, or already working and want to try something new, an apprenticeship is a great way to study. You will be working alongside existing experienced staff and learn your skills ‘on the job’ in addition to being assessed by industry professionals, many of whom have enjoyed successful careers in the sectors they now teach.

How do I become an apprentice?

You will need to hold a contract of employment within the industry and have a genuine interest in the work that you do.  Anyone can be an apprentice, as long as you are over 16 years old, a UK resident and not taking part in full-time education.

There is no set rate of pay for apprentices, with wages varying according to the employer, but this wage will not be below the national apprenticeship wage . You will also benefit from at least 20 days of paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays.

Apprenticeships are designed with the help of industry. This means they offer a structured programme which is relevant to the job you’re doing and will give you the skills you need to do it well. Most of your learning will be ‘on the job’ with an assessor from the College coming to visit your place of work to check the practical skills you have learnt.  There is a requirement to complete a minimum of 20% off-the-job training.

 Your apprenticeship could also include:

  • The main qualification
  • Developing key industry behaviours
  • Functional skills (English, maths and potentially ICT)
  • An understanding of Employee Rights and Responsibilities

Apprenticeships offer a lot of choices in your career and, because they give you the skills which employers want, they can also be incredibly rewarding. Successful completion of an intermediate and advanced apprenticeship will give you valuable credits which can be used against future HNC, foundation degree or honours degree programmes.