We’ve answered the most common questions we get asked below. If you still have a question that is unanswered here then don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

  • What is an apprenticeship?

    An apprenticeship is a real job with training, which allows trainees to earn while they learn, as well as gaining a nationally recognised qualification. They cover hundreds of job roles in a wide range of industries, from engineering to teaching, web designer to park ranger.

  • How do I find an apprenticeship?

    You can approach your local college and see what opportunities they have available, try and search company websites or the National Apprenticeship Service online has lists of current availability. You could even approach a company directly if there was a certain employer you would like to work for and train with.

    Alternatively, see what vacancies are being advertised by employers, right now.

  • Are apprenticeships just for young people?

    No. You have to be a minimum of 16 years old to start an apprenticeship, but there is no upper age limit if you are interested in training in a new career later in life. It is becoming more common now for employers to train up existing members of staff through the apprenticeship route to help further their career development.

  • Do apprenticeships have entry requirements?

    Many people start on a level 2 apprenticeship and work their way up to a higher or degree apprenticeship. Many employers and training providers will ask for a certain level of numeracy and literacy and may require you to have qualifications or certain experience as part of the entry criteria.

  • How long does an apprenticeship take to complete?

    Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete dependent on the level being undertaken. A Level 2 apprenticeship takes on average 15 months to complete, whereas a Level 6 or 7 degree apprenticeship can take between three and four years to complete.

  • What might a typical week be like as an apprentice?

    Usually you would be working within a company 4 days a week doing the job and developing your skills. You’d then study at college one day a week, learning both academic and hands-on skills. You would be assigned an apprenticeship coordinator who would keep an eye on you and check that everything was going well.

  • How much do you get paid as an apprentice?

    Don’t expect to start earning big money as soon as you start your training. The current national minimum wage for an apprentice under the age of 19 or in your first year of your apprenticeship is £5.28. After the age of 19, or 18 if you have completed your first year of your apprenticeship, you will be entitled to the working National Minimum Wage which is £7.49 if you are aged 18-20, £10.18 if you are aged 21-22 and £10.42 if you are aged 23 and over.

  • What apprenticeships are available near me?

    Use this search on the government website to browse which apprenticeships are available based on your interests and location. https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/apprentices/browse-apprenticeships

  • Are apprenticeships well regarded amongst employers?

    Companies like to see that employers have first-hand experience on the job, so having an apprenticeship will be a great asset to have on your CV.

  • When do apprenticeships start?

    Many apprenticeships will begin in September, however there is no set time of year for them to start, so it’s important to keep an eye out all year round. Like jobs, apprenticeships depend on when an opportunity becomes available.

  • Why choose an apprenticeship over university?

    Apprenticeships take a more practical approach to learning than university. You’ll focus on training for a specific career and learn your trade by actually doing the job. You’ll gain hands-on experience and have the opportunity to apply your skills immediately.

  • Is it hard to get on an apprenticeship?

    There are plenty of apprenticeships available throughout the year, the lower level apprenticeships are usually not too difficult to find if you have the right qualifications. The advanced, higher and degree apprenticeships will have more demanding entry requirements.

  • Can apprentices get student discount?

    Apprentices are neither employees nor students. You will not qualify for student loans, subsidised travel, or student bank accounts since you are not students. However, NUS do offer an NUS Apprentice extra discount card to offer apprentices many of the same discounts and benefits as other students.

  • Would I be an employee during my apprenticeship?

    Yes, as an apprentice you have the same employment rights as a member of staff. The only difference is you will have a contractual end date to your employment, when your training programme ends.

  • Do I get holiday pay when doing an apprenticeship?

    Yes, apprentices get the same working rights and conditions as everyone else at the company. You are entitled to holiday pay just like other employers so you will receive at least 20 days paid holiday per year plus national/public holidays.

  • Are there a minimum number of hours I must work as an apprentice?

    You should be required to work a 30 hour minimum week and no more than 40 hours. Time spent off the job at college or in training is also included in this.

  • Does an apprenticeship guarantee me a job at the end?

    A high percentage of apprentices are taken on by their employers once they’ve finished, but doing an apprenticeship doesn’t mean the company has to take you on. And even if they don’t, you’ll go on to find work elsewhere as you’ll have an accredited qualification and plenty of experience when you finish.

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Or still want to find out a little more first? Read our FAQ’s or visit our guidance section.

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