A logo of Apprenticeships
A logo of Apprenticeships


An Apprenticeship is a real job with training so you can earn while you learn and pick up recognised qualifications as you go. If you live in England, are over 16 and not in full time education you can apply. They take between one and four years to complete and cover 1,500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from things like engineering to financial advice, veterinary nursing to accountancy. As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Off the job, usually on a day-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications. Anyone living in England, over 16 years-old and not in full-time education can be an apprentice. 


Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of Apprenticeship, the apprentices’ ability and the industry sector. For the national minimum wage rates click here; however, many apprentices earn significantly more.


Who are they for?



Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16 years-old whether you are just leaving school, seeking to start a new career or are moving into a new role with your existing employer that requires new skills.


There may be different entry requirements depending on the apprenticeship and the industry sector. However, competition for places with employers can be fierce, so you will need to show that you are comitted, and aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and the company who would employ you. You also need to be happy to work as both part of a team and individually, and be able to use your own initiative.





Apprenticeships are designed with the help of the employers in the industry, so they offer a structured programme that takes you trough the skills you need to do a job well. There are targets and checks to make sure that your employer is supporting you and you are making progress.


As an employee you will be in your place of employment for most of your time as most training takes place on the job. The rest usually takes place at a local college or a specialised training organisation. You can complete this off-the-job training on day release or over a number of days in a block. The amount of time you spend varies according to your Apprenticeship. It could be anything from one day every other fortnight to two days every week. So all the things you study will be useful in your job and help you succeed in your future career.


Your employment will normally be for a minimum 30 hours per week but may be more. In a small number of circumstances where there is a recognised reason why the apprenticeship needs to be for fewer hours this will be allowed as long as it does not fall below a minimum of 16 hours. When this occurs the actual length of the apprenticeship will then be extended in order that sufficient time is spent to gain the required experience and skills you will need to do the job. 


Source – The National Apprenticeship Service website (May 2013). For more information Click Here 

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