Apprenticeships explained

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for individuals to gain skills and knowledge which relate to a job role and enable employers to develop a productive workforce.

Whether someone is a school or college leaver looking for their first steps into the world of work or someone seeking to develop further within their role, including retraining, apprenticeships offer a great opportunity to achieve goals and career success. 

With a broad range of opportunities from level 2 to level 7, there is an apprenticeship for everyone.

The unique combination of on and off the job training, enables individuals to enjoy the best of both worlds, gathering invaluable work experience alongside nationally accredited qualifications, including apprenticeship standards. 

Key information about apprenticeships can be found below.

Understanding apprenticeships


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job combined with off the job training, leading to recognition as a qualified apprentice and, in some instances, additional accredited qualifications. Apprenticeships allow individuals to gain valuable experience while they learn and develop a rewarding career path.

Who can apply for an apprenticeship? 

Anyone over the school leaving age, not in full-time education and training, can apply for an apprenticeship.

How long do apprenticeships last? 

An apprenticeship will last for at least one year, although it depends on the particular apprenticeship. When applying for an apprenticeship, individuals will be assessed to decide a plan of training which becomes a tailored apprenticeship.

How much do apprentices get paid?

Apprentices are paid at an appropriate rate set by the employer based on the job role and pay rates of the organisation.

Whilst there are minimum wage rates for apprentices, many employers pay more.

How do apprenticeships work?

Apprenticeships combine on-the-job and off-the-job training. On-the-job work is time spent in the workplace, developing skills and knowledge, based on the job role and the working environment. This includes team work, communication, time management and working to deadlines. Off-the-job training is outside of day-to-day responsibilities. This training will be undertaken in the workplace with a training provider, college or online.

The amount of time spent on training is agreed between the apprentice, the employer and their training provider. Off the job training will amount to at least six hours per week, although this will be flexibly determined based on the apprentice’s job role.

The combination allows apprentices to develop practical skills and knowledge, relevant to their job role, benefitting both themselves and the employer.

How much do apprentices get paid?

Apprentices are paid at an appropriate rate set by the employer based on the job role and pay rates of the organisation.

Whilst there are minimum wage rates for apprentices, many employers will pay more.

Apprenticeship levels

Apprenticeships are available at different levels to suit different needs. They have relevant entry requirements and equivalent educational values. The table below illustrates the apprenticeship levels:

  Equivalent Qualification   Entry Requirements Typical Length
Level 2 Apprenticeships (Intermediate)   5 GCSEs at 4 and above None or few 12 – 18 months
Level 3 Apprenticeships (Advanced)   2 A-levels at a Pass Typically, 5 GCSEs or an appropriate Level 2 apprenticeship 12-24 months
Level 4-7 Apprenticeships (Higher)   Foundation Degree and above A-levels or equivalent on appropriate level 3 apprenticeship or T level 3-5 years
Level 6-7 Apprenticeships (Degree)   Bachelor's or Master's Degree At least 2 A-levels or equivalent or level 4-5 3-7 years

The level of apprenticeship is determined by the scope of the job role and the responsibilities it carries.

 An assessment of the apprenticeship job role and an individual’s prior qualifications and experience will inform the relevant level.

Finding apprenticeships

Apprenticeship opportunities can also found at: GOV.UK Find an Apprenticeship Service

Applying for apprenticeships

Applying for an apprenticeship is simple. Whilst the majority of apprenticeship applications will go through the GOV.UK Find an Apprenticeship Service, you can also apply directly through the Apprenticeship Ladder for Coventry & Warwickshire by contacting us.

To apply for apprenticeships, candidates will need to think about the job role they are considering and whether it is right for them, including prior qualifications and future ambitions. Advice is on hand for this.

Ladder for Coventry and Warwickshire

Commerce House, St Nicholas St, Coventry CV1 4FD

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