Apprenticeships explained

An apprenticeship is a kind of work-based training, combining training with real-world work. As an apprentice, you'll work a paid job with a company in the area you want to work in, whilst also working towards a qualification. Read on to find out more...

How many different types of apprenticeships are there?
There are more than 180 apprenticeships available across more than 80 industry sectors. They include areas such as:
Earn while you learn
Apprenticeships give you the chance to learn - and gain nationally recognised qualifications - while getting a weekly wage.

Pay can vary, but all employed apprentices must receive a minimum of £3.50 per hour. Average pay is £170 per week.
No fees to pay
As an apprentice, you won't have to pay for your training - it will be paid for by the government and your employer. 
Are there any drawbacks?
It’s not really a drawback, but you’ll have to judge whether you can commit to the demands of an apprenticeship as it does mean juggling work and study long-term - a period of one to five years.

If you have a degree, you may not be eligible for funding and your employer will have to pay for your training costs.

Finally, there are some limits to the areas you can study compared to full-time education.
How long do apprenticeships last for?
It varies. Most last between one and two years, though some take up to five. How long it takes will depend on the profession you choose, your level of ability and your employer’s needs.
What do apprenticeships involve?
Each apprenticeship involves a structured programme of training leading to a recognised qualification, mixing classroom-based teaching with on-the-job training and experience.
Who can do them?
Apprenticeships are open to people aged 16 and over.
What qualifications do I need?
There are no fixed entry requirements for most apprenticeships. However, most will require some number of GCSEs, and higher or degree apprenticeships will ask for A-levels or an equivalent.

For apprenticeships above intermediate level, you may need to have completed a level 2 qualification - the level of qualification you would get by doing an intermediate apprenticeship in the same area.
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