What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines hands-on work with the opportunity to train and obtain qualifications.  Apprenticeships, which must last for a minimum of 12 months are open to anyone aged 16 and over who is not in full-time education, there is no upper aged limit!

As an apprentice you’ll be employed and will study for a qualification with the full support and commitment of your employer, at least 20% of your working hours are set aside for learning, often at a college, university or training provider, however there are lots of ways to undertake learning depending on your organisation and job role.

Key benefits
Industry sectors
Higher & Degree Apprenticeships
More Information
Apprentice Stories
Apprenticeship Vacancies
Information for Employers
Higher Futures
External Resources
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Key benefits of an apprenticeship

  • Earn a salary while you learn, as well as other employee benefits.
  • Progress your career – Employers think that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.
  • Achieve sought-after qualifications – apprenticeships are the gold standard for work-based learning, and you can gain valuable workplace skills and experience.
  • Learn job-specific skills – your employer will provide ‘on the job’ training. You’ll work alongside them and learn the ropes from inside the business.
  • Get paid holidays.

Apprenticeships can be found in the following industry sectors

Agriculture | Business and Administration | Construction | Creative, Media and the Arts | Customer Service and Retail | Digital and ICT | Energy | Engineering and Electrical | Financial Services | Hair and Beauty | Health and Wellbeing | Hospitality and Travel | Manufacturing, Processing and Logistics | Marine | Public Services | Science and R&D | Sport and Fitness | Vehicles and Transport

To see a range of Apprenticeships available within each sector click here

What types of Apprenticeship are there?

There are four types of Apprenticeship you can apply for depending on your current skills and qualifications:

  1. Intermediate Level Apprenticeships, where you work towards Level 2 qualifications and Functional Skills.
  2. Advanced Level Apprenticeships, where you work towards Level 3 qualifications and Functional Skills.
  3. Higher Level Apprenticeships, give you the opportunity to gain qualifications up to Level 5 which is the equivalent of a Foundation Degree.
  4. Degree level Apprenticeships, give you the opportunity to gain qualifications up to Level 7 which is the equivalent of  Masters Degree.

For more information about the entry requirements for apprenticeships take a look here

Higher and degree Apprenticeships – recruiting now for starts in September 2019!

Employers are recruiting now for their higher and degree apprenticeship programmes starting in September 2019.

Apprenticeships and university?

Are you in the process of applying to study for a degree full time? Did you know there is now another new option to obtain a degree through apprenticeships which offers the opportunity to broaden your choices?

With a higher and degree apprenticeship you will study alongside working and in most cases you will be attending a university on a part time basis.

Apprentices at work

A real alternative

Higher and degree apprenticeships are a different pathway to following the traditional route of going to university as a full time student. They offer all the benefits of higher education with none of the cost. You will not only be learning, but earning a salary, from day one.

With a degree apprenticeship, your tuition fees are paid for by your employer and the government, so you will not be expected to pay any tuition fees or apply for a student loan. With an apprenticeship, you gain the competitive advantage of gaining valuable work experience whilst completing your degree.

What is a higher and degree apprenticeship?

Higher apprenticeships cover all levels from 4 through to 7 covering a variety of job roles in different sectors.

Levels 4 – 7 are equivalent to a foundation degree and above. A degree apprenticeship is at level 6 and 7 and will contain a full Bachelors (level 6) or Masters (level 7) degree or equivalent professional qualifications.

How easy is it to get a higher and degree apprenticeship?

Securing a higher and degree apprenticeship is a competitive process. Some jobs will have a lot of applicants so it is important to ‘stand out from the crowd’. You may have to attend an assessment centre as part of the selection process.

Remember, you will be working full time and fitting in the equivalent of a full time degree alongside it. There should be a minimum of 20% spent studying. It might take a bit longer than studying full time – for example, 4 years instead of 3, but you’ll achieve exactly the same degree.

For more information on becoming an apprentice in Wiltshire

There are a lot of resources available to you across the internet about apprenticeships. Below we have provided some key information from GOV.UK to answer your questions; alternatively you could click on the image below to view our information booklet or call a member of the Employment and Skills Team on 01225 716890.


Apprentices Stories

Apprentice Stories

Real apprentices within Wiltshire describe their experience of being an apprentice and local businesses share the benefits they have found in helping their business grow.

Read apprentices stories

Apprenticeships Vacancies


Current Vacancies

Search for apprenticeship vacancies across the South West region, by level and using our simple search engine

Find current Apprenticeship vacancies

Recruitment dates

Alternatively, some businesses recruit apprenticeships at certain times of the year or only advertise on their own website, therefore please follow the link below when these are.

Find out businesses apprenticeship recruitment dates

Vacancy Snapshot Launched

Vacancy Snapshot was launched by Skills Minister, Anne Milton and can be used with students, teachers & parents to identify upcoming opportunities, as well as learn more about the employer and their recruitment methods. To find out more, please click here.

Find out about the national vacancy snapshot



Looking for an apprenticeship or employment but not quite ready to take the next step then maybe a traineeship is for you. Discover how you could gain skills and experience that make you a better candidate to employers.

Find out more about Traineeships

Information for Employers

Are you an employer looking to recruit an apprentice or learn more about how the apprenticeship reforms affect your business? Looking for a training provider to support existing employees? Everything you need to know can be found here.

Find out more about employing an Apprentice

Higher Futures

The Higher Futures skills development programme is delivered on behalf of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) to meet the needs of employers and learners within the SWLEP area to upskill the current and future workforce to level 4 and beyond. Higher Futures offers employers impartial specialist support and advice to identify skills needs and gaps prior to engaging with universities, colleges and training providers to develop bespoke training solutions.

Find out more about Higher Futures

External Resources

In January 2019 the Department for Education launched its new ‘Fire it Up’ campaign to help raise awareness of the huge variety of apprenticeship options available for people of all ages and backgrounds.

The new campaign includes national TV and social media adverts, and a new website that provides helpful advice and information as well as access to thousands of apprenticeship opportunities across the country.

The South West Apprenticeship Company Ltd (SWAC) is committed to successfully matching employers to apprentices, providing support and guidance every step of the way. SWAC offers a new flexible, low cost, low risk way of delivering Apprenticeships, which benefits everyone involved.

This website contains apprenticeships information, jobs, reviews, top employers & careers advice for school and college leavers.


How can we help you?

Have you read this section but still have questions?

Please use our interactive frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) to find the answers you need or ask us your own question.

Frequently Asked Questions

Alternatively, if you have any questions you can click on the National Careers Service logo to open a webchat.

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