Become an Apprentice

Become an Apprentice

If you have a career sector or path in mind and want to start earning money as you learn, an apprenticeship could be for you. You’ll do a real job, earn a salary with a real employer; training on the job and working towards an industry-standard qualification.  

If you are interested in becoming an Apprentice read on below.

Apprenticeships must last for a minimum of 12 months are open to anyone aged 16 and over. There is a wide range of apprenticeships available to suit every skill and passion. It’s a different way of learning compared to college or university, and you can get a qualification that will be valued by potential employers. 

Apprenticeships are available at different levels from level 2 (intermediate) to level 7 (degree level) and have different entry requirements depending on the apprenticeship and industry sector. 

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

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

As an apprentice, you’ll be an employee and will receive a wage and other employee rights, such as holiday pay. Apprentices are entitled to the national minimum wage, but many employers pay more than this. There are different rates of pay for apprentices depending on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you’re in. You can find more information on wages on the government website Become an apprentice – What you’ll get.

Apprenticeships follow one of 15 technical routes to skilled employment. Each route shares a range of occupationally related skills and knowledge and underpin all technical education, apprenticeships and T-Levels. 

Agriculture, environmental and animal care | Business and Administration | Care services | Catering and hospitality | Construction | Creative and design | Digital | Education and childcare | Engineering and manufacturing | Hair and Beauty | Health and science | Legal, finance and accounting | Protective services | Sales, marketing and procurement | Transport and logistics 

To see the range of approved and in development apprenticeship standards within each technical route visit the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Support is available for employers and learning providers to help them make the best offer to young people. 

If you have a learning difficulty or disability: 

  • The minimum requirements may be adjusted 
  • You employer and / or provider may be able to get additional support 

Other opportunities such as supported internships are also available, see Supported Internship – Local Offer (wiltshire.gov.uk) 

For more information on apprenticeships see the Disability Rights UK Into Apprenticeships guide. It deals with common questions such as whether the training will be accessible and what support is available in the workplace. 

If you are a care experienced young person then you may be eligible for an additional funding grant of £3,000. Your employer or provider may also be able to get additional support. Make sure your Learning Provider knows if you are a Care Leaver. For more information see the Amazing Apprenticeship Support for care experienced apprentices (apprenticeships.gov.uk) or the  Apprenticeships care leavers’ bursary guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

Apprenticeships can start at any time of year and as they are real jobs, they may only be advertised for a few weeks. You need to check for vacancies often and apply quickly. 

If you are planning on moving into an apprenticeship after Year11 you can start early and apply using predicted grades. 

To find an apprenticeship: 

  • search for apprenticeships on the GOV.UK website. Register to apply for apprenticeships, get alerts for new jobs, and save your CV and application information. 
  • contact local employers and companies to see if they have apprenticeships available 
  • check local job boards or search online on GOV.UK Find a Job service 

The Higher and Degree Level Vacancy Listing has details from over 40 employers, including: 

  • Vacancy locations 
  • Salary information 
  • Direct application links 

Click here for the Higher and Degree Vacancy listing for 2023/ 2024 

Some employers who don’t already have apprenticeship placements may be willing to set one up for you or if you are already working and your employer does not offer apprenticeships yet, they may want to change your role to an apprenticeship. Employers can get support to set apprenticeships up through the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub or The National Apprenticeships Service. 

The Young Apprentice Ambassador Network (YAAN) is a community of current and former apprentices. There are hundreds of Apprentice Ambassadors across England, all of whom work in a wide range of roles and typically on a variety of apprenticeship programmes. 

The Apprentice Ambassador role includes: 

  • live and virtual presentations at schools or colleges 
  • attending and speaking to people at career events 
  • supporting mock assessment centre workshops 
  • participating in social media campaigns 
  • sharing experiences using blogs, videos and formal case studies 

To join or for more information visit their dedicated website.  

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