Apprenticeships are a work based learning scheme, commonly aimed at younger people aged between 16-24, however are now available to most people depending on the scheme availability.
An apprenticeship offers a combination of on the job training whilst studying towards a recognised qualification or degree. You will earn while you are learning with starting salaries at a national minimum of £3.50 per hour for your first years training, however the majority of apprenticeships on offer pay above this from day one.
In the past apprenticeships have commonly been associated with skilled trades such as plumbers, electricians and many other blue collar workers. However due the attention and initiatives on offer to organisation, plus the fact the UK is experiencing one of the biggest skills shortages ever, it is not uncommon now to see apprenticeship opportunities in accounting, information technology or even hospitality to name a few.
If you are a career conscious individual looking to get their foot on the career ladder and considering the option of becoming an apprentice then read on.
So now you know what an apprenticeships is, lets take a look at how they work:
When you become an apprentice you will be splitting your time between paid on the job training and release to either your local college or to a training centre, commonly the office of the company providing the training to the company you are working for. You will most likely be working full time, approx. 40 hours per week, so working on the basic pay for first year apprentices that equates to a minimum of £140, which is more then I was earning in my first job at the age of 16.
You will have two options on how the study element of the apprenticeship, this will mainly depend on the employer.
- Work four days a week and attend college one day a week.
- Work either consecutive weeks or months and have an extended study break at points through out the year.
The deferent levels of apprenticeships are:
Name Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 GCSE
Advanced 3 A level
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor's or master's degree
You can find more information about apprenticeships on the governments apprenticeship guide.