Apprenticeships play a crucial role in shaping the workforce and driving economic growth in Wales. As a nation with a rich heritage and a vibrant culture, Wales understands the importance of investing in its future generations. Apprenticeships offer a unique pathway for individuals to gain practical skills, knowledge, and experience while earning a wage. Let's explore the benefits of apprenticeships in Wales, the organisations that recruit apprentices, and the various types of apprenticeships available in Wales.
Benefits of Apprenticeships in Wales:
Apprenticeships provide individuals with the opportunity to gain industry-specific skills and qualifications, making them more employable. Through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom learning, apprentices develop practical expertise, which is highly valued by employers. By investing in apprenticeships, Wales ensures that its workforce is equipped with the necessary skills to meet the demands of the evolving job market.
Earn While You Learn:
One of the most significant advantages of apprenticeships is the ability to earn a wage while training. Apprentices in Wales receive a fair wage that allows them to support themselves financially, reducing the need for student loans or other forms of debt. This financial independence empowers individuals and encourages a sense of responsibility early on in their careers.
Apprenticeships provide hands-on experience in a real work environment. This practical training complements theoretical knowledge acquired in classrooms, enabling apprentices to develop a holistic understanding of their chosen profession. By working alongside experienced professionals, apprentices gain valuable insights, mentorship, and networking opportunities, setting them up for success in their chosen field.
Unlike traditional education, apprenticeships offer a customised learning experience. Apprentices have the opportunity to work closely with employers and training providers to develop personalised training plans that align with their career aspirations. This tailored approach ensures that apprentices acquire the skills and knowledge directly relevant to their chosen industry, increasing their chances of long-term career success.
Progression and Advancement:
Apprenticeships provide a clear pathway for career progression and advancement. Upon successful completion of an apprenticeship, individuals can often secure permanent employment within the same organisation. Furthermore, apprenticeships equip individuals with transferable skills, enhancing their future job prospects and opening doors to a range of exciting opportunities within their field.
Organisations Recruiting Apprentices in Wales:
The Welsh Government actively supports and encourages apprenticeships throughout the country. They work closely with various industries, training providers, and employers to create apprenticeship opportunities in both public and private sectors. The government's commitment to apprenticeships demonstrates its dedication to nurturing skilled professionals and driving economic growth.
Private Sector Employers:
Numerous private sector employers in Wales recognise the value of apprenticeships and actively recruit apprentices. These employers span various industries such as engineering, construction, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, and more. Well-established companies like Airbus, Tata Steel, and Admiral Insurance are just a few examples of organisations in Wales that offer apprenticeship programs.
Further Education Institutions:
Colleges and universities in Wales also play a vital role in recruiting apprentices. These institutions collaborate with employers to design apprenticeship programs that combine classroom-based learning with practical training. By partnering with further education institutions, employers can ensure that apprentices receive comprehensive training and develop industry-specific skills.
Types of Apprenticeships in Wales:
Engineering and Manufacturing:
Wales has a strong engineering and manufacturing sector, offering apprenticeships in fields such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, and more. These apprenticeships provide opportunities to work with cutting-edge technology and develop skills highly sought after by employers.
Healthcare and Social Care:
With a growing demand for skilled healthcare professionals, apprenticeships in healthcare and social care are in high demand. Apprenticeships in nursing, healthcare support, and social care offer individuals the chance to make a positive impact on people's lives while developing valuable skills in a rewarding sector.
Wales has a vibrant creative sector encompassing areas such as film and television production, music, art, and design. Apprenticeships in the creative industries provide aspiring artists, filmmakers, designers, and musicians with the opportunity to hone their craft and gain practical experience within their chosen field.
Construction and Trades:
Apprenticeships in construction and trades are highly valued in Wales, contributing to the growth of the built environment. These apprenticeships include bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, electrical installation, and other trade-based professions. With a shortage of skilled workers in this sector, apprenticeships provide a pathway to a rewarding and in-demand career.
Wales recognises the importance of apprenticeships in building a skilled workforce and driving economic prosperity. The benefits of apprenticeships, such as enhanced employability, earning while learning, practical experience, tailored learning, and career progression, make them an attractive option for individuals seeking a hands-on approach to education and training. With the support of the Welsh Government, private sector employers, and further education institutions, apprenticeships in Wales continue to flourish, offering diverse opportunities in industries such as engineering, healthcare, creative arts, and construction. By investing in apprenticeships, Wales secures a bright future for both its individuals and the economy as a whole.
Intermediate Apprenticeships are your entry level into the world of apprenticeships more commonly known as a Level 2 Apprenticeship. Level 2 apprenticeships offer an excellent route into further education post 16, as an alternative to staying on at school, whilst receiving on the job training and studying towards a nationally recognised qualification.
During your intermediate apprenticeship you will study part-time with a college or a training provider, 20% of your training, towards an NVQ Level 2 and knowledge based qualification such as a BTEC, together these qualifications are the equivalent to 5 GCSE's grades 9 - 4 (A* - C on the old grading system). You will also receive a Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English if you don't already have them.
An Intermediate Apprenticeship is great for learning work related skills as apposed to being given more responsibility. This level of training will make you work ready and train you in the hands on skills required to undertake the responsibility of the task and give you the employability skills you need to be successful.
There is no formal qualifying criteria for a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship however some employers may ask for a minimum of 2 GCSE's to be able to join their apprenticeship programme.
Advanced Apprenticeships or commonly known as Level 3 Apprenticeships are the equivalent to doing 2 A-Levels and are the next level from an intermediate apprenticeship. Level 3 apprenticeships are great for you to start once you have completed your GCSE's and have attained the correct grades to be able to start at this level.
Starting at the advanced level even if you already have A-levels enables you to gain on the training, of which some employers prefer you to have before starting a Higher or Degree apprenticeship.
Just like an intermediate apprenticeship you will be required to spend at least 20% of your time studying with a college or training provider to be able to achieve the qualifications. On completion of you r apprenticeship you will achieve the equivalent of 2 A-Levels in the form of an NVQ Level 3 and a knowledge based qualifications such as a BTEC diploma.
To qualifying for a Level 3 advanced apprenticeship many employers ask for a minimum of 5 GCSE's which must include Maths and English, this is why an intermediate apprenticeships gives you these qualifications on completion. Although an advanced apprenticeships is the equivalent of 2 A-Levels some employers may add A-Levels as their requirement at this level also.
Find companies advertising advanced apprenticeship jobs on our website.
Higher Apprenticeships are your Levels 4 and 5 qualifications and enable you to study towards a HNC or HND respectively whilst at Level 5 you can also attain a foundation degree which is great if you want to continue in your studies towards a bachelors degree.
During your higher apprenticeship training you will be required to studying part-time with a training provider, college or university which along with your on the job training will enable you to train towards a Level 4 or 5 NVQ and BTEC diploma along with their respective HNC or HND qualification. Higher apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete.
As a higher apprentice you will be given a lot more responsibility which may include managing people or teams or even responsible for managing projects. You will be supported by your employer along side your mentors and tutors making sure to advise and guide you along the way during your apprenticeship programme.
To qualifying for a higher apprenticeship you will need to have achieved and completed at least a Level 3 Apprenticeship or have 5 GCSE's grades 9-4 which must include Maths and English and 2 A-Levels.
Find companies advertising higher apprenticeship jobs on our website.
Degree apprenticeships were introduced in September 2015 and have been receive with open arms both by employers and apprentices alike. Also known as Level 6 or 7 apprenticeships the degree level apprenticeship enables you to study towards a Bachelors or Masters degree.
You can start a degree apprenticeships straight after your advanced apprenticeship level or alternatively if you want to gain more on the job training before the Level 6 programme you can overlap from a higher apprenticeship programme. Many employers are now partnering with leading universities across the country to offer degree level apprenticeships to help advance your learning opportunities.
Just like studying at university a degree level apprenticeship takes between 3 to 6 years to complete you will achieve this by on the job training with your employer and training provider and then part-time study at the designated university for your apprenticeship course.
To qualifying for a degree apprenticeship you will need to have at least Level 3 qualifications of 2 A-Levels, NVQ and BTEC or have completely the advanced apprenticeship. Level 6 and 7 are also a natural progression from a higher apprenticeship.
Find companies advertising degree apprenticeship jobs on our website.
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are a form of further education which offers on the job training for you to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst studying part-time with an apprenticeship training provider, college or university through workshops or classroom training.
Apprenticeship training has to be delivered by a registered apprenticeship training provider which can also be an employer-provider, where the employer you are training through are on the register of training providers to be able to deliver their own training requirements. If an employer acts as an employer-provider they will usually employ a number of people such as Apprenticeship Assessors, Mentors and Managers to support you through your apprenticeship programme.
During your apprenticeship you will receive a salary and all the other benefits permanent employees receive. An apprenticeship job is only for a specified time as stipulated at the beginning of your apprenticeship training which can last anything from 12 months to 5 years.
To find our more about apprenticeships please refer to our What is an Apprenticeship? guide.
Why should you start an apprenticeship?
If you are considering your post 16 options you probably wouldn't have considered an apprenticeship a few years ago and would be struggling or worrying what to do when you leave school. It is a legal requirement for you to now stay in some form of further education until the age of 18 and you now have three options A-Levels, College or an Apprenticeship.
You can start an apprenticeship at the age of 16 through the Intermediate or Advanced level apprenticeship programmes across many industry sectors from Construction, Technology or even Marketing. There are no entry requirements for the intermediate apprenticeship, however you will need at least 5 GCSE's at grade 4 (previously C grade) or above to qualify for the advanced apprenticeship. On completion of the intermediate you will gain the qualifying criteria for a level 3.
The best reason for starting an apprenticeship is on completion of each level you will receive a nationally recognised qualification from an NVQ all the way up to a degree level apprenticeship such as a Bachelors or Masters.
How can you become an apprentice?
There are a number of ways to become an apprentice so we thought we would list them for you:
- Register with websites like ourselves, there are others available.
- Apprenticeship Job Fairs are great for meeting employers and training providers.
- Contact training providers in your area, a simple Google search "Training providers near me" will give you the information you need.
- Contact your local colleges or universities or visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training.
- UCAS promote apprenticeship opportunities on their website on behalf of employers.
- Do some research on apprenticeships and find a topic or industry that you would like to start an apprenticeship in and then research local companies in those sectors and visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training and apply directly with them.