Digital Apprenticeships UK

Digital Apprenticeships

All you need to know about Digital Apprenticeships in the UK and how to build a successful careeras a Digital Apprentice.

Digital Apprenticeships in the UK: Navigating the Future of Tech Education

In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, digital apprenticeships have emerged as a transformative force, bridging the gap between education and employment. This comprehensive guide explores the dynamic world of digital apprenticeships in the UK, shedding light on their significance, benefits, eligibility criteria, application process, industry focus, and more. As the demand for skilled professionals in technology-related fields continues to surge, understanding the intricacies of digital apprenticeships is vital for individuals, businesses, and policymakers alike.


Table of Contents:

The Rise of Digital Apprenticeships
Benefits of Digital Apprenticeships
Digital Apprenticeship Learning Overview
Key Players in Digital Apprenticeships
Structured Learning and On-the-Job Training
FAQs about Digital Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship Levels


The Rise of Digital Apprenticeships

Digital apprenticeships represent a paradigm shift in vocational education, offering a unique blend of academic learning and hands-on experience. These apprenticeships have gained momentum due to the increasing importance of digital skills across industries. From software development to data analysis, digital marketing to cybersecurity, businesses are seeking talent equipped with cutting-edge competencies. By engaging in apprenticeships, individuals gain practical exposure while contributing to real-world projects.



Benefits of Digital Apprenticeships


  • Skill Mastery: Apprentices acquire specialised skills aligned with industry demands, enhancing their employability and career prospects.
  • Practical Experience: Hands-on training equips apprentices with the ability to navigate real-world challenges, fostering adaptability and problem-solving skills.
  • Earning While Learning: Apprentices receive a competitive salary, making education financially sustainable and reducing the burden of student debt.
  • Industry Connections: Apprentices build networks within their chosen sectors, opening doors to mentorship and future employment opportunities.
  • Tailored Learning: Customised training plans cater to individual strengths, accelerating skill development and personal growth.

Digital Apprenticeships

Eligibility and Application Process

To embark on a digital apprenticeship journey, applicants typically need to be at least 16 years old and not in full-time education. Employers often seek candidates with a minimum set of qualifications, which can vary depending on the specific apprenticeship. The application process involves submitting a resume, undergoing interviews, and possibly completing technical assessments. Successful candidates are then matched with employers offering apprenticeship positions.


Digital Apprenticeship Learning Overview

If you're considering embarking on a digital apprenticeship, you might be wondering about the scope of knowledge and skills you'll acquire. A digital apprenticeship offers a comprehensive learning experience, equipping you with a diverse set of competencies crucial in the modern digital landscape. Here's a concise overview of what you can expect to learn during your digital apprenticeship:


1. Core Digital Skills:

Your digital apprenticeship will start by laying a solid foundation of core digital skills. This includes understanding the fundamental concepts of digital technologies, communication tools, and online collaboration platforms. You'll learn how to effectively navigate the digital realm, ensuring you're well-equipped to thrive in various online environments.


2. Programming and Coding:

A vital component of any digital apprenticeship is learning programming languages and coding practices. You'll gain proficiency in languages such as Python, Java, or HTML/CSS, which are essential for web development, app creation, and automation. This knowledge empowers you to create digital solutions and software applications.


3. Web Development:

Modern businesses heavily rely on their online presence. Your apprenticeship will delve into web development, teaching you how to build and maintain websites. You'll learn about website architecture, responsive design, user experience (UX), and basic front-end and back-end development techniques.


4. Data Analysis and Interpretation:

Data is a driving force in the digital age. Your apprenticeship will introduce you to data analysis tools and techniques. You'll learn how to gather, clean, and interpret data, helping organisations make informed decisions based on insights derived from data.


5. Cybersecurity Basics:

In an era where digital threats are prevalent, understanding cybersecurity is crucial. Your apprenticeship will cover cybersecurity fundamentals, teaching you how to identify and mitigate common cyber risks. This knowledge ensures that you're equipped to protect digital assets and information.


6. Digital Marketing Fundamentals:

Digital marketing is an essential skill for promoting products and services online. You'll receive an introduction to digital marketing strategies, including social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), and online advertising. This knowledge is valuable for enhancing brand visibility and engagement.


7. Project Management:

Successful implementation of digital projects requires effective project management skills. Your apprenticeship will introduce you to project management methodologies, collaboration tools, and techniques for managing digital initiatives from conception to completion.


8. Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking:

The digital landscape is dynamic and often presents unique challenges. Your apprenticeship will foster problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, enabling you to approach complex digital issues with innovative solutions.


9. Professional Communication:

Clear and effective communication is essential in any field. Your apprenticeship will emphasise professional communication skills, including email etiquette, online meeting conduct, and virtual presentation skills.

10. Continuous Learning and Adaptability:

Technology evolves rapidly, and your digital apprenticeship will in still a mindset of continuous learning and adaptability. This mindset ensures that you stay current with emerging technologies and trends throughout your digital career.


Overall, a digital apprenticeship offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide spectrum of digital skills. This knowledge equips you to excel in a digital-centric world and opens doors to various career opportunities in fields such as software development, web design, data analysis, and more. Remember that your journey doesn't end with the apprenticeship—it's a stepping stone toward a dynamic and fulfilling digital career. 



Key Players in Digital Apprenticeships

Leading the charge in the realm of digital apprenticeships are various stakeholders, including educational institutions, employers, and industry bodies. Notable institutions like the Open University, BPP University, and University College London offer digital apprenticeship programs. Employers, ranging from tech giants to start-ups, collaborate with these institutions to provide apprentices with transformative experiences.



Industry Focus: Technology Sectors

Digital apprenticeships span a wide array of technology sectors, catering to diverse interests and skill sets. Some prominent sectors include:


  • Software Development: Apprentices learn coding languages, software architecture, and development methodologies, contributing to the creation of digital products.
  • Data Science and Analytics: Apprentices delve into data manipulation, statistical analysis, and machine learning, extracting insights to drive business decisions.
  • Cyber Security: Apprentices engage in safeguarding digital assets, learning about threat detection, ethical hacking, and risk mitigation strategies.
  • Digital Marketing: Apprentices explore online advertising, content creation, and social media strategies, enhancing brand visibility in the digital sphere.
  • IT Support and Networking: Apprentices develop skills in troubleshooting, network management, and infrastructure maintenance, ensuring seamless technology operations.


Structured Learning and On-the-Job Training

Digital apprenticeships blend structured classroom learning with practical on-the-job training. Apprentices divide their time between formal education and active participation in projects, enabling them to apply theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios. This holistic approach nurtures a deep understanding of concepts while fostering creativity and innovation.


  • On-the-Job Training: Apprentices work on real projects, gaining hands-on experience under the guidance of experienced professionals.
  • Off-the-Job Training:Apprentices engage in structured learning away from the workplace, often through online courses or classroom sessions.
  • Qualifications:Apprentices earn recognised qualifications, such as apprenticeship standards, technical certificates, and diplomas.
  • End-Point Assessment (EPA):Apprentices undergo an EPA to assess their skills and knowledge before completing the apprenticeship.



Government Initiatives and Support

The UK government is committed to promoting digital apprenticeships as a means to address the nation's skills gap. Funding and incentives are available for both employers and apprentices, encouraging participation in these programs. The Apprenticeship Levy, for instance, mandates large employers to invest in apprenticeship training, creating a sustainable ecosystem for skill development.



Challenges and Future Outlook

While digital apprenticeships offer immense value, challenges exist. Adapting to rapidly evolving technology requires apprenticeship curricula to remain current. Additionally, ensuring diversity and inclusivity within apprenticeship cohorts is crucial for equitable access to opportunities. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, apprenticeships must evolve as well, embracing emerging technologies to stay relevant.

Digital apprenticeships have become a cornerstone of the UK's efforts to bridge the digital skills gap and drive economic growth. By blending academic learning with practical experience, these programs empower individuals to thrive in technology-driven industries.


As the demand for digital skills intensifies, embracing the opportunities presented by digital apprenticeships is a strategic move for both aspiring professionals and forward-thinking organisations. Through these programs, individuals can embark on transformative journeys that redefine their careers and contribute to the UK's tech-powered future.

Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Apprenticeships

How much do Digital Apprenticeships pay?

Employer Factors:

The employer you work for can also influence your digital apprenticeship pay. Larger, more established companies often have the resources to offer competitive wages. In contrast, smaller companies might have limited budgets for apprenticeships.


Location Considerations:

Geographic location plays a role in determining apprenticeship pay. Urban areas with higher costs of living tend to offer slightly higher pay to accommodate the increased expenses.


Benefits Beyond Pay:

Remember, digital apprenticeships offer more than just financial compensation. You gain valuable work experience, industry specific skills, and exposure to real-world projects. Additionally, you're building a foundation for future career growth in the tech sector, where opportunities for advancement are abundant.


While digital apprenticeship pay is a crucial consideration, it's important to weigh it against the broader benefits and opportunities the apprenticeship offers. If you're passionate about technology and eager to learn, the experience and skills gained during a digital apprenticeship can prove invaluable for your future career prospects.


Remember, the world of digital apprenticeships is full of possibilities, and understanding the pay aspect is just the beginning of your journey toward a successful tech career.

How can I become a Digital apprentice?

Simply register as an apprentice by creating a profile and uploading your cv, if you don't have a cv use the free tool to create one. Once you have done this the next step is to find Digital apprenticeships and apply.

Is there an age for Digital apprenticeships?

There is no age restriction on Digital Apprenticeships. Historically apprenticeships were for 16-24yr olds, however you can now do an apprenticeship at any age. An employer may add a minimum age requirement to an apprenticeship as the particular apprenticeship training may require you to drive for instance.

Who employs Digital Apprentices in the UK?

Digital apprenticeships in the UK are offered by a wide range of employers across various industries. These employers recognise the importance of digital skills in today's rapidly evolving technological landscape. Digital apprenticeships provide a pathway for individuals to gain practical experience while working on real-world projects. Some of the common types of employers that hire digital apprentices include:


  1. Technology Companies: Tech giants and startups alike offer digital apprenticeships. Companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon provide opportunities for apprentices to learn and contribute to cutting-edge projects.

  2. Financial Services: Banks, investment firms, and insurance companies value digital expertise for improving customer experiences, managing data, and ensuring cybersecurity.

  3. Telecommunications: Telecom companies like BT and Vodafone employ digital apprentices to support network maintenance, develop innovative solutions, and enhance communication services.

  4. Retail and E-commerce: Retailers with online presence, like Tesco and ASOS, require digital apprentices to maintain websites, manage e-commerce platforms, and optimize user experiences.

  5. Media and Entertainment: Companies in this sector, such as the BBC and ITV, hire digital apprentices to work on digital content creation, streaming platforms, and online engagement strategies.

  6. Manufacturing and Engineering: Industrial companies like Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems offer digital apprenticeships to contribute to the development of smart manufacturing processes and digital technologies.

  7. Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals: Digital apprenticeships in healthcare involve working on electronic health records, medical imaging, and health informatics projects.

  8. Energy and Utilities: Energy providers and utility companies seek digital apprentices to enhance their operational efficiency through data analysis, smart metering, and energy management.

  9. Automotive Industry: Car manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover and Ford offer digital apprenticeships to develop skills in automotive technology, including electric vehicles and autonomous systems.

  10. Public Sector: Government departments and agencies recognise the need for digital transformation. Digital apprenticeships in the public sector focus on improving public services through technology.

What Digital Jobs are available after my apprenticeship?

After successfully completing your apprenticeship in the field of apprenticeships, you'll have a solid foundation to explore various digital jobs that align with your skills and interests. The digital landscape is vast and ever-evolving, offering a plethora of opportunities for individuals with a strong foundation in apprenticeship-related subjects. Here are some potential digital job roles you could consider:


  1. Digital Marketing Specialist: As a digital marketing specialist, you'll create and implement online marketing campaigns, analyse data to optimise strategies, and manage social media platforms. Your understanding of apprenticeships can be leveraged to promote vocational training programs effectively.

  2. Content Creator/Writer: Content creation is essential in the digital world. Your knowledge of apprenticeships can be utilised to write informative articles, blog posts, and educational content related to vocational training, attracting a relevant audience.

  3. Web Developer/Designer: Web developers and designers are responsible for creating user-friendly and visually appealing websites. Your expertise can be valuable in developing platforms that connect aspiring apprentices with opportunities and resources.

  4. Learning and Development Specialist: This role involves designing and delivering training programs. With your background in apprenticeships, you could excel in developing e-learning modules and content that enhance vocational skills.

  5. Data Analyst: Data analysis is crucial for understanding trends and making informed decisions. Your understanding of apprenticeship data can be utilised to provide insights and recommendations for improving training programs.

  6. Career Coach/Counsellor: Guiding individuals through their career paths is rewarding. With your knowledge of apprenticeships, you can provide personalised advice to individuals seeking vocational opportunities.

  7. Online Education Coordinator: As more learning moves online, coordinating virtual apprenticeship programs or vocational courses could be a fitting role. Your familiarity with the apprenticeship process can aid in designing effective online learning experiences.

  8. Social Media Manager: Social media managers handle online presence and engagement. Your expertise can be valuable in showcasing success stories, industry insights, and apprenticeship opportunities.

  9. Tech Support/Helpdesk Analyst: Technical roles are crucial in maintaining digital systems. Your tech-savviness from your apprenticeship journey can assist in troubleshooting and providing technical assistance.

  10. E-Learning Developer: E-learning developers create interactive online courses. Your understanding of apprenticeships can help design engaging content for vocational training programs.


In addition to these roles, stay updated on industry trends and explore emerging areas such as virtual reality training, AI in education, and online mentorship platforms. Consider networking within your apprenticeship community and attending relevant workshops or conferences. Your journey doesn't end with the apprenticeship; it's the foundation for a fulfilling digital career ahead.

Register as an apprentice.

Register to become an apprentice on the UK's leading website for apprenticeships.

By setting up an apprentice profile and creating an apprenticeship alert you'll be one step closer to becoming an Digital apprentice. 

Apprenticeship Levels Explained

Intermediate Apprenticeships

Intermediate Apprenticeships

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.

Qualifying Criteria

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

Advanced Apprenticeships

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.

Qualifying Criteria

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

Higher Apprenticeships

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.

Qualifying Criteria

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

Degree Apprenticeships

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.

Qualifying Criteria

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.

and finally......

  • 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.



Digital Apprenticeships