What is an Apprenticeship? We explain just exactly what an apprenticeship is.

"What is an apprenticeship?" Unless you've been hiding under a rock you may have heard the word "Apprenticeships" mentioned once or twice over the last five year.

Apprenticeships are currently being heavily invested in by the government to encourage both individuals and companies alike to consider the apprenticeship route as a means to further education. Apprenticeships also play a keep role in helping to up skill a future workforce with the skills required to help reduce the skills gap.

Our Apprenticeship guide will give you all the information you need to understand just "What is an Apprenticeship?"

So what is an apprenticeship and how will you benefit from studying through the apprenticeship route?

Believe it or not but apprenticeship origins have been around since the 12th Century and the average apprentice starting age was around ten, plus most apprentices lived with their craftsman to begin their apprentice training. However thankfully we now live in the 21st century and times have now changed.

In a nutshell an apprenticeships is a form of further education in the form of On The Job Training where you learn new skills, knowledge whilst being trained by full-time employees and the best bit is you get paid a salary. Now as simple as that may sound there is some more detail to how apprenticeships work and how you can go about finding an apprenticeship thats right for you and your career prospects which we have detailed below.

What is an Apprenticeship?

What industries can I start an apprenticeship in?

Traditionally apprenticeships were only offered in specific trades such as Plumbing Apprenticeships or bricklayers and electricians which you would commonly be associated with Construction Apprenticeships. how due to the government investing heavily in apprenticeships and encouraging companies up and down the country to hire an apprentice the available apprenticeship courses has increased dramatically.

There is now over 1,000 different apprenticeship job roles available in over 100 different industry sectors from engineering to accountancy, you name it and there will be an apprenticeship opportunity for you to gain on the job training and kickstart a career.


An overview at just some on the industries offering apprenticeship training opportunities:

What qualifications can I achieve through an apprenticeship?

Apart from on the job training and learning a new skill apprenticeships come with the added benefit of achieving a nationally recognised qualifications. As it is a legal requirement for you to stay in further education post 16 years of age, whether that is staying on at school to study for your A-Levels or alternatively you could do an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships start at Level 2 or also known as an Intermediate Apprenticeship which give you the option to study towards an NVQ Level 2 which is the equivalent to 5 GCSE's, including Maths and English, plus you will also receive a BTEC Diploma which is a knowledge based qualification.

If you have already achieved 5 GCSEs of grade A-C (4–9 on the new system) which must include Maths and English you may opt to start an Apprenticeship at the Advanced Level 3 which enables you to study whilst working and earning a wage towards the equivalent of 2 A-Level passes. Many people who already have A-Level qualifications decide to start an apprenticeship at the advanced level to gain practical on the job training before advancing to a higher or degree apprenticeship. 


Other Apprenticeship Qualifications include:

  • Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4 & 5) - NVQ, HND, or a Foundation Degree
  • Degree Apprenticeships (Level 6 & 7) - Bachelors and Masters Degrees

How long does an apprenticeship take to complete?

Depending on the level of apprenticeship course you are training in the time it takes to complete your apprenticeship varies depending on the topic you are studying:

  • Intermediate (Level 2) Apprenticeships: Take between 12 and 18 months.  (must be a minimum of 12 months.)
  • Advanced (Level 3) Apprenticeships: Take between 15 to 28 Months.
  • Higher (Level 4 & 5) Apprenticeships: Take between 3 and 5 Years. 
  • Degree (Level 6 & 7) Apprenticeships: Take between 3 and 6 Years.
Become an Apprentice We've highlighted the top 7 reasons why you should become an apprentice and kickstart your career through the apprenticeship route. Find out more Apprenticeship Levels There are four main types of apprenticeship levels, knowing which one you qualify for is important before you make your application. Find out more Apprenticeships Explained Not quite sure what an apprenticeship is and how an apprenticeship will help you with your career development. Find out more Become an Apprentice
Register as an Apprentice! To start building yourself a career in Cyber Security we suggest you register with us, the UK's leading website for apprenticeship jobs.

After you have registered you can find and apply for as many Cyber Security Apprenticeships as you like. You can also set up an apprenticeship alert to have any new utility apprenticeship job opportunities emailed directly to you saving you time in your search.

Apprenticeship levels at a glance.

Advanced Apprenticeships Advanced Apprenticeships are the next level up from an Intermediate Apprenticeship and commonly known as Level 3 Apprenticeships.

Find out what the qualifying criteria is for an Advanced Apprenticeship and search Advanced Apprenticeship Jobs.
Find out more
Higher Apprenticeships Higher Apprenticeships or commonly known as Level 4 give you the chance to work towards an NVQ/HND or higher.

Find out how a Higher Apprenticeship can help you towards completing a Degree Apprenticeship
Find out more
Degree Apprenticeships Degree Apprenticeships are a recent edition to the apprenticeship levels, a great alternative to university degrees.

Gain a Bachelors or Masters Degree through the apprenticeship route whilst studying part-time at university.
Find out more

Frequently asked Questions about Apprenticeships

FAQs about Apprenticeships UK

How much will I get paid as an apprentice?

Apprentice wages over the last few years have grown hugely due to the demand from employers to attract and hire an apprentice. The average salary in the UK for an apprentice is around £15,000 with Apprenticeships in London offering on average £20,000.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of my apprenticeship training?

Unfortunately nothing in life is guaranteed. During your apprenticeship you are contracted to work for the employer for a set period, the length of the apprenticeship, on completion there is no guarantee you will be offered a permanent job.

However what you will have is a qualification and on the job training and knowledge to be able to kickstart your career and if it's not with the current employer there will be others lining up to take you on.

Is there an age restriction on apprenticeships in the UK?

Historically apprenticeships were only for 16-24 years old, but times have changed and there is no restriction on age for apprenticeships.

You may have heard of Adult Apprenticeships, this is just a myth as there is no such thing as an adult apprenticeship just merely encouraging people older then 24 to apply for apprenticeship jobs.

Am I entitled to holiday and other benefits as an apprentice?

Yes you are. When you start an apprenticeship with an employer you rare classed as a full-time employee just like your colleagues so you are entitled to employee benefits which include holiday pay.

Become an Apprentice today and enjoy the benefits apprenticeships have to offer!

FAQs about Apprenticeships UK