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Understanding Apprenticeships 

In essence, an apprenticeship is a job. You’ll spend 80% of the working week at your place of employment, and 20% at your place of study.

You’ll earn a salary, and your course fees will be covered by your employer and the government. You just need to be willing to manage your time between work and study.

There are many different apprenticeships you can apply for depending on your existing qualifications across a broad range of different industries.

Explore our apprenticeships guide to find out everything you need to know. 

Types of Apprenticeship

There are four levels of apprenticeship:

*  Intermediate – level 2 – equivalent to 5 GCSEs.

*  Advanced – level 3 – equivalent to 2 A-levels.

*  Higher – level 4-7 – equivalent to a certificate of higher education or foundation degree right the way up to a master’s degree (mostly give a bachelor’s degree).

*  Degree – level 6-7 – guarantees a bachelor’s or master’s degree on successful completion.

Who are Apprenticeships for? 

Apprenticeships are different to traditional study routes, find out if an apprenticeship in England might be suitable for you.

Apprenticeships are ideal if you have a clear idea of the career you’d like to pursue, and you’re willing to commit to work and study. Unlike in school, at college or on a traditional degree course, the majority of your learning will be through on-the-job training in your place of work.

To be considered for an apprenticeship programme in England​, you need to be:

*  aged 16 or over

*  living in England

*  not in full-time education

Apprenticeships would suit someone who:

*  has a clear idea of the type of career they wish to pursue

*  is willing to commit to work and study, but would prefer a more practical and work-related approach to learning

*  is ready to start work with an employer, and be based in the workplace most of the time

*  is well organised and able to cope with the competing demands of work and academic study at the same time

*  is ready to be assessed through a mix of assignments and written work, including essays, reports, practical exercises, end tests, and exams

No matter what kind of career you want to follow, you need to do your research and find out if you can reach your career goals through an apprenticeship, or if you need/would prefer to study full-time at university or college.

Apprenticeships aren’t the ‘easy’ option. Holding down a full-time job and studying takes commitment and hard work, and it won’t be right for everyone.  You’ll need to prove yourself in the workplace, while getting to grips with studying for a higher level qualification. You’ll be expected to achieve academically and at work, managing your time and adjusting to longer hours, with fewer holidays than at school, college, or university. 

Search and Apply for an Apprenticeship

To search and apply for an apprenticeship in England, please click here.

You might have to travel or relocate to find the right opportunity for you.

For more information on Apprenticeships including doing an apprenticeship in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please click here. 

Further information on Apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships can be found here:

Apprenticeship Guide (

Apprenticeships - Further Information (

Degree Apprenticeships (Office for Students)


Hear from Apprentices - Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Hub


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