Apprenticeships combine paid work with on-the-job training, qualifications and progression. Apprenticeships are a great way for young people (and adults) to get the training and skills they need to enter and progress in work, move into higher-level skills development and build fulfilling careers. Apprenticeships provide new opportunities and life chances for young people and adults.
The benefits of an Apprenticeship to individuals are enormous. Currently, an apprentice working in England can expect to receive a minimum wage of £2.50 per hour. This applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and 19 and over in their first year of an Apprenticeship. All other apprentices must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage appropriate to their age. In reality, employers often pay more – the average apprentice pay is £170 net per week. Those with an Advanced Apprenticeship are likely to earn an average of 18 per cent higher lifetime earnings than those qualified up to level 2.
Apprenticeships provide valuable benefits to employers and the economy. They enable employers to build a highly skilled and motivated workforce, providing a major boost to businesses and bringing significant benefits to the UK economy as a whole. There are over 85,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in more than 130,000 locations. There are almost 200 job roles in which someone may be an apprentice, such as hospitality, media, retail, accounting, childcare and local government; as well as subjects like construction, engineering and business administration.
The Government is committed to expanding the Apprenticeship programme. The Department is working to ensure that more young people are able to take up an Apprenticeship. We are working to develop clear progression routes into higher level skills, and improve the quality of Apprenticeships to make them better suited to the needs of employers and learners. We are developing clearer qualification and career pathways from foundation level and level 1 right through to higher level skills, career and professional development. It is also key to our plans for expansion and improvement that young people receive careers education and advice about the range of options available to them and, specifically, the advice they need to make an informed decision on Apprenticeships.
The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has end to end responsibility for Apprenticeships delivery. Established in April 2009, to drive forward the expansion and improvement of the Apprenticeships programme in England, so that it becomes a mainstream, highly regarded training route for both young people and adults. NAS has a dedicated field force committed to providing a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners, helping more employers to take on apprentices; and helping more young people and adults to benefit from Apprenticeships. The National Apprenticeship Service also supports schools, colleges and Connexions in providing information, advice and guidance on Apprenticeships.
For further information on Apprenticeships and to search and apply for Apprenticeship opportunities online, visit the Apprenticeships website link on the right.