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If you’ve got a good idea of where you want to go with your career and like the idea of earning while you learn, an Apprenticeship could be for you. You’ll get top quality training, developing skills and gaining qualifications on the job.

Apprenticeships - earn while you learn

To give yourself the best chance of success in your career, you’ll need to carry on developing your skills throughout your working life. Apprenticeships give you the chance to learn - and gain nationally recognised qualifications - while getting a weekly wage.

Apprenticeships are available in more than 190 roles across a wide variety of industry sectors. These range from accountancy and business administration to construction, engineering, manufacturing - and many more.

Is an Apprenticeship right for you?

First you’ll need to decide which career suits you best. Next, you’ll have to decide whether you can commit to the demands of an Apprenticeship. Being an apprentice means juggling work and study over the long term.

How long does an Apprenticeship last?

It varies - depending on the sector, the qualification you’re going for and the skills you already have. Generally, an Apprenticeship takes between one and four years to complete.

Who can apply

You need to be 16 or over to apply for an Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements will depend on the Apprenticeship you want to do. There are three levels available:

  • Apprenticeships (equivalent to five good GCSE passes)
  • Advanced Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A level passes)
  • Higher Apprenticeships (lead to qualifications at NVQ Level 4 or, in some cases, a Foundation Degree)

Depending on your grades in GCSE Maths and English, you may need to take a literacy and numeracy test.

Money and holidays

If you do an Apprenticeship with an employer, you’ll get a weekly wage of at least £95 (unless you work in agriculture, where the minimum may be different).

Many employers tend to pay more as you develop your skills. Research has found that the average apprentice takes home around £170 per week.

Like most other employees, employed apprentices get at least 20 days’ paid holiday per year. This is on top of bank holidays.


Apprenticeships (and Advanced Apprenticeships) can lead to:

  • a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at Level 2 or Level 3
  • a Key Skills qualification, like problem solving and using technology
  • (in most cases) a technical certificate, such as a BTEC or City & Guilds Progression Award
  • other qualifications needed for particular occupations

Further study

The qualifications you gain as an apprentice can also help you to get into higher education.

Finding out more and making an application

You can find out more - or search and apply for Apprenticeship vacancies in England - on the national Appenticeships website.

Getting advice on your options

Not sure whether an Apprenticeship is right for you? There’s plenty of advice available.

Advice for young people

Connexions Direct offers advice on careers, courses and more to young people aged 13 to 19 and based in England.

  • Connexions Direct: 080 800 13 2 19

Advice for adults

See ‘Learning and careers advice for adults’ for details of how to get careers advice in England - by phone, by email or face-to-face.

Young Apprenticeships for under 16s

If you’re aged between 14 and 16, a Young Apprenticeship can be a great way of getting a taste of working life. See ‘Work experience in Years 10 and 11’ to find out more.

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