Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Apprenticeship?
An Apprenticeship is an opportunity to earn an income whilst gaining new skills and working towards relevant qualifications. Apprenticeships are available from the age of 16 upwards.
Apprenticeships are considered a very good alternative to Higher Education (such as college or university) as they provide both the knowledge required to progress in a chosen career and the chance to gain work experience.
How is an Apprenticeship structured?
Apprenticeships follow a structure called a framework. This is a national standard to ensure that every apprenticeship, regardless of the awarding body, contains similar qualification elements. View the Apprenticeship frameworks library.
All apprenticeships include:
- A knowledge qualification
- A competency qualification
- Functional Skills: any of numeracy, literacy and ICT
- Personal Learning and Thinking Skills
- Employee Rights and Responsibilities
How much are apprentices paid?
We encourage the companies we work with to pay all their apprentices at least the National Minimum Wage for their age rather than Apprenticeship rate. The hourly National Minimum Wage you receive depends on your age. For those aged under 18 it is £3.87, 18-20 year olds receive £5.30 and those aged 21 and over get £6.70. The Apprenticeship rate is £3.30 for those aged under 19 or for individuals in the first year of level 2 or 3 apprenticeships.
How long are Apprenticeships?
The length of your Apprenticeship will depend on the qualification you take and the level you are studying at. The minimum period to qualify for funding is 12 months, but some Apprenticeships can last well over two years. Timescales will be agreed with the employer, the apprentice and one of our assessors during your induction.
Are the skills from my Apprenticeship transferable?
The more generic frameworks – for example Customer Service, Business Administration, Team Leading, Management and Sales – are designed around developing core skills that are fully transferable to other organisations and sectors.
What are the entry requirements for Apprenticeships?
You should be aged over 16
Have lived in the UK/EU for the last 3 years. (If not, visa/permits to reside are required)
Have not previously achieved a Level 4/HNC/Degree
Have not previously achieved a vocational qualification at the same level or above in the same vocational area
Those wishing to do an Apprenticeship with children or in a health care setting will be required to pass a Disclosure Barring Service check (previously a CRB check) to ensure you do not have a criminal record
How old do I need to be to do an Apprenticeship?
You need to be aged 16 or above to do an Apprenticeship, however there is no upper age limit.
What are the benefits of doing an Apprenticeship?
Starting an Apprenticeship offers a whole host of benefits.
Please see the 'Benefits of becoming an apprentice' page for more information.
What are the benefits of employing an apprentice?
Your business will benefit from taking on an apprentice in a variety of ways.
Please see the 'Employer Benefits' page for more information.
Should I do an Apprenticeship?
Research has shown the top three reasons for taking an Apprenticeship as being:
- To get a qualification
- To progress in a career
- To be paid whilst gaining a qualification
If you find any of these benefits appealing, then an Apprenticeship could be ideal for you.
If you are still unsure, the National Careers Service offers careers advice. Go to http://www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk or call 0800 100 900.
Will I enjoy doing an Apprenticeship?
The answer to this is most likely to be yes. According to research, almost nine in ten apprentices (89%) interviewed were satisfied, rising to 92% amongst those completing their Apprenticeship.*
* Source: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Apprentice Learner Survey 2012
What do the levels of Apprenticeships mean?
There are five levels of Apprenticeships, detailed below:
For more information please see the 'Framework Areas' section of the website.
A level 2 Apprenticeship is sometimes referred to as an Intermediate Apprenticeship. This is equivalent to 5 GCSEs.
Also known as an Advanced Apprenticeship. Equivalent to 2 A level passes
A level 4 Apprenticeship is also referred to as a Higher Apprenticeship, Equivalent to a Foundation Degree or NVQ at level 4.
Comparable to a higher education certificate, foundation degree or higher education diploma.