To start an apprenticeship in Northern Ireland, you must:
- already be employed, or about to take up paid employment in Northern Ireland
- be working a minimum of 21 hours per week on a permanent contract
- meet all the entry requirements of your chosen apprenticeship: for some, there are minimum entry requirements, such as GCSEs, and some higher level apprenticeship professions have entry requirements. Find out more in the framework for the apprenticeship you’re considering, or from the college or training provider.
- meet any eligibility criteria – for example, if you are a non-EU national or a public sector employee, or have previously achieved a recognised vocational qualification
If you are 25 years and over, there are restrictions on the type of apprenticeship with funding available.
You start with the level of apprenticeship that best matches your existing qualifications and experience.
You can either progress from Level 2 to Level 3, or go straight in at Level 3 – depending on your ability and qualifications. It usually takes up to two years to complete one level, and up to four years to finish the two levels –depending on their complexity, and your ability.