- Level 4 apprenticeships are equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree, or a Higher National Certificate (HNC).
- Level 5 apprenticeships are equivalent to a foundation degree, or a Higher National Diploma (HND).
If you want to gain further qualifications, you can go on to complete a degree apprenticeship – the equivalent to an undergraduate or master’s degree.
To be eligible for a higher apprenticeship, you need to be:
- aged 16 or over
- living in England
- not in full-time education
An apprenticeship is a real job, so you’ll also need to meet any other criteria set out by the employer. Entry requirements are different depending on the employer and the industry you’re going into.
If you don’t already have GCSEs in English and maths, you generally need to take Functional Skills as part of the apprenticeship, which is an alternative to GCSEs.
Some employers may be looking for people who have taken relevant subjects or apprenticeships. For example, a lab-based apprenticeship may require a science A level.
To find out what level might suit you, look at current apprenticeship vacancies and their entry requirements. You’ll then be able to decide if you might be more suitable for a different level.
An apprenticeship is like a job, but with an added element of study. You’ll spend most of your time doing on-the-job training, and the rest studying with your college or training provider.
At the end of the apprenticeship, you’ll have an assessment to check you can confidently perform your role. If you pass, you’ll be awarded your apprenticeship. The assessment is nothing to worry about, you’ll have been building up to it throughout your time at the apprenticeship.
- You’re an employee and get paid a salary, a holiday allowance, and sick pay.
- You’ll gain professional experience in your chosen career and put what you learn into practice daily.
- You won’t have to pay any study costs, as they’re co-funded by your employer and the Government.
- Many apprentices end up staying with the same company they did the apprenticeship with after qualifying.
- It’s a real job! You’ll have to get to work on time and do what’s expected of you.
- Learning and studying on the job can be tough. Your employer will support you, but you’ll need to take responsibility.
- With an apprenticeship, life is very different to going to uni. While there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people, it won’t be like going to uni.
- You’ll get paid, but like any other job, you’ll be paying tax and national insurance. You’ll need to learn to live on a budget.
Higher apprenticeships are available in a range of industries, from marketing and sales, to engineering, business management and more.
An apprenticeship is like a job, so you apply directly through the employer. You’ll need to submit a CV and answer some questions about yourself. If you get through the first stage, you’ll be invited to an interview and may have to complete an assessment centre. You might find this guidance useful:
You can search for higher apprenticeships using our Career Finder tool.