Find out more about intermediate apprenticeships and the industries they are offered in.

Intermediate apprenticeships are Level 2 apprenticeships, and generally considered to be the same level as five GCSE passes.

They are a great way to take the first step in starting your future career, and for those aged 16, they offer an alternative to staying at school and learning in the traditional classroom environment.

As an intermediate apprentice, you will study towards qualifications at the same level as five GCSEs, such as NVQ Level 2, and a knowledge-based qualification such as BTEC Diploma and Certificate, relevant to the sector and job role. You can go on to complete advanced and higher apprenticeships. 

Entry requirements for intermediate apprenticeships vary, with some employers asking for two or more GCSEs, although you may not need any formal qualifications. If you don’t have GCSEs in English and maths, you are usually required to take qualifications in these subjects as part of the apprenticeship.

How do they work?

Apprentices will complete an assessment at the end of the programme, which tests both academic learning and occupational competence developed through on-the-job training.

The programme can be structured in one of two ways:

  1. Employers, training providers, and professional bodies come together to co-design a fully-integrated course specifically for apprentices, which delivers and tests both academic learning and on-the-job training. This may be the preferred approach for many sectors, as the learning is seamless and it doesn't require a separate assessment of occupational competence.
  2. Alternatively, sectors may wish to use existing programmes to deliver the academic knowledge requirements of that profession. They would then combine this with additional training to meet the full apprenticeship training requirements, and have a separate test of full occupational competence at the end of the programme.

What are the benefits of apprenticeships?

  • Apprentices are employed and paid a wage throughout the course.
  • Apprentices will gain a head start in their chosen profession.
  • Training costs are co-funded by the government and the employer.

How are apprentices recruited?

Apprenticeships are jobs and so employers are ultimately responsible for recruitment. Both employers and training providers will need to be satisfied the applicant meets their respective requirements. It is likely that some employers and training providers will therefore do recruitment jointly.

As with other apprenticeships, employers may choose to advertise vacancies on the 'Find an apprenticeship' website.

What’s available?

Intermediate apprenticeships are offered in the widest range of industries including:

  • construction, planning and the built environment
  • leisure, travel and tourism
  • agriculture, horticulture and animal care
  • arts, media and publishing
  • business, administration and law
  • engineering and manufacturing technologies
  • retail and commercial enterprise
  • health, public services and care
  • education and training
  • information and communication technology

See our sectors and industries offering apprenticeships listing to find out what's available. 

To get an idea of what Level 2 apprenticeships are available to study, take a look at the government's A-Z list of apprenticeships. Find out more on the GOV.UK website.