Apprenticeships – the facts

Posted Mon 3 October 2016 - 10:28

Think you know apprenticeships? Think again!

What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are essentially training courses that enable you to learn on the job. Available in all areas of the UK, they are a good way to gain the skills and experience needed to get into many careers. They combine work, training, and study, letting you 'earn while you learn'.

An apprenticeship is not an easy option. You’ll be starting a  job and trying to prove yourself in the workplace, while getting to grips with studying for a higher or degree level qualification. You will also be expected to achieve academically and at work, managing your time and adjusting to longer hours, with fewer holidays than at school, college, or university.

Who will an apprenticeships suit?

Higher and degree level apprenticeships will suit someone who:

  • has a clear idea of the type of career they wish to pursue
  • wishes to continue with higher education level study, but would prefer a more practical and work-related approach to study
  • is ready to start work with an employer and be based in the workplace the majority of the time
  • is well organised and able to cope with the competing demands of work and academic study at the same time
  • is ready to be assessed through a mix of assignments and written work, including essays, reports, practical exercises, end tests, and exams

What are the entry requirements?

Firstly, you’ll need to be over the age of 16 and show you have the ability to complete the programme. Each apprenticeship has its own specific entry requirements, to ensure you’re capable to do the job and study at the same time, to the required standard. When you search for apprenticeships, each vacancy listing will identify the entry requirements and qualities the employer is looking for.

What qualifications can I get?

Degree and professional apprenticeships give you the opportunity to gain a full bachelor’s or master’s degree. Higher and technical apprenticeships also give you the opportunity to gain a higher education qualification, including a foundation degree, HND, or NVQ Level 4.

Where can I find out more?

Head to the ‘Apprenticeships in the UK’ section of to find out about each different type of apprenticeship, how to find vacancies, and how to apply.

Check out Lillie Tedder’s story – she’s an apprentice at BT and describes her journey into the apprenticeship, what it involves, and what advice she’d give to others looking to apply for an apprenticeship.