What time of year do apprenticeships start?

Unlike traditional educational routes, apprenticeships can start at any time of year.

With the exception of degree apprenticeships, which tend to start alongside the new academic year in September.

There are no set rules around apprenticeship start dates – it depends on the employer and when they need to recruit to fit their business needs.

Every apprenticeship vacancy will include a start date and a closing date, so be sure to check both.

Large employers, who take on apprentices every year, recruit well in advance. So you may see a vacancy in February with an August start date. Which might seem like a lifetime away, but it's great to get your applications and interviews out of the way – so you can focus on your exams with a clear head. 

Lauren, employer at Tulip

We advertise our positions well in advance, on all the big job boards and also on social media. We like to host an open day for applicants who make it through screening, so they can get a good idea of what we’re about before they start.

If there are any employers you want to work for who aren’t advertising, always contact them and ask. Even if they don’t have any positions currently, it might surprise you what a confident CV with a strong cover letter can do.

Also take a look at websites for specialist employers like the NHS, the BBC, and the Armed Forces for opportunities that won’t be listed anywhere else.

If you can’t find a vacancy that piques your interest, keep checking back for new listings. And sign up for alerts so you don't miss out.

Joining an apprenticeship programme, the key steps.  

Can I apply for an apprenticeship and university at the same time?

Absolutely. Find out more here.

Most degree apprenticeships provide you with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and it’s worth researching them as fully as possible. The apprenticeship standards act like the modules of a uni degree, and let you know exactly what you’ll be learning.

When should I apply for an apprenticeship?

As soon as you see a vacancy that interests you, apply for it, just like you would with any other job.

Typically, this will be a few months before the start date. So, you should start looking around six months before you’d ideally like to start.

It’s important that you only apply for an apprenticeship when you’re completely ready, but don’t wait for the application deadline to come around – employers can remove vacancies as soon as they feel they have enough applicants.

If you get accepted onto any apprenticeship programme, so long as you’re not still in full time education, you can start whenever the job is available.

Which might leave you with a couple of months to tide yourself over or take some time out.

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for a job. You make an application, and if you make the shortlist you’ll be called back for an interview.

Sifting, shortlisting, and the interview process will differ from employer to employer. Check out our comprehensive guide on preparing for an apprenticeship interview, and go get ‘em.

The key to finding a good apprenticeship.

You can find apprenticeship listings here:

Our Career Finder tool 

gov.uk website