In a nutshell apprentices are a period of on the job training. Essentially allowing people from the age of 16 and above to gain skills and recognised qualifications whilst being paid. Dependent on the apprenticeship and the level of qualification that is being worked towards, they can last between one and four years.

Below are the levels of apprenticeships available;

Name Level Equivalent Education Level
Intermediate 2 6 GCSE passes at grade A*C or 9-4
Advanced 3 2 A level passes/Level 3 Diploma/International Baccalaureate
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree



There are no set requirements for anybody wanting to apply for an apprenticeship, they are open to anyone over the age of 16, living in England and not in full-time education. No formal qualifications are required for certain apprenticeship levels unless the employer specifies.

There is something for everyone. Apprenticeships are now available in over 170 industries and 23,000 apprenticeship opportunities are listed online each month. Here are just a few examples of industries offering apprenticeships;

  • Business and Administration
  • Creative, Media and the Arts
  • Hospitality and Travel
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Sport and Fitness


There are various ways in which apprenticeships can be carried out, however all apprentices must work a minimum of 30 hours per week (unless the apprentice has caring responsibilities, in which this time can then be reduced if agreed with the employer, to a minimum of 16 hours per week), including any off-the-job training undertaken. Time spent on off-the-job training should be at least 20%, this may be time physically away from the workplace or if the apprentice remains in the workplace, this should just be time away from their normal role focusing on training.


There are many reasons why apprenticeships are becoming a popular choice amongst employers and people seeking qualifications…

  • No debt. Whilst university students can be left with £70,000 of debt, apprentices have £0 debt and can become qualified to degree level.
  • Employability. Employers say that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.
  • Up-skill. Employers can use apprenticeships to develop their current employees skills in chosen areas if they are not looking to recruit.
  • Work-experience. During an apprenticeship not only is an employee gaining skills, they are gaining valuable experience by working alongside experienced staff. This is appealing to employers and is something that puts them above a degree holder leaving university.
  • Funding. Whether you are an apprenticeship levy paying business or using funding from the government from co-investment, the government has made apprenticeship training a cost effective strategy for employers.
Want to know more about apprenticeships? Book your place on our ‘Apprenticeships: A Guide for Employers’ seminar by clicking here.
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