Apprentices earn and learn

AN apprenticeship offers hands-on practical training in a job of your choice while you earn a salary.


It means you’re treated just like all the other employees, with a contract of employment and holiday leave.


If you’re 16 or over, you can become an apprentice as long as you spend at least 50 per cent of your working hours in England for the duration of the apprenticeship and you are not in full-time education.


Your apprenticeship can take between one and six years to complete, depending on which apprenticeship you choose, what level it’s at, and your previous experience. From engineering to nursing and from law to design – thousands of apprenticeships are available every year in a vast range of industries and careers.


Advanced apprenticeships are equivalent to two A-level passes. To be accepted you should have five GCSEs or more. Higher apprenticeships range between Level 4, which is the equivalent of one year of higher education study, to Level 6, which is the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree. They cover around 75 industries and more than 100 different job roles, ranging from legal services to banking and engineering.


Higher and degree apprentices typically split their time between college or university and the workplace.


An apprenticeship can lead to a long-term job after the initial contract is completed. You can also pick up life-long skills that will be useful and adaptable to any industry.


The whole time you will be making a good name for yourself and building professional contacts, which will benefit you greatly in the future.


As with other apprenticeships, students are employed throughout and the cost of the fees are shared between the Government and the employer. Many employers choose to pay substantially more than the apprenticeship minimum wage, which is £4.30 per hour for those under 19.


As well as having many benefits for apprentices, the scheme is also popular with employers. Many see it as an investment because they can guide and train their recruits to have the specific skills required for the industry and ensure they are reliable members of the workforce.


Employers want an apprentice who is polite, punctual and reliable. They also want a quick learner who can follow instructions and advice and someone who can think on their feet to fix any problems that crop up.


Firms will be looking for a team player who will fit into the existing workforce well. Their apprentice will need to have good people skills, especially if the role involves dealing with customers or the public.


For more information and support on applying for an apprenticeship, log on to


Some of the reasons to choose an apprenticeship:


  • Earn while you learn and get paidacompetitive salary.


  • Your training is free.


  • You can choose from hundreds of different apprentice jobs in thousands of organisations.


  • Get high-quality training paid for by your employer and the Government.


  • It’s a great way to get back into the workplace after a career break, or to re-train in a new area.


  • You can boost your future earnings potential.


  • It enables you to develop the skills you need for a range of exciting jobs or careers, no matter your age or background. How much can you earn?


  • Your salary will depend upon the industry, location and type of apprenticeship you choose.


  • The national minimum wage is £4.30 per hour if you’re aged 16 to 18 – but many employers pay far more than this.


  • After the first year of your apprenticeship it is £4.62 for under 18s, £6.56 for 18-20, £8.36 for 21 and 22 and £8.91 for 23 and over.


What will my apprenticeship cost me?


  • When you become an apprentice, you’ll need to cover the cost of your day-to- day expenses, such as lunch and travel.


  • If you’re a care leaver aged 16 to 24, you’ll receivea£1,000 bursary payment to support you in the first year of your apprenticeship.