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What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training which would allow you to earn while you learn, whilst gaining a nationally-recognised qualification. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and are available in 1,500 occupations across 170 industries varying from construction to manufacturing through to IT and the creative and digital sectors.

This video clip explains what apprenticeships are, the levels, areas of study and how to search for a vacancy.

Apprenticeship levels

There are various levels of apprenticeship you could apply for depending on your current skills and qualifications. Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:


Level Equivalent

Educational level



5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C



2 A level passes


4,5,6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

All apprenticeships will include elements of on-the-job and off-the-job training leading to industry-recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships will require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice's ability and competence in their job role.

Benefits of doing an apprenticeship
  • Earning a salary
  • Training in the skills employers want
  • Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace
  • Increased future earning potential
  • Apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training, and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime
  • Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor
  • Paid holiday


Entry requirements

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16 living in England. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job.


The minimum wage for apprentices is £4.15** per hour, but many employers pay more than this.  This is dependent on the sector, region and apprenticeship level eg some higher apprenticeships can pay as much as £300 – £500 per week.  More details on salaries and entry criteria in specific apprenticeship occupations can be accessed by looking at the vacancies on ‘Find an apprenticeship’.

** wage rates change annually – check https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates for updates.

Search for apprenticeships:

The following websites have search tools to help you find apprenticeships that suit you:

Government apprenticeship website

Vacancy Snapshot


Not Going To Uni


Useful resources:

Interactive student guide packed with checklists, short films and areas for you to write your notes about apprenticeships.

Parents’ and Carers’ Pack Apprenticeship Information Jan 2021 Edition 21

Information for parents and students: https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/#

Click here to view the government's parents' guide to apprenticeships.

The Telegraph's Apprenticeship App: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2016/03/11/telegraph-apprenticeship-app/

Not going to Uni: https://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/apprenticeships-223

To help families and students navigate the fast-changing world of apprenticeships. https://amazingapprenticeships.com/

Apprenticeships, job reviews and careers advice for school and college leavers: https://www.ratemyapprenticeship.co.uk/

Parents guide to apprenticeships https://successatschool.org

An apprentice employer ranking based on apprentice feedback https://www.thejobcrowd.com/top-company-guides/


Not quite ready for an apprenticeship or job? Try a Traineeship.

You could try a traineeship with a local employer to gain valuable work experience and the opportunity to improve their English and mathematics, if needed.  Visit gov.uk and search ‘traineeships’ for more information or to apply for traineeship opportunities.

Traineeships Activity Pack
In collaboration with the Department for Education, Amazing Apprenticeships has created a new interactive Traineeship Pack for students.  The resource takes students through 13 fun and engaging tasks to discover the benefits of traineeships. You can download the Activity Pack here.


If you need support: 

Email Ms Tara Castle on tcastle@amershamschool.org and we will arrange for a careers appointment for you to help answer your queries.

Local employers send vacancies through to the school – we post these in the Careers Team for the appropriate year group/s.  If we want parents to access information that will go out on parentmail, in the school newsletter. Also (2021) Bucks Careers Hub has begun regular newsletters which we are delighted to forward