Apprenticeships FAQs

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Apprentices can earn while they learn and do not need to worry about paying back student loans.

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices between 16-18 (or anyone in their first year of an apprenticeship) is £3.70 per hour. All other apprentices are entitled to the standard National Minimum Wage for their age, however many employers pay over this.

Level 2 apprenticeships average between £130 and £150 per week, and Level 3 and 4 apprenticeships usually pay more, with employers often increasing wages in line with skills, experience and qualifications.

Gaining relevant skills, experience, qualifications and business etiquette in an industry setting is a great way to impress future employers. While there is no complete guarantee of a job after an apprenticeship, the figures are extremely encouraging. Higher apprentices could earn £150,000 more on average over their lifetime compared to those with Level 3 vocational qualifications.

Those who start on Level 2 programmes often progress onto Level 3 higher and Level 4 advanced apprenticeships. Your son or daughter could start on the apprenticeship route as a school leaver, and learn to be a highly qualified and experienced professional within a few years.

Apprenticeship training can take place at a local college one day a week or at the employer’s business. The training provides students with relevant competences for their chosen industry or profession. Those students without GCSE English and Maths also have the opportunity to study literacy, numeracy and IT skills.

Apprentices work alongside experienced staff, gaining job-specific skills, nationally recognised qualifications and a wage. Apprentices also take part in work-related study to towards their qualification.

Intermediate – Level 2 equivalent to five GCSE passes

Advanced – Level 3 equivalent to two A Levels

Higher – Can lead to NVQ Level 4 (equivalent to a Foundation Degree)

Apprenticeships offer a wealth of different qualifications in all job and career sectors. Apprenticeships offer NVQs, often along with BTEC qualifications. Apprenticeships usually last around 12 months, but may be longer depending on the employer and the level of qualification the apprentice is working towards.

  • Currently, more than 170 UK businesses offer apprenticeships and at any one time there can be around 23,000 apprentice vacancies
  • 90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship (including 2% self employed)
  • 97% of apprentices said their apprenticeship had improved their ability to do the job and 92% said that their career prospects had improved
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