Apprenticeships are an effective way to gain a specific qualification whilst being employed by a company in the industry you are learning about. Earning and learning at the same time!

If you have an idea of the career path you wish to pursue and you're aged 16-19, then an apprenticeship could be the most direct way to learn an industry and a profession at the same time. You are literally "taken under the wing" and taught the key skills for the job that you will one day undertake. If you are not sure what career you want to have yet, there are plenty of apprenticeships out there that will teach you fundamental skills that you can apply to any job in the future.

A few things to bear in mind before you get stuck in:

Who can apply?

1. You need to be 16 or over.

2. Entry requirements will depend on the Apprenticeship you want to do. There are three levels available:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeships (equivalent to five good GCSE passes)
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A level passes)
  • Higher Apprenticeships (lead to qualifications at NVQ Level 4 or, in some cases, a Foundation Degree)

3. Depending on your grades in GCSE Maths and English, you may need to take a literacy and numeracy test. To do this you can join the Access to Apprenticeship scheme which is run by the National Apprenticeship Service, or you can ask your apprenticeship provider about it.

What are the benefits?

You get real qualifications: A work based qualification (NVQ), Skills based qualification (problem solving, communications) and Technical qualification (BTEC relevant to the apprenticeship). You can then go on to further study, or to work within that field having learned the fundamental skills you need to start progressing with your career.

Earning and learning in an apprenticeship cuts out the problem of going into debt because you're studying - a problem for many university students. As an apprentice you are legally entitled to earn a wage, ranging from minimum wage for some roles (£95 per week) to an average of around £200 per week. Additionally, those who start their careers on an apprenticeship tend to earn on average around £100,000 more than those without.

How do I apply?

If you apply through, we will send a copy of your profile to the prospective employer, and you will have the option to attach a CV and covering letter as well. See our advice section for more information on how to write a good CV and cover letter.