Everything you need to know about apprenticeships

Get information and advice on apprenticeships and discover the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship to progress your career.

Everything you need to know about apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Week takes place in February every year and connects thousands of students to the UK’s top employers. The week is a chance for employers to reach attendees with new opportunities.

The careers advisers at C+K see the value of apprenticeships first hand, for people of all ages. An apprenticeship provides a fresh new start at any point and enables people to develop the skills and experience needed to progress their career.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a role where the employee is trained alongside being paid. An apprentice learns on the job, completing training in the workplace and spending at least 20% of the working week on classroom-based learning.

The learning is facilitated and assessed by a college, university or training provider, leading to a nationally recognised qualification at the end of the apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship includes:

• Paid employment with holiday and sick pay
• Practical experience in the chosen role
• Learning modules and formal assessment
• Nationally recognised qualifications

What industries take on apprentices?

Almost every industry takes on apprentices, and apprenticeships exist within small businesses and large international companies. In the UK you can find apprenticeships within these sectors:

• Agriculture, environment and animal care
• Business and administration
• Care services
• Catering and hospitality
• Construction
• Creative and design
• Digital
• Education and childcare
• Engineering and manufacturing
• Hair and beauty
• Health and science
• Legal, finance and accounting
• Protective services
• Sales, marketing and procurement
• Transport and logistics

Browse apprenticeships by sector

Hear Reon’s story

Reon chose a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship to gain hands-on experience and figure out if a career in marketing would be right for him.

I think everyone should at least consider an apprenticeship. It allows you to gain practical experience of being in a specific job role, and you get a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the environment you want to pursue a future in.

"For me, this is the best thing about apprenticeships as they allow you to fully understand if the daily reality of your chosen career and job role is for you.

Read Reon’s story

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an opportunity to gain practical experience and training in a role, while achieving qualifications and getting paid. You earn while you learn and gain the qualifications you need to progress in your chosen career path.

The employment opportunities of those who complete apprenticeships are good, with 91% of apprentices securing a job after completing, or going on to further study.

What are the different levels of apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships have equivalent levels that follow a similar path to other educational routes, including going to sixth form or college and higher education. Apprenticeships are available at various levels and include qualifications up to degree level.

See the different apprenticeship levels

What do you earn as an apprentice?

You are paid a salary as an apprentice, which includes holiday leave and sick pay. What you earn depends on your age and your employer.

Those aged 16 to 18, or in the first year of your apprenticeship, are entitled to the apprentice rate. If you're 19 or over and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship, you’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

After the first year of an apprenticeship, the salary can go up depending on the role and this is at the discretion of the employer.

Care leavers aged 16 to 24 receive a £1,000 bursary payment to support them during the first year of an apprenticeship.

Why choose an apprenticeship over university?

The main reason you might consider an apprenticeship over university is the opportunity to earn a salary and work while you learn. University is an opportunity for concentrated study, whereas an apprenticeship is a chance to learn within a real working environment.

Can you do an apprenticeship at any age?

It’s a common misconception that apprenticeships are just for students and school leavers. There is no upper age limit for apprentices, and you can begin an apprenticeship at any age above 16, whether you are working or not.

Find out more about adult apprenticeships

Do you have to be unemployed to start an apprenticeship?

No, you can be in work and start an apprenticeship. Your employer can offer you an apprenticeship as part of your career progression, to learn new skills and gain qualifications on the job. However, you can’t be in full time education and complete an apprenticeship.

Do you have another question about apprenticeships?

We hope we have provided a broad overview of apprenticeships and how they work. If you are considering an apprenticeship or want advice on a particular area, get in touch with us on 01484 242000 or email chat@ckcareers.co.uk.

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