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Becoming an apprentice

Whatever your starting point, whether you’re a school leaver, an adult looking for training to give you the skills you need to start your career, or you’re already in work and would like to boost your skillset an apprenticeship could be the ideal on-the-job training programme for you.  

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What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are work-based learning programmes built around a real job.   You’ll gain hands-on experience, a salary and the chance to complete a nationally recognised qualification while developing the new skills, behaviours and knowledge you’ll need in the workplace. You must be employed with a contract of employment and paid holiday leave. 

You can find the full list of available apprenticeship standards here. 

What will you do during your programme? 

As an apprentice, you’ll: 

  • Work alongside experienced staff 
  • Gain practical, job-specific skills 
  • Gain important life skills 
  • Earn a wage and get holiday pay 
  • Be allocated time for study related to your role (equivalent to one day a week). 
How much will you be paid? 

There’s a national minimum wage for apprentices, but many employers pay more than this. Pay depends on the sector, region and apprenticeship level. 

How long does an apprenticeship last? 

Apprenticeships can take between one to five years to complete, depending on their level.  

What are the different levels of apprenticeship? 

Intermediate 

Level 2 = GCSE 

Advanced 

Level 3 = A Level 

Higher 

Levels 4 – 7 = Foundation Degree and above 

Degree 

Levels 6 – 7 = Bachelor's or Master’s Degree 


How will you be assessed? 

Depending on the apprenticeship programme, you'll continuously learn with your progress assessed throughout, potentially completing a qualification in a relevant field. Through an end-point assessment (EPA)  at the end of your apprenticeship you’ll get to showcase what you’ve learnt and be recognised as a fully qualified apprentice. 

This is an independent assessment to confirm you’ve got the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) for the apprenticeship standard you’re taking. An independent assessor checks you can successfully perform in the role you’ve been training for 

Each EPA has at least two assessment methods. You may be observed in your workplace, or complete written tests, portfolios of work and interviews, either in-person or remotely. 

View this video for more useful information on your EPA.