Apprentices work and earn a wage whilst learning new skills and gaining experience on the job, as well as attending college to achieve nationally recognised qualifications. Anyone over the age of sixteen and not in full time education can apply. Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete and the average wage is £170 per week.
Apprenticeships are available over a wide range of business and industrial sectors and entry requirements vary for each sector. However, competition for all apprenticeship places is fierce and you will need to demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to be considered for the scheme. There are three levels of apprenticeships; intermediate, advanced and higher, depending on your current skills and experience.
Employers recognise the value of apprenticeships and this could help ‘fast track’ your career progression. You will learn job specific skills working alongside practitioners within the company. This learning will be supplemented by attendance at college to gain a recognised qualification in your chosen career. Attendance at college may take the form of day release or block release.
Apprentices have options at the end of their apprenticeship. They can continue working, possibly even getting promoted or they may wish to enter higher education.
To search for apprenticeship opportunities and for further information take a look at the National Apprenticeship Service website at: www.apprenticeships.org.uk.