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Apprenticeships - What are they?

March 23, 2021
Olivia Batten

Apprenticeships have become one of the most popular choices for those looking to gain qualifications through work - also known as on the job training. The combination of education and employment can equip you with many skills and land you in a great position with some of the best employees in your chosen industry.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are open to everyone over the age of 16 who is not enrolled in full-time education. However, don’t be put off if you are older. Apprenticeships for over 25’s are increasingly common and could be the perfect option for those considering a career change.

The main aim of an apprenticeship is to be employed in a real job while studying for a formal qualification, therefore gaining practical experience and receiving a recognised qualification too. You will usually split your time by working for most of the week and studying one day a week at a college or training facility, but even apprenticeship is different.

You will follow an approved programme of study, however, your employer will have some input on how your training is structured. Your training will usually include the following features:

● A detailed training plan

● Progress reviews

● Practical training on the job

● Theoretical study at a college or training facility

● Assessments and coursework

● Ongoing mentoring and support throughout your apprenticeship

What sectors offer apprenticeships?

One of the best thing about apprenticeships is that they’re available in over 170 industries so there is something to suit everyone’s career interests. Some of these opportunities are within the following industries:

● Accounting, finance and banking

● Business administration, consultancy and business development

● Transport and logistics

● Human resources

● Marketing, social media and PR

Apprenticeship levels

Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers they can suit all ages and levels of experience. There are four current levels of apprenticeship that all lead to nationally-recognised qualifications:

● Intermediate apprenticeships - equivalent to GCSE passes at grades A*–C (4–9 on the new system).

● Advanced apprenticeships - equivalent to A level passes.

● Higher - equivalent to the first stages of higher education, such as a foundation degree.

● Degree - an apprenticeship that’s comparable to a Bachelors or Masters degree.

What happens at the end of the apprenticeship?

Depending on the type of qualification you are studying for, most apprenticeships take between one to five years to complete. By the end of your apprenticeship, you'll hopefully have gained the skills and knowledge needed to either succeed in your chosen career or progress onto the next apprenticeship level. Many apprentices will secure a permanent position with their employer at the end of their training.

At the UK Careers Fair, we bring candidates and employers together. If an apprenticeship sounds like the perfect option for you, keep up to date with our latest events for your chance to meet with some of the UK’s best employers. Find out more today.

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