Welcome to the Knowledge base.
If you’re just getting started on your apprenticeship journey, then you’ve come to the right place.
These are some of the most frequently asked questions that we get on a daily basis…so we decided to put them all in one place!
Use the links below to navigate to your question:
- What is an apprenticeship?
- What sort of jobs can I get as an apprentice?
- What are the requirements for an apprenticeship?
- How do I get an apprenticeship?
- How long is an apprenticeship?
- Should I be looking at local or national schemes?
- When is the best time of year to find open vacancies?
- Do apprentices get paid?
- What’s the minimum wage for an apprenticeship?
- Can I apply for an apprenticeship while I’m still at school?
- What is a degree apprenticeship?
- Can adults do apprenticeships?
- Can I do an apprenticeship if I’ve been to uni?
- How can I learn more about a particular sector?
- Where is the best place to find apprenticeships?
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a combination of working and learning. With an apprenticeship, you can gain career skills and experience while you earn money.
Unlike University courses, apprenticeships do not require tuition fees, allowing you to complete relevant qualifications while also being paid for your time.
Apprenticeships comply to a minimum wage, are always paid positions, and should never cost you money. This is why apprenticeships are often referred to as ‘earn while you learn’.
All apprenticeships have different levels and combinations of practical training and further study, but apprenticeships are defined by their practical application, where everyday you improve and practice your new skills in real life scenarios.
What sort of jobs can I get as an apprentice?
As long as there is a skill to be taught and practised, an apprenticeship can be created to help get your foot in the door of any industry.
What’s even better, the number of available apprenticeships is growing every year, as more and more industries and sectors embrace apprenticeships creating more opportunities for everyone.
What are the requirements for an apprenticeship?
While apprenticeships do not all necessarily require formal qualifications, many will ask that you have passed your English and Maths GCSE exams (or equivalent) to show that you have the basic literacy and numeracy required for a wide range of job roles.
Moving on to higher level apprenticeships, such as degree apprenticeships, may also require that you attain grades at A level, or achieve a set number of UCAS points.
Keep in mind that all roles are different (and usually flexible), so if you think you can demonstrate the passion and skills for a role that you don’t quite have the qualifications for, you should definitely still apply.
How do I get an apprenticeship?
There are many paths you can follow to get an apprenticeship. Check out our ‘ultimate guide‘ to see what our experts recommend.
How long is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships can last anywhere between one to five years. The length of an apprenticeship can vary depending on your industry, company, qualifications undertaken, and entry level.
Should I be looking at local or national schemes?
It depends on your situation, but it doesn’t hurt to look at both.
It’s always a good idea to see what’s available in your local area, as your perfect apprenticeship might be right on your doorstep.
However many larger companies may not show up in your research because they recruit on a national level and then assign candidates to local areas.
Some national apprenticeships can also have the advantage of cheap or free accommodation and travel expenses, the chance to split your time between several locations, and even the chance to travel internationally.
When is the best time of year to find open vacancies?
The short answer is: all of the time. Industry recruitment windows can vary greatly, and some larger companies may even be recruiting for apprentices all year round.
We add new jobs every day, so no matter what time of year it is, it’s worth checking our jobs board in the first instance.
In the rare event that the type of role you are looking for is not hiring, let us know and we can do some digging. We will often find companies who take early or speculative applications for their next recruitment windows, so it’s worth getting in touch. Maybe we can help!
Do apprentices get paid?
Of course! For starters, apprenticeships have a minimum wage that is set by the government. Above that, the pay can range quite considerably depending on the company, industry, and experience level. For some of the more competitive apprenticeships, it is not uncommon for the salary to even outstrip the entry level of a university graduate.
Even better, it is fairly standard practice for your pay to increase as you advance and progress through your apprenticeship, so you may have a tiered pay system in which your wage increases with each year of the scheme or qualification you complete. Alternatively, you may have annual pay reviews, just like you would with a full-time position.
What’s the minimum wage for an apprenticeship?
One of the best things abut an apprenticeship is being paid while you’re doing it.
The current minimum wage for an apprenticeship in the UK is £3.90 per hour. This applies to apprentices under the age of 19, or anyone in their first year of an apprenticeship.
If you are over 19 and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship, you must be paid at least the national minimum wage for your age.
These National Minimum Wages are set by the government to ensure that workers earn a minimum standard of living.
If you have found (or are currently enrolled in) an apprenticeship that you believe is violating these conditions, you can report it here.
Can I apply for an apprenticeship while I’m still at school?
Yes, you can apply for an apprenticeship while you are still at school, as long as you are 16 or over by the end of August in that given year.
What is a degree apprenticeship?
A degree apprenticeship could be described as the best of both worlds. It allows apprentices to continue to get fantastic on-the-job vocational training, while also spending part of their working week studying towards a full university degree.
Degree apprenticeships are special collaborations between Employers and Universities, where the cost of tuition for the apprentice is covered, often by the employer. This means degree apprenticeships offer the rare chance to gain a university degree without accruing tuition fees or debt.
Degree apprenticeships are still quite new, but more and more are appearing every year as companies realise that it is a fantastic way to attract talented young people.
Can adults do apprenticeships?
Contrary to popular belief, there are no maximum age restrictions on apprenticeships. As long as you are over 16 by the time your apprenticeship starts, anyone can apply for an apprenticeship.
In fact, apprenticeships can be a great way for those already in a job to learn valuable skills or gain a degree. It can even help you transition careers completely.
Plus, if you are aged 19 or over, you May have access to an advanced learners loan to help with your career change and new apprenticeship.
Can I do an apprenticeship if I’ve been to uni?
Most apprenticeships are happy to receive applications from graduates, however be aware that having a degree is unlikely to give you an advantage in gaining an apprenticeship.
Alternatively, If your a university leaver who left university before graduating, you can also apply to any apprenticeship you wish. Having set foot on a University campus does not blacklist you from the world of apprenticeships!
How can I learn more about a particular sector?
You can start by checking out our Industry Explorer. This is where we curate all of the most exciting sectors offering apprenticeship roles at the moment, and we are always adding more.
Where is the best place to find apprenticeships?
Well, we would probably suggest that you start right here by visiting our jobs page. However, there are tonnes of fantastic resources available. Check out the Apprenticeship finder from Gov.Uk to see what schemes might be available in your local area.
We would also humbly recommend that you sign up to our Best Apprenticeships Weekly Newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything apprenticeships.