Apprenticeships in Wales
A stunning and varied country, Wales benefits from a diversified business sector, reflected in the number and types of apprenticeships offered. With a lower cost of living than much of the UK, world-leading companies including Airbus and BAE Systems, and five designated areas of outstanding beauty, Wales has a lot to offer.
The Welsh Government hit its target of providing 100,000 apprenticeships in Wales by 2021, so there’s plenty of options to explore!
Careers in Wales
Wales may be a relatively small country, but it’s a diverse one, and there’s a veritable smorgasbord of apprenticeships available.
The earn as you learn model is further incentivised by the cost of your study being divided equally by your employer and the Government.
So, successful candidates gain a degree or similar qualification and are in full-time paid work in their chosen industry. Sound good? You’ll also receive training and regular assessments to evaluate your progress. Lastly, you’ll have opportunities to network and build up a list of industry contacts. Once you graduate, you may stay at the company, or move on depending on the circumstances, but you should have all the tools to succeed.
If you are looking to change careers or add a new string to your bow, adult apprenticeships might be a good option to explore.
Wales offers a huge range of apprenticeships from some of the biggest names in several industries. Some of Wales’s best apprenticeship employers include:
- BAE Systems
- Accor Hotels (IBIS, Novotel)
- Balfour Beatty
“Wales encompasses cosmopolitan cities such as Cardiff, cute market towns, stunning coastal views, and a strong sense of community. “
Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeships
You’ll find Airbus South Wales apprenticeships in Newport, and aerospace manufacturing apprenticeships in Broughton, North Wales, plus other companies such as BAe Systems. Given this abundance of aerospace jobs in Wales, it makes sense several aerospace engineering apprenticeships are available in the country. You can also find several other types of engineering apprenticeships in Wales, including Civil Engineering, Energy Engineering, and Marine Engineering.
Technology is not so much an industry as it is an aspect of most industries. As such, there are several different IT and digital apprenticeships available in Wales and elsewhere. Cloud/DevOps apprenticeships teach skills that are transferable to a myriad of working environments, from web design to digital marketing. You can also complete a digital marketing apprenticeship, which focuses more on bridging the skills gap between optimised websites and other digital channels such as social media. Cyber security is another apprenticeship which can help you to prosper in Wales.
Life Science Apprenticeships
Life Sciences include diagnostics, MedTech, wound healing, cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Wales is a world leader in this sector, supplying products and services to international markets including Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Canada, Qatar, and Singapore. Around 360 life sciences companies employ approximately 12,000 people in Wales.
Degree apprenticeships in Wales
As in the rest of the UK, all companies offering degree apprenticeships in Wales must do so in partnership with a reputable university. There are nine universities in Wales – Aberystwyth University Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff University, Swansea University, The Open University in Wales, University of South Wales, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and Wrexham Glyndwr University.
This is the highest level of apprenticeship in Wales, combining full-time paid work and part-time university studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. They can take between three and six years to complete. Wales offers degree apprenticeships in a plethora of roles and industries, from aerospace engineering, defence and nuclear, to financial services, nursing and public relations.
Apprentices in Wales should be pleased to have started their journey towards a bright working future.
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships can be summarised broadly as having four key benefits:
Apprenticeships can be summarised broadly as having four Key Benefits:
- Earn as you learn
- Get your degree funded
- Gain a qualification and new skills
- Benefit from mentorship and grow your network
Living and working in Wales
Wales is a beautiful country that is as rich in history and culture as it is innovative and full of opportunities. Wales encompasses cosmopolitan cities such as Cardiff, cute market towns, stunning coastal views, and a strong sense of community.
Although it is part of the UK, Wales can legislate on non-reserved matters, making some Welsh laws distinct from the rest of the UK.
The population is around 3 million, with more than a quarter of the inhabitants bilingual in English and Welsh. The capital is Cardiff, with other large cities including Swansea, Newport and Bangor.
The cost of living is cheaper than in England (approximately 15%), with house prices around 30% below the UK average.
Wales is home to five designated areas of outstanding beauty, forty-five blue flag beaches, three national parks and much more. History buffs will be delighted with six hundred castles within the Welsh borders. The skies are relatively clear of pollution, making them ideal for star-gazing and astronomy.
Transport links are good in the cities but more hit and miss in rural areas.There are regular trains linking major UK cities, plus many buses to take you around the country. Cycling is also popular in Wales. Cardiff Airport has flights leaving for destinations around the world each day.
While traditional Welsh industries such as coal and slate mining are no longer practised, manufacturing, farming, and forestry are still going strong. There is also pioneering work in Life Sciences Tech and Renewable Energy. Other prominent industries include tourism, media and creative careers, and food and drink.
The latest apprentice jobs in Wales:
Kickstart your career
Why choose an apprenticeship?
Earn a Fair Wage
As in the rest of the UK, Welsh apprenticeships are backed by the apprentice minimum wage scheme. As an apprentice, you are guaranteed at least the minimum wage for your age group, regardless of your role and the sector. You may find you earn significantly more, as employers will pay more for the best apprentices.
A Free Degree with No Student Debt
Your degree is funded equally by the UK Government and your employer. This means you don’t have to take out a student loan to cover your course costs. As you’ll earn a fair wage, your living costs should also be taken care of.
Progress Through Mentorship
As an apprentice, you will be mentored by at least one senior member of staff. You will not only learn practical skills on the job from them but also receive feedback and regular assessments to monitor your progress. Combined with in-classroom learning, mentorship can help you to assimilate into your chosen industry.
The Welsh Apprenticeship system has four levels –
- Foundation (Level 2)
- Apprenticeship/Standard (Level 3)
- Higher (Levels 4-7)
- Degree (Levels 6-7)
Each level has different entry requirements, and each apprenticeship with have specific criteria candidates must meet. You can apply for any apprenticeship you qualify for, and each represents a new phase of your career.
More Apprenticeships, More Diversity
The apprentice levy and other business incentives, a government push, and a collective effort to close the ever-growing skills gap in the UK have resulted in more apprenticeships across more sectors than ever. Multiple roles are now catered for in most industries, making it easier to upskill and hone your talents.
Your Ideal Apprenticeship
Wales is such a diverse country that it is almost impossible not to find an apprenticeship to spark your imagination. From life sciences and agriculture to engineering and construction, there is something for everyone, with new apprenticeships created all the time. Whether you know what you want to do or only have a vague idea, research is the key. Browse our best industry apprenticeships page to confirm entry requirements or course content for your chosen industry, or use it to gather inspiration.
Either way, we hope it helps you make your decision. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.