The 5 Most Popular Types of Apprenticeship

New apprenticeships are created each year, offering more diverse opportunities to an increasingly wide range of candidates. 

In 2023, you can find at least one apprenticeship programme for almost every industry. Indeed, most sectors offer a wealth of apprenticeships at different levels that focus on specific roles. 

In this quick guide, we will outline some of the most popular types of apprenticeship in 2023.

What Types of Apprenticeships Can You Do? 

This question has a couple of different answers. When discussing the different types of apprenticeships, we need to look at apprenticeship levels and the most popular industries.

Within each industry, there may be several subsections and apprenticeship opportunities. Many companies also offer apprenticeships at different levels.

Apprenticeship Levels

There are four levels of apprenticeships:

Intermediate Apprenticeships – Level 2 – Designed to give those who have performed poorly in their GCSEs the chance to gain the equivalent of 5 GCSEs in a relevant subject. You may still need to complete GCSEs in maths and English as an entry requirement.

Advanced Apprenticeships – Level 3 – This can be the next step after completing your GCSEs instead of going to college and is equivalent to two A-Level passes. 

Higher Apprenticeships – Levels 4/5 – This is a higher qualification that may follow A levels and is equivalent to a Foundation degree or the first year of a Bachelor’s degree.

Degree Apprenticeships – Levels 6/7 – This qualification is equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.

Each level of apprenticeship has standard entry requirements, but individual roles and companies may have other criteria.

The most popular level of apprenticeship is the Advanced apprenticeship, accounting for 43.2% of starts. Equating to two A-Level passes, it enables apprentices to earn a wage while taking their first step on their chosen career path straight after completing their GCSEs. It can follow an intermediate apprenticeship and may lead to a higher apprenticeship or university course. 

Popular Apprenticeships by Industry 

Now that we’ve established the most popular level of apprenticeship, it is time to look at the most popular industries for apprenticeships.

Business, Administration, & Law Apprenticeships

Number one on the list continues to be Business, Administration, and Law apprenticeships. This is an overarching term, which includes a variety of apprenticeships, from banking and accounting to legal services, financial advice, insurance, and HR.

Although some of these apprenticeships specialise in one area, eg bookkeeping or payroll, they offer apprentices a solid foundation in business management with a mix of practical and interpersonal skills, which can often be adapted across many sectors and businesses.

Healthcare, Childcare, & Public Services 

This is another broad term covering myriad apprenticeships but is essentially focussed on all of the roles involved in public and private care, be it the NHS or a nursery.  

Healthcare goes far beyond doctors and nursing apprenticeships. You can find healthcare and social care apprenticeships for IT specialists, pharmacy technology and research, plus HR and administration. 

IT & Digital Technology Apprenticeships

In today’s digital world, IT skills are in demand across every sector. It’s no surprise then that IT & Digital apprenticeships are the third most popular type of apprenticeship in 2023.

Encompassing such diverse roles as content creator, business analyst, network engineer, and digital marketing, these apprenticeships offer successful candidates proficiency in several digital skills and practical IT experience.


Retail apprenticeships include sales, management, visual merchandising, customer service, and much more. From the stock room to the tills, many roles within retail keep businesses ticking over. Retail apprenticeships can enable career progression by qualifying apprentices to earn more senior roles. 

Hospitality & Catering Apprenticeships

Last but not least, hospitality and catering apprenticeships cover everything from cooking, catering, and cleaning to receptionists, hotel management, and party planning.

There are numerous roles required to run a hotel or restaurant, including data analysis, booking systems and marketing.

An apprenticeship in hospitality and catering can be a first step in your career in this vibrant and ever-evolving industry.

So, there you have it, the top five most popular industry apprenticeships in 2023.

It is no surprise that there is some cross-over between the most popular apprenticeships and the highest-paid apprenticeships. However, there are other reasons these sectors offer the most popular apprenticeships, such as job security, transferable skills, and the opportunity to work in different industries. 

Still, one size doesn’t fit all, which is why the number and diversity of apprenticeships available continue to grow year-on-year.  

Check out more of our industry guides for a better idea of some of the other types of apprenticeships available in 2023. 

Relax. We’ll send the jobs to you.

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