What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a unique training programme tailored to an individual. They provide a young person or adult with the skills, confidence, qualifications and knowledge to establish a career within their chosen industry.

Apprentices combine their studies with a real work placement in an industry of their choice. As well as gaining industry qualifications and working alongside professionals, apprentices also earn a weekly wage.

Throughout an apprenticeship a young person or adult will work towards a nationally recognised qualification, this can be in the workplace or at College one day per week.

A myth surrounds apprenticeships with people thinking they're only suitable for school leavers but this is not true. Anyone can become an apprentice, as long as they are 16 year-old or above, living in England and not in full-time education.

Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of apprenticeship, the apprentices’ ability and the industry sector.

The minimum salary is £3.40 per hour (from October 2016) or if an apprentice is aged 19 and over and completed the first year of training they are entitled to the national minimum wage for their age; however, many apprentices earn significantly more.

For example: An apprentice aged 22 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £6.95.