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What is an Apprenticeship, how much will you earn?

Do you learn better when you can learn through doing something? Do you know what job you want to do in the future? Would you like to work and learn at the same time - and get paid?

If the answer is 'yes' then the apprenticeship route could really suit you!

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is more than doing work experience, you will be in a real job, where you will be employed by a company, get paid a salary and be entitled to paid holidays and sick pay. And, you will be working towards qualifications that are relevant to your job.

Over 68,000 under 19 year olds started apprenticeships last year. There are over 1,500 different jobs roles you can do an apprenticeship in across 170 different industries, from law to graphic design, advertising to electric vehicle engineering.

What qualifications do I need to do an apprenticeship?

There are apprenticeships available at all levels  - whether you have no qualifications, GCSEs, A Levels, BTEC qualifications or a degree!

The level of apprenticeship you start at will depend on the qualifications you have, the job you are applying for, and the apprenticeship standard the employer wants to use.

Find out more about the different apprenticeship levels

Who are they for?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged above 16 years old who live in England, who is not in full time education. Apprenticeships start throughout the year and you can be an apprentice at any age, even in your 30s or 40s! 

Do you get a job at the end of your apprenticeship?

Most apprentices do. The National Apprenticeship Service showed that over 90% of apprentices either get a job with the employer they completed their apprenticeship with or go on to find  another job with a different employer.

Finding an Apprenticeship.

How much will you earn?

There are different rates of pay for apprentices depending on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you’re in. Your employment contract should confirm your rate of pay.

Aged 16 to 18: The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £6.17 per hour.

Aged 19 or over and in your first year: The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is 8.32 per hour.

Aged 19 or over and have completed your first year: You’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for your age.

For more information visit the Government website on becoming an apprentice.

However, because some employers 'top up' the salary of an apprentice the average apprentice salary in the United Kingdom is £27,721 per year or £14.22 per hour. This does vary across different apprenticeships.

If you are 16 to 24 and a care leaver, you can also receive a £1,000 bursary payment to support you in your first year of the apprenticeship. 

How long does an apprenticeship last?

The length of an apprenticeship depends on the qualification being obtained and the type of job role. For example, a Level 3 business administration apprenticeship can take 18 months, whilst an engineering apprenticeship could take 4 years to finish. Generally, apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete. For anyone between 16 and 18 years, the minimum duration is 12 months.

What's it like being an apprentice?

As well as learning 'on the job' at work, you will also be given time to train 'off the job'. There will be at least 20% of time for structured learning with a college or training provider.

On the Job Training - is in the work place with your employer. You will develop your skills by working with colleagues who will show you how to carry out certain tasks. 

Off the Job Training - is when you learn away from work, often at a local college supported by your training provider.

Your training provider provides an important role in delivering your 'off the job' training by attending regular reviews with your employer and assessing your progress towards your qualifications. It might be that you use a computer to access online learning or you might go to college or a training centre one day a week or on a block for a few weeks at at a time.

You will need to make sure you are managing your work and studies. This means you'll be developing your organisational and time management skills alongside your work skills.

You can have a look at this short film to find out more about apprentices' experiences here.

Whats it like being an apprentice?

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