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Can You Do An Apprenticeship At 16?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. However, you may wonder, “Can you do an apprenticeship at 16?”

Apprenticeships offer a valuable pathway to gain practical skills and experience while earning a wage. If you’re a 16-year-old looking to kickstart your career and explore a hands-on approach to learning, you might wonder if securing an apprenticeship at your age is possible. 

This article aims to provide all the necessary information about getting an apprenticeship at 16, including eligibility criteria, benefits, and the application process.

Can You Do An Apprenticeship At 16

Eligibility Criteria

You must meet specific requirements to be eligible for an apprenticeship at 16. These may vary depending on the particular apprenticeship program you are interested in. 

However, here are some common criteria:

  1. Age: As the focus is on school leavers, many apprenticeship programs start accepting applicants at 16. 
  2. Education: While GCSEs or equivalent is generally not mandatory for apprenticeships, having a basic level of education is usually expected. This typically includes completing compulsory education or having a certain level of literacy and numeracy skills.

Benefits of Apprenticeships

Embarking on an apprenticeship at 16 can offer numerous advantages:

  1. Practical Experience: Apprenticeships provide hands-on training, allowing you to gain practical skills in a specific trade or industry. This experience can be invaluable when starting your career.
  2. Earn While You Learn: Unlike traditional academic routes, apprenticeships allow earning a wage while you learn. This can help cover your living expenses and provide financial independence.
  3. Industry Connections: Apprenticeships often involve working alongside professionals who can become mentors and provide guidance. Building connections within your chosen industry early on can open doors to future opportunities.
  4. Qualifications: Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with formal education. As you progress, you can earn recognised qualifications, such as certificates or diplomas, enhancing your employability.

Application Process

When applying for an apprenticeship at 16, follow these steps:

  1. Research: Explore different industries and apprenticeship programs available in your area. Consider your interests, strengths, and long-term career goals.
  2. Find Opportunities: Look for apprenticeship vacancies through job websites, local government portals, or by contacting employers directly. 
  3. Prepare a CV: Create a well-structured cv that highlights your skills, any relevant school projects, extracurricular activities, and any work experience you may have.
  4. Application Form: Fill out application forms accurately and provide all the necessary information. Be sure to tailor your application to each specific apprenticeship opportunity.
  5. Interviews and Assessments: If shortlisted, you may be invited for an interview or assessment. Prepare for these by researching the company, practising common interview questions, and showcasing your enthusiasm for the apprenticeship.
  6. Follow Up: After submitting your application, following up with the employer is a good practice. Send a polite email or make a phone call to express your continued interest and inquire about the status of your application.


Securing an apprenticeship at 16 is possible and can be an excellent way to jumpstart your career. You can increase your chances of finding a rewarding apprenticeship opportunity by meeting the eligibility criteria, understanding the benefits, and following the application process.

Updated on June 4, 2023

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