What are Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are real jobs that include education, which ensures that you will gain a living when training and being highly trained in the chosen occupation by the end of the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are attractive. The tricky thing about them is that they are as diverse as the people who provide them. Consequently, it is important to regularly double-check each apprenticeship’s specifics, as illustrated in the apprenticeship standard for that sector.

What are apprenticeships, exactly?

An apprenticeship leads to a job. You’ll spend 80 per cent of the working week at the workplace, clocking in hours and accruing holiday compensation – all in line with the employment arrangement, much like every other employee.

The rest of your time at work would be spent studying the theory behind what you’re doing.

This may mean attending a university or college or studying on the job one day per week. It all boils down to what is best for you and the company you work for.

Your employer and the government will cover your course expenditures. However, you must be prepared to make the necessary effort to align your time between work and studying.

Apprenticeships do not often involve exams, so you should plan for assessment by learning. You’ll need to demonstrate your ability to perform your job effectively by putting what you’ve learned into practice.

Balancing your lifestyle with your work and study is tough, but the reward is consistent – learning about a job you’re interested in from the start.

What kinds of apprenticeships are available?

You could be eligible for one of four types of apprenticeships.

They correspond to a different levels of education, varying from GCSEs to a master’s degree:

• Intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2) • Advanced apprenticeships (Level 3) • Higher apprenticeships (Levels 4) • Degree apprenticeships (Levels 5–7)

They also have different entry requirements and may attract different kinds of candidates, so find out which one is better for you.

How long would it take to do an apprenticeship?

Lengths differ based on the level of apprenticeship and the field of study. Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships are usually done in two to three years, while higher and degree apprenticeships may take up to six years to complete. It’s all up to you and the pace you’re happy with.

How many hours would I have to work?

You can work or study five days a week for a full-time apprenticeship. This usually consists of four days of work and one day of study. Any apprenticeship will be structured differently depending on your work sector and the subject you are studying in.

As a result, you can find yourself studying for weeks at a time rather than over the working week – a practice known as block release. It would help if you spoke to your manager about it because alternating weeks of work and study will affect your accommodation.

How am I going to pay for an apprenticeship?

The good news is that you won’t have to pay any tuition. And you’ll get paid a wage determined by your company.

You would be liable for your living costs if you begin your apprenticeship and would not be eligible for a student loan. You’ll still need to compensate for rent, bills and food, ensuring you have enough, so you may have to cut down on your expenditures for a while.

You may not be eligible to get student discounts, but you can sign up for an NUS Apprentice Extra Card, and you will be able to get discounts for public transportation, such as the tube.

How much would I be paid?

You and the company you work for will agree on a pay rate. Based on the job and required experience, you could receive anywhere from a regular apprenticeship salary of £4.15 per hour (for anyone under the age of 19) to a salary aligned with your working sector.

Future earning potential

According to studies, your incomes increase directly to your current level of academic qualifications.

• Higher apprentices may receive £150,000 more than those with level 3 vocational qualifications.

• Receiving a level 2 or 3 apprenticeship boosts salaries by 11% and 16%, respectively. Although there is some difference by subject, most topics have a return of about 10%.

• Nearly nine out of ten (89%) apprentices were pleased with their apprenticeship overall, and 97 per cent claimed their capacity to do the job had increased.

The Benefits of Being an Apprentice

Apprentices who work more than 33 hours a week are given the same as the rest of the workers.

This includes sick pay, at least 20 days of paid time each year, and mandatory maternity/paternity leave. There is compensation and maternity/paternity leave.

You might also be registered for Universal Credit and components that support you in compensating for items like rent or child care.

Apprenticeships and pensions are other possibilities 

Furthermore, if you are an apprentice, you would be automatically included in a company pension if you fulfil the eligibility criteria, which involves being at least 22 years old.

You will not be automatically enrolled if you are under 22, so you may opt to join if you are under 22.

Is an apprenticeship a suitable match for me?

They can be a great alternative to traditional routes if you learn more from being committed to a task, are organised enough to manage your time and resources, and are eager to get out of the classroom.

Being an apprentice means preceding traditional education in exchange for specialised experience, applied skills, and hands-on instruction in a specific field. This means strong employability, but you might have to start from the bottom if you choose to change jobs.

Consider it if you know what you want to do and agree that an apprenticeship would get you there.

Updated on September 7, 2022

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