Like other kinds of work, apprenticeships have minimums that a candidate must meet to be considered for the job.
In general, a prospective apprentice may need three GCSEs. Still, other qualifications and experience are almost always considered, especially when employers are explicitly looking for apprentices from diverse backgrounds, upbringing, and educations, knowing they risk missing out on the best talent if they do not.
Still, there are fundamental expectations for applicants at each apprenticeship level, and knowing them may help you decide what is best for you before applying.
What do you need to do an apprenticeship?
Level 2 (Intermediate), equivalent to GCSEs: The only requirement is that the applicant is at least 16 years old. Employers may need a proven interest in the apprenticeship subject matter and the ability to complete it.
Level 3 (Advanced), considered equivalent to A-levels: Companies at this level often prefer three or more GCSEs, particularly in English and Math. Relevant experience is also beneficial.
Level 4 (Higher) is considered the equivalent of a foundation degree: Employers will look for GCSEs and level 3 credentials such as A-levels and their counterparts such as a BTEC. At this level, experience in a relevant field is also needed.
Level 5 (Higher) corresponds to the first year of a bachelor’s degree: Level 4 is the same as level 3 but with higher minimum grade standards and a clear need for previous experience.
Level 6 (Higher), equivalent to a bachelor’s degree: Level 5 is the same as level 5, but with higher minimum grade standards and a clear need for previous expertise.
Level 6 (Degree), equivalent to a bachelor’s degree: Three to five GCSEs, as well as three or more A-levels, including at least one relevant topic or equivalent level 3 credentials, are required.
Level 7 (Degree), equivalent to a master’s degree: A bachelor’s degree or comparable level 4 or higher credentials and many years of prior experience.