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What Grades Do You Need for an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. However, you may wonder, “What grades do you need for an apprenticeship?

In this article, we’ll delve into the details of the grades you might need for an apprenticeship.

What Grades Do You Need for an Apprenticeship

Grade Requirements

The grade requirements for apprenticeships can differ, but they generally fall into three categories: entry-level, intermediate, and advanced. The specific grades you need depend on the level of apprenticeship and the industry you’re interested in.

  1. Entry-Level Apprenticeships: Entry-level apprenticeships usually don’t have strict academic requirements. Employers are often more interested in your enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and work ethic. While some apprenticeships may require a minimum of GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education), others might accept individuals with no formal qualifications. However, having basic literacy and numeracy skills is beneficial.
  2. Intermediate Apprenticeships: Employers require around 2 to 3 GCSEs at grades 3 (previously D) or above for intermediate apprenticeships. These GCSEs typically include English and Maths, as they are essential skills for many job roles. However, some apprenticeships might accept Functional Skills qualifications as alternatives.
  3. Advanced Apprenticeships: Advanced apprenticeships are more demanding and often require higher qualifications. You might need 5 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (previously A* to C), including English and Maths. Advanced apprenticeships might have specific subject requirements related to the industry. For example, a technical apprenticeship might require Science or ICT qualifications.

Industry Variations

It’s crucial to note that different industries can have varying grade requirements. For instance, a healthcare apprenticeship might prioritise Science and Biology qualifications, while a creative apprenticeship might value Art and Design qualifications. Research the specific industry you’re interested in to understand its requirements.

Beyond Grades: Other Considerations

While grades are important, they aren’t the sole factor in securing an apprenticeship. Employers often value soft skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and a positive attitude. Work experience, volunteering, or relevant hobbies can also enhance your application, demonstrating your commitment to the field.

Alternative Routes

If your current qualifications don’t meet the requirements for your desired apprenticeship, there are alternative routes to consider:

  1. Traineeships: These provide pre-apprenticeship training and work experience to help you build skills and improve your qualifications.
  2. Functional Skills: These are practical English, Maths, and ICT skills that can be a valid alternative to GCSEs.
  3. Access Courses: If you’re aiming for higher-level apprenticeships, completing an Access to Higher Education course can be a pathway, especially if you lack A-levels.


The grades you need for an apprenticeship vary based on the apprenticeship level and the industry. Entry-level apprenticeships require minimal qualifications, while advanced apprenticeships often demand higher GCSE grades and specific subject knowledge. However, while grades are important, demonstrating enthusiasm, soft skills, and relevant experiences can significantly enhance your chances of securing the desired apprenticeship. If your grades don’t meet the requirements, explore alternative routes to bolster your qualifications and increase your prospects in the competitive world of apprenticeships.

Updated on August 25, 2023

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