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What is an Intermediate Apprenticeship?

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

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of what an intermediate apprenticeship entails, its benefits, and how it works.

What is an Intermediate Apprenticeship

What is an Intermediate Apprenticeship?

An intermediate apprenticeship is a Level 2 structured learning program that combines on-the-job training with classroom-based learning. It is designed for individuals, typically 16 years or older, looking to start their career journey. During an intermediate apprenticeship, participants work for an employer while receiving training that leads to a nationally recognised qualification.

How Does It Work?

  1. Employment: Apprentices are employed by a company or organisation from the outset. This means they have a proper job and are entitled to receive at least the national minimum wage for apprentices.
  2. Training: Apprentices spend most of their time working alongside experienced colleagues, learning the practical skills required for the job. They also attend college or a training centre to receive theoretical knowledge related to their chosen field. This balanced approach helps them apply what they learn in real-world settings.
  3. Qualifications: The core of an intermediate apprenticeship is to gain qualifications while working. This usually includes a vocational qualification related to the industry, functional skills (like English and math), and sometimes additional industry-specific certifications.

Benefits of Intermediate Apprenticeships

  1. Hands-on Learning: Apprenticeships offer a “learn by doing” approach, allowing participants to gain practical experience that employers highly value.
  2. Earn While You Learn: Apprentices receive a wage for their work, making it possible to support themselves financially while pursuing their education.
  3. No Student Debt: Unlike traditional full-time education, apprentices don’t accumulate student loans. The government and the employer cover the cost of training.
  4. Improved Career Prospects: Completing an intermediate apprenticeship enhances employability. Apprentices often have better chances of securing a permanent job with their apprenticeship employer or elsewhere in the industry.
  5. Skill Diversification: Apprentices acquire a wide range of technical and transferable skills that can be applied in various work settings.

Duration and Progression

An intermediate apprenticeship typically lasts around 12 to 18 months, although the duration can vary based on the sector and the specific qualifications being pursued. After completing an intermediate apprenticeship, apprentices can progress to an advanced apprenticeship or seek employment that aligns with their newly acquired skills.

Eligibility and Application

To be eligible for an intermediate apprenticeship, individuals must be 16 years or older, not in full-time education, and have the right to work in the UK. The application process usually involves finding an employer offering apprenticeships in the desired field and applying directly to them.


Intermediate apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity for individuals to kick-start their careers with practical experience, recognised qualifications, and a steady income. Whether fresh out of school or looking to switch career paths, an intermediate apprenticeship can provide the platform to succeed in your chosen field. 

Updated on September 2, 2023

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