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What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study, an individual works and learns at the same time. As an apprentice, you will be working in a real job where you will be employed by a company and have a contract of employment.

As an apprentice you can:

  • earn a wage and get holiday pay

  • study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week)

  • work alongside experienced staff

  • gain job-specific skills

Apprenticeships take 1 to 4 years to complete depending on their level.

For more information on Apprenticeships you can go to the government's website and download their Guide to Apprenticeships at

Who and when can I apply?

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school in Year 11. To start one, you’ll need to be:

  • 16 or over

  • living in England

  • not in full-time education (start once you have officially left us in the Summer)

Apprenticeships are very different to applying to 6th forms and colleges. The jobs are not all advertised or start on one date.  Jobs are advertised throughout the year. You will need to check websites regularly to view the different jobs available.

Level of Apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship has an equivalent education level.  This could be:

  • Intermediate - equivalent to 5 GCSE passes

  • Advanced - equivalent to 2 A level passes

  • Higher - can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree

What type of Apprenticeships are available?

In a nutshell - many! Over 1,500 job roles, in over 170 industries, from engineering to financial advice, veterinary nursing to accountancy, business administration, sales, marketing to construction and engineering and many, many more.  It is common that people think that apprenticeships are only available in a limited number of job roles and only in certain sectors like construction or retail.  But this isn’t true– there are literally thousands of jobs out there working in all sorts of different organisations.

Where do I find an Apprenticeship?

One of the best ways to find an apprenticeship is by using the website Find an apprenticeship

On this website, you will see the free service called Find an apprenticeship where you can set up an account to search and apply for different jobs that you might see.  As these are real jobs, you will need to apply for the vacancies by submitting a job application. This can be completed on-line through your personalised account.

You can also visit the National Careers Service website

– Click on the tab that says Careers Advice, then click Browse job profiles and click on some of the different categories and find out more about the different type of job roles.

Connexions Dudley also give advice on paprenticeships and advertise local apprenticeship vacancies -

There are also other agencies that advertise apprenticeships, such as notgoingtouni and some of them specializing in particular occupational areas.  An example of this is Creative Alliance.  Based in Birmingham, this organization specializes in job opportunities in the Creative sector, www/

Colleges will also advertise their apprenticeship opportunities on their websites.

If you know of the types of organisation you are interested in working for, it is a good idea to look on their websites for more information about any apprenticeship opportunities they provide too.

I’m not sure if I have the skills and experience to get an apprenticeship?

If you are interested in an apprenticeship but need more skills and training to get one, then a traineeship could be ideal for you. They last between six weeks and six months, and combine work experience with skills training.

You can consider a traineeship if:

•you’re aged 16-24 and do not have a full Level 3 qualification or higher

•you’re not currently in a job (or work less than 16 hours per week) and don’t have much work experience, but are focused on getting work

•you’re receiving unemployment benefit, provided you stay within benefit rules on how much time you can spend per week on the different parts of the traineeship programme - your training provider and Jobcentre Plus will be able to advise you on this. Go to for more information.