What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a real job with training, so you can earn while you learn and get recognised qualifications as you go.
You can apply for an apprenticeship if:
- you live in England
- you're 16 or over
- you're not in full-time education
An apprenticeship is a real job with training, so you can earn while you learn and get recognised qualifications as you go. Apprenticeships take between 1 and 4 years to complete. They cover 1,200 job roles in a range of industries, from engineering to financial advice, veterinary nursing to accountancy. Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond.
Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of Apprenticeship, the apprentices’ ability and the industry sector. The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.30 per hour, but many employers pay more than this. The average gross weekly wage for an apprentice is £200. This is dependant on the sector, region and Apprenticeship level e.g. some Higher Apprenticeships can pay as much as £300 – £500 per week.
More details on salaries and entry criteria in specific Apprenticeship occupations can be accessed by looking at the vacancies on apprenticeships.gov.uk.
- earn a salary
- get paid holidays
- receive training
- gain qualifications.
- learn job-specific skills.
Different Levels of Apprenticeships
Employers really value apprenticeships. They know that if you’ve got one, you’ll have the skills they need. As a result, your career could progress rapidly.
You’ll feel the rewards in your pocket too. People with an Advanced Level Apprenticeship earn on average over £100,000 more over the course of their career, than those without.
From then on, your next move is up to you. You can collect UCAS points, study for Technical Certificates, go on to higher education at college or university, or work towards promotion.
Depending on your current skills and qualifications, there are three levels of apprenticeship you can apply for:
- Intermediate level apprenticeship (level 2)
- Advanced level apprenticeship (level 3)
- Higher apprenticeship (level 4 or above)
You can find out more about the types of jobs you can get into through an apprenticeship, and about the levels offered, in this document produced by the National Apprenticeships Service.
- Types of apprenticeship (PDF: file size 100KB)
Your employer and learning provider
Your employer provides your on-the-job training and pays your wages. You will work alongside them and learn from some of the best in the business.
A learning provider can be a college, training organisation or university, and they look after the rest of your training. You can complete this off-the-job training on day release (attending 1 day a week) or over a number of days in a short period (block-release).
Your apprenticeship will cover the hands-on experience and the training in all other aspects of the job.
Case Study A - Bury College Apprenticeship
Student A attended Siddal Moor from 2007 – 2012. He secured a 12 month Level 3 Accounting apprenticeship contract at Big Hand 4 Business where he has undertaken responsibilities such as looking after client’s accounts, taking part in client meetings and general admin duties.
Big Hand hosted a large seminar, “How to get an extra £2 million in your business and personal bank accounts.” This was a workshop that looked at over 30 practical and proven ideas and strategies that businesses can use to strengthen their sales, profits and cash flows. Three times Olympic medallist and former Commonwealth, European and world champion athlete MBE Kriss Akabusi was one of the two world-class speakers that presented the seminar and inspired businesses to think big.
As part of his apprenticeship student A contributed to the event by designing the programme, sourcing the printers and organising the print of books. He said, “I am really enjoying my apprenticeship and I am learning a lot, it’s challenging but enjoyable. I would like to progress within this company and would eventually like to manage client accounts.”
Choosing an Apprenticeship
- 1.How do you choose between apprenticeships?There are three main things to think about: The level of apprenticeship, the type of apprenticeship and the type of employer.
- 2.The first level is intermediate apprenticeships and these are great for those just starting out.
However, if you’ve got five GCSEs (grade A*-C), you might want to think about skipping the intermediate apprenticeship stage and applying for an advanced apprenticeship instead.
- 3.It’s also worth thinking about your own interests and skills. What are you good at? Are you more interested in a hands-on apprenticeship or do you want something more desk-based?
Keep an open mind and explore apprenticeships that you might not have considered. You never know, even the supposedly ‘boring’ careers might be just right for you.
- 4.The key thing to remember is that an apprenticeship is the first stepping stone in your career.
Consequently, you’ll want to choose an apprenticeship that is relevant to your career aims.
Where are they now?
Follow the stories of some Siddal Moor students from past cohorts.
Find out what choices they made for their future learning and career paths and what they have achieved.Read more
Apprenticeships and Training
Rochdale Apprenticeships website
Government Apprenticeship website
IT sector apprenticeships
Manchester Science Park
Logistics sector apprenticeships
Mantra Learning and Job Gym Manchester
Oldham Training Centre
3 Union Street
T: 0800 195 8528
Rathbone Central Support
4th Floor, Wellington House
The Skills Company
Canal Suite Reception
90 Great Bridgewater Street
Careers in the Food & Drink Industry
T: 0845 644 0558