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    Apprenticeships allow your employees to combine work and study by mixing on-the-job training with classroom learning. They’ll be employed to do a real job while studying for a formal qualification, usually for one day a week either at their place of work or at training centre of ours. By the end of their apprenticeship, they should have gained the skills and knowledge needed to either succeed in their chosen career or progress onto the next apprenticeship level relevant to their career path.

    What they’ll learn depends on the role that they’re training for. However, apprentices in every role follow an approved study programme, which means they’ll gain a nationally-recognised qualification at the end of their apprenticeship.


    Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels.

    Name Level Equivalent educational level
    Intermediate 2 GCSE
    Advanced 3 A level
    Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
    Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree


    Some apprenticeships may also gain additional qualifications, such as diplomas.


    The length of an apprenticeship will depend on a number of factors, such as the level of the apprenticeship, their respective sector, employer requirements and the individual ability.

    That being said, apprenticeships will usually last between one and six years. Their duration typically follows a basic framework:

    • intermediate apprenticeships typically last between one year and 18 months
    • advanced apprenticeships are usually studied over two years
    • higher and degree apprenticeships take three-to-six years to complete.

    It’s worth checking directly with us before applying to check how long the course will last, as some won’t always follow this structure.


    If your prospective apprentice is either aged under 19 and an apprentice, or 19 or over and still in their first year as an apprentice, they’ll be entitled to the apprenticeship wage of £3.90 (from April 2019). Apprentices aged 19 or over and who’ve completed their first year will be able to claim the National Minimum Wage, which currently stands at £6.15 per hour (for those aged 18-20) or £7.70 (21-24).

    This pay rate is stated as a guideline – some employers will pay a higher wage. Apprentices will also be entitled to sick pay, any additional benefits you as an employer offers to its other employees, such as healthcare plans and childcare vouchers, and at least 20 days of paid holiday per year. Use the GOV.UK Holiday Calculator to work out their exact entitlement.

    Their working hours will vary depending on you the employer, but they won’t be able to work more than 40 hours per week or any fewer than 30. Typically, they’ll work between 35 and 37.5 hours per week. The sector they’re entering will determine the nature of their daily working hours – while most apprentices can expect to work a 9am-5.30pm day with an hour’s break for lunch, those in hospitality or healthcare roles, for instance, should expect to work antisocial shifts.


    There is no upper age limit on being an apprentice. As long as they’re over 16 and have the right credentials, they’ll be eligible to apply for their chosen apprenticeship.

    If they start their apprenticeship after they turn 19, they may be entitled to additional government funding – they can find out more about what’s on offer at Student Finance England – Advanced Learner Loan.


    As each type of apprenticeship offers a different-levelled qualification on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), their entry requirements will vary. Generally speaking, they are as follows:

    • To apply for an intermediate apprenticeship, they’ll just need to be over 16 years old and no longer in full-time education.
    • For an advanced apprenticeship, they’re likely to be asked for prior work experience and at least three A*-C or 9-4 grade GCSEs or equivalent – such as an intermediate apprenticeship qualification.
    • As higher apprenticeships are the equivalent of a foundation degree, HNC or first year of a Bachelors, they’ll usually need at least five A*-C or 9-4 grade GCSEs, as well as some Level 3 qualifications in relevant subjects, to apply. The Level 3 qualifications could be AS-levels, a BTEC National or a level 3 NVQ.
    • Degree apprenticeships will have the tightest entry requirements. These may include three A-levels in a specified grade range or a higher apprenticeship qualification, on top of at least five A*-C or 9-4 GCSE grades. It’s likely they’ll be required to have prior work experience.

    They can apply for apprenticeships at any time of the year – it all depends when you the employer has a vacancy. They’ll be able to check the specific entry requirements of their chosen apprenticeship once the position opens.