Apprenticeships combine practical, hands-on paid work experience with training and qualifications.
As an apprentice you will be in paid employment and you won’t have to pay anything for the apprenticeship course, it is funded by the government and your employer.
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships mix on-the-job training with classroom learning. An apprenticeship allows trainees to earn while they learn, as well as gaining a nationally recognised qualification.
Most of the training is on-the-job, and you will be supported by a training provider to ensure it gives you the most up to date skills and great onward career prospects.
Apprenticeships last between one to five years, depending on the level and type of role offered.
Are there different levels of apprenticeship?
The four main levels are:
- Intermediate Apprenticeships - studying towards a level 2 qualification (equivalent to GCSE);
- Advanced Apprenticeships studying towards a level 3 qualification (equivalent to A-Level);
See International Freight Forwarding Specialist Apprenticeship for details
- Higher Apprenticeships, where you work towards a level 4, 5, 6 & 7 qualification (Foundation degree and above)
- Degree Apprenticeships, where you work towards a level 6 & 7 qualification (Bachelor's or Master's degree)
See our Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship for details
Who can do an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are not just for new starters or people who are just about to enter the workplace, they are available to all ages and existing employed members of staff.
Any individual can train through an apprenticeship at a higher level than a qualification they already hold. Also if there is significant new learning required it can be at a lower or equivalent level to their existing qualification.
What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?
- Working in a defined role alongside experienced staff
- Gaining real-world skills, and hands-on experience
- Earning a wage and holiday pay
- Studying towards a related professional qualification, including a Bachelor or Master’s degree
- Supported throughout to gain qualifications
- Working and networking within the industry from early in your career
Will an apprenticeship cost me anything?
There is no cost to the apprentice. All costs are funded by the new apprenticeship levy.
Where can I find apprenticeship opportunities?
Search and apply for an English apprenticeship opportunity here.
Take a look at our Chartered Manager Apprenticeship
Where can I get more information?
Find out about the levy
Changes to the apprenticeship funding system
Find apprenticeship training
Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Despite the Apprenticeship Levy being UK-wide, the nations of the UK will continue to have different administrative arrangements for funding apprenticeships and other skills training.
Different organisations deal with apprenticeships in Scotland , apprenticeships in Wales and apprenticeships in Northern Ireland
Download the Which? guide to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships