What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an option open to you after the age of 16. This is a way of learning the skills necessary for various careers while earning at the same time. An apprenticeship will often suit young people who do not want to go into full time further or higher education but still want to gain extra qualifications that are work related. Every child within the Birmingham area has the option whether they will stay on at a college or start an apprenticeship. However, whatever you choose you will end up with the same qualifications.

As an apprentice you’ll:

  • Work alongside experienced staff
  • Gain job-specific skills
  • Earn a wage ( usually apprenticeship wage) and get holiday pay
  • Get time for study related to your role. This is usually one day a week

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

You can apply for an apprenticeship whilst you are still in school however to start one you need to be 16 or older, living in England and not in full time education.

How to apply for an apprenticeship

When looking and applying for an apprenticeship, there are different ways to go about it. Firstly, if you know where you want to do an apprenticeship you can apply directly on that company’s website or if you are not sure where you would like to go, you can sign up for a variety of job alerts through companies offering job advertisements. However there is also another way to go about this, if you have already started college, your college may be able to support you whilst finding a placement.

Once you have been offered an interview and the interview has taken place, you will be told whether you were successful or unsuccessful. If you were successful the company will get back to you with a starting date and any other vital information you may need. On the other hand, if you are unsuccessful, you can ask for feedback to analyse where you may have gone wrong and re-apply for some other apprenticeships.


What are the different types of apprenticeship?

When looking for an apprenticeship, there are four basic levels. These include:

  • Intermediate: Like studying for up to 5 GCSESs
  • Advanced: Like studying for 2 A levels
  • Higher: Like taking a level 4 NVQ, Higher National Diploma or Foundation Degree
  • Degree: Like taking a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree

How much will I earn as an apprentice?

Employers must pay apprentices at least £3.70 per hour. This rate applies if you’re under 19 or if you’re over 19 and in your first year of the programme. If you’re an apprentice aged 19 or over, and you’ve completed your first year, then you’ll be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age which will be £5.90.

What is an apprenticeship like?

As an apprentice you’ll do most of your learning on the job at work. You’ll usually work around 30 hours a week and do around one day of training per week, often at college. Most of your assessment is done in the workplace but you may have to take some external exams too.