We’ve cherry-picked the best career advice and resources to help you land a career you love
What Is an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are a form of education, much like university, sixth form and college but with a twist. Rather than being in full-time education, you’re in part-time and you get paid to earn whilst you learn. At Apprentice Nation it’s all about landing a career you love, and with an apprenticeship that becomes so much easier. You’ll get the chance to get experience in a field that you care about and also finish the course with a useful qualification in that field. Explore what an apprenticeship offers with Apprentice Nation.
WHAT CAN I STUDY AS AN APPRENTICE?
From business to film, law and retail; apprenticeships don’t limit your potential pathways. A quick google search can point you in the direction of different apprenticeship providers for your chosen industry. Which in some cases may make it easier for you to proceed in your career, due to getting experience in the skills you need to be successful.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO AN APPRENTICESHIP?
To start you have to at least be 16 years old, living in England and not currently in full-time education. You’ll also need to have certain qualifications depending on which level you apply for. This could be GCSEs at grade C/level 4 + in English and Maths or an advanced apprenticeship/ A levels or NVQ level 3.
Next, you need to look for an apprenticeship in the industry you’d like to work in and apply. You can do this by visiting various websites that offer or hold directories of apprenticeships.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST, HOW MUCH CAN I EARN?
In an apprenticeship, your wage varies depending on different factors, but there is also a national minimum wage for apprenticeships. This is £3.90 per hour. If you’re under 19 or in your first year of your apprentice then this is the bare minimum that you can be paid. Beyond that, you will be able to earn the national minimum wage for your given age. From April 2019 this consists of:
-£4.35 (per hour) if you’re under 18
-£6.15 (per hour) if you’re 18 – 20
-£7.70 (per hour) if you’re 21-24
-£8.21 (per hour) if you’re 25 or over
However, you’re not limited to the low end of potential salaries. The weekly wage average wage for apprentices is £200 but many large organisations will also offer higher salaries in their higher apprenticeships that can bounce that up from £300 – £500. One example would be BT, who offer a starting salary of £16,179 per year, plus an additional allowance if you live in London (£3,380 or £1,670). Other companies can also pay up to £23,000 per year.
To add to that, taking on an apprenticeship is absolutely free so you don’t have to worry about paying tuition fees. All of your training on an apprenticeship scheme will be covered by your employer. You’ll still pay tax and national insurance, but the national apprenticeship service will cover your tuition fees if you are between 16 and 24.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Once you’ve found an apprenticeship that’s right for you, with potential pay that you’re happy with you can continue to send your application. To help you to succeed you can have a look at some CV tips by Not Going To Uni and if you’re in need of some interview tips then you can check out this blog by Careermap.
Who can help me?
There are many companies out there who can help you find your first career. Our partner BT is a great place to start, as are any of the companies listed below:
BT offers a range of apprenticeships available across the UK. Their apprenticeships range from 15 months for level 2, up to four-years for levels 6. There are also level 7 apprenticeships available too. Some of the different job sectors available at BT include Business Management, Cyber Security, Engineering, Human Resources, Learning & Development and Telecommunications. They even have a set of apprenticeships on offer at EE so you can check out the mobile network’s offerings too. Learn More
BT also offers a programme called ‘Work Ready’, helping people who are preparing to look for a job by offering practical skills which will assist them on the road to employment. Learn More
WhiteHat is a tech startup on a mission to create a diverse group of future leaders. They are doing this by building an outstanding alternative to university through apprenticeships.
WhiteHat focuses on three core areas: giving employers a framework for measuring potential outside of academics and work experience through their platform; bringing incredible content from around the world into applied learning programmes; growing an apprentice community to enable young people to build social capital and strong professional networks.
At WhiteHat you can get matched with an apprenticeship that is right for you. You’ll create a profile and get matched up with exciting companies such as Warner Bros’ and Google. Each apprentice gets assigned a coach to help their personal development whilst at WhiteHat and get a fair salary for their time which each company.
The government apprenticeship website is home to many apprenticeship opportunties on offer across the UK. You can search by postcode and industry for something that is right for you and in close proximity to where you live.
NCS is a youth programme that runs across England and Northern Ireland. It’s aim is to engage, unite and empower young people. Designed specially for 16 and 17 year olds.
Over the last decade nearly half a million young people have taken part in NCS.
Not Going to Uni
Not Going To Uni’s website offers a range of apprenticeships ranging from Harrods, and the Royal Air Force, to Mazda and other companies of varying sizes.
With Careermap you can discover opportunities with some of the biggest and best organisations offering apprenticeships across the UK.
Movement to Work
Movement to Work inspires young people to change their lives through positive encounters with work. This ranges from work placements, employability skills training and more work opportunities.
CareerHacker is powered by WhiteHat and provides helpful information, resources and guidance for young people who are making important decisions about their first steps into the professional world. It also highlights any apprenticeships that they’re currently hiring for.
Career Ready is an organisation with a mission: to boost social mobility by empowering young people and giving their talents a platform to flourish
They deliver career focused programmes in schools and colleges, and have built up networks with employers, educators and volunteers across the UK to offer young people the support, experience and insights they need to kick-start their futures.
The programmes they run enable young people to develop the skills, and confidence they need for their future career success.
The Prince’s Trust is a charity in the UK founded in 1976 by Prince Charles. It supports anyone aged 11-30 years old who are unemployed, and those struggling at school.
They help young people to find the tools and confidence to try free courses, obtain mentoring opportunities, and start careers. The opportunities are open to anyone living in the UK of that age, no matter their situation.
We’ve brought together a collection of resources to help you in your journey to landing your dream career.
WHAT WILL I EARN AS AN APPRENTICE?
The minimum wage for an apprentice is £3.90 per hour, but many employers pay more than this. In fact, some Higher Apprenticeships can pay as much as £500 per week. However, more than just earning a salary, you will receive training in the skills employers want, increasing your future earning potential. Apprentices receive marked salary increases on completion of their training and the roles often offer great opportunities for career progression.
ISN’T UNIVERSITY A BETTER OPTION?
While it is widely acknowledged that full-time education, such as college, sixth form or university is a proven route into employment, this route does not always offer the valuable work experience that an Apprenticeship can offer and there’s still no guarantee of a job at the end. Apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn, and give you the opportunity to develop the skills employers really want, including specific skills relating to your job, their company and your sector.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM ELIGIBLE?
If you are aged 16 or over and not in full time education, then you are eligible to start an Apprenticeship. You can also apply for a position if you will be 16 at the commencement of the scheme.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRAINEESHIP AND AN APPRENTICESHIP?
Traineeships are aimed at giving 16-24 year-olds the opportunity to develop the skills they need to find, and succeed in, employment or progress onto an Apprenticeship. They are comprised of three main elements to prepare you for an Apprenticeship, including English and Maths, work preparation skills and a practical work placement with a local employer. Traineeships are unpaid (however travel expenses and costs of meals may be reimbursed) and should be viewed as a stepping stone into work. They can last anywhere between six weeks and six months. Apprenticeships are designed to enable an individual to progress within a business over a longer period of time whilst gaining nationally recognised qualifications. An Apprenticeship is a career, not just a job. Apprenticeships are for those aged 16 or over who are not in full time education and can last anywhere between one and five years.
WHAT IF I’VE ALREADY BEEN TO UNIVERSITY?
Apprenticeships offer degree and master’s degree level apprenticeships (level 6 & level 7) which allow you to progress your career past university with work and studies merged into one program.
The UK Government offers two ways of accessing apprenticeships. Details are below:
The government apprenticeship website is home to many apprenticeship opportunities on offer across the UK. You can search by postcode and industry for something that is right for you and in close proximity to where you live.
In November 2020 the government will be launching their Kickstart Scheme, which will offer any young person between 16-24 years old the opportunity to gain a 6 month paid job with a local employer, funded by the goverment. It is open to anyone who is currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart Scheme role.