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 Does an Apprenticeship offer?

Throughout the UK apprenticeships can vary in what they offer you. In England, you can dive into four different levels of apprenticeships.

Intermediate Apprenticeships (level 2) provide you qualifications equivalent to GCSE grades 4-9 (A*-C)

Advanced apprenticeships (level 3) are equal to an A level qualification

Higher apprenticeships provide you with a level 4/5 qualification which is also equivalent to a higher education certificate, higher education diploma or even a foundation degree

Degree apprenticeships (level 6/7) give you the opportunity to work towards a university degree while you work.

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. Here are a few that you can begin with:

BT Apprenticeships: BT offers a range of apprenticeships across the UK. Their apprenticeships start from 15 months at level 2 with four-year level 6 and also level 7 apprenticeships available too. Some of the different areas with BT include Business Management, Cyber Security, Engineering, Human Resources, Learning & Development and Telecommunications. They even have a set of apprenticeships on offer in EE so you can check out the mobile network’s offerings too.

WhiteHat: 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.

Apprenticeships: The government apprenticeship website is home to many apprenticeships 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.

Not Going To Uni: Using Not Going To Uni’s website you can find a range of apprenticeships from Harrods, the Royal Air Force, Mazda and other successful companies of different sizes.

Careermap: With Careermap you gan discover opportunities with some of the biggest and best organisations offering apprenticeships across the UK.

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.

When you’ve started your apprenticeship there are even discounts on offer for you with an NUS card that can get you Amazon Prime student membership and an Apprentice Oyster photocard.