Apprenticeships can be found in most industries and at many levels - see the information below for details of the different levels available. They usually last between one and five years, depending on their level.


Intermediate apprenticeships are at level 2. They are equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4.

Advanced apprenticeships are at level 3. They are equivalent to 2 A level passes.

Higher apprenticeships are at levels 4, 5, 6 and 7. They are equivalent to a foundation degree and above.

Degree apprenticeships are at levels 6 and 7. They are equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree.


Often, the apprenticeship is the qualification you get once you have finished your training. Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma. Apprenticeships that are available at higher levels may also give you a degree or professional qualifications.

Apprentices need to be able to manage studying and working at the same time. Around 80% of learning takes place on the job and you will usually need to pass an end-point assessment before you can complete the apprenticeship. You will also have training away from the workplace for approximately one day per week (the equivalent of at least six hours a week), which is overseen by a training provider. You will have to continue to study English and/or maths if you did not get a grade 4 or above in the subject in your GCSEs.

Entry requirements for apprenticeships vary because each employer will set their own. Usually, for level 3 apprenticeships you will need four or five GCSEs at grades 9-4 and for level 2 apprenticeships, you may need some GCSEs at grade 4 or above. For apprenticeships at levels 4-7, you usually need qualifications at level 3, such as A levels, a T level or a BTEC National Extended Diploma.


Earn while you learn

One of the benefits of doing an apprenticeship is that you get paid while you learn. As a minimum, all apprentices aged 16 to 18, and those aged 19 or over, in their first year, receive £4.81 an hour (from April 2022). Some receive more depending on the apprenticeship and employer. This changes every April. 

Depending on your individual circumstances, it’s worth noting that extra support is available for apprentices who are care leavers and/or have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. Also, care leavers are eligible to receive a £1,000 bursary. 


Searching for vacancies

If you’ve decided that doing an apprenticeship is the right route for you, the first steps you need to take are to make sure your CV is up to date and to search for vacancies.

The main apprenticeship application period tends to be November to March, but vacancies are advertised all year round. Although most vacancies are advertised on the GOV.UK website, there is no one central place where all apprenticeship vacancies can be found, so you need to be pro-active. Training providers may help you find an employer, but you are more likely to get onto an apprenticeship if you can find an employer yourself.

If you have found an employer who wants to take you on as an apprentice, but needs to find a training provider, they can search for one at https://findapprenticeshiptraining.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/courses

Your employer would need to type in the job role or keyword, click on the appropriate apprenticeship and then put in their postcode. It comes up with all the providers.

To find vacancies you can:

  • Attend apprenticeship events and job fairs
  • Register with training providers - in case they get vacancies from employers
  • Send companies your CV and cover letter asking them to consider you when they have vacancies. Keep an eye on company social media pages for news of vacancies
  • Ask friends and family if they know of companies that are recruiting
  • Register at www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship