Apprenticeships are a way of combining working and studying about a job. In most cases a student would work in a firm doing a particular job, but also go to college to study the subject as well.
Over a period of between one and three years apprenticeships allow you to combine earning and learning – as you would finish with an NVQ (or in some cases a BTEC).
What can I do an apprenticeship in?
There's a stereotype that apprenticeships are only available in manual trades like builders or hairdressers, but you can actually find apprenticeships in almost every career – from marketing to floristry, games testers to engineers. For more information about the types of apprenticeships on offer and learn more about the different careers, see our apprenticeship job listings.
What do apprentices get paid?
The apprentice minimum wage is currently £2.73 per hour (updated April 2015), but an earnings survey showed that it was often a lot more, with an average salary of £170 per week. Some workers in the electro-technical sector got paid up to £210 per week. You also get at least 20 days holiday a year along with bank holidays. The benefit of getting the training is obvious – over a career apprentices will earn over £100,000 more than those without training.
How do you get an Apprenticeship?
A whole range of employers work with local training providers to establish apprenticeships . You'll find them advertised at your local college but also on the web on our apprenticeship vacancies pages and the Government's apprenticeships website. You can also find apprenticeships programmes all over the UK – in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too.
Don't forget that many apprenticeships are in big demand so don't just assume that you'll definitely get the placement you're after. In many cases you'll need to apply for the job, as you would with any other role, which means you might have to do an application form and an interview. Currently, the biggest demand is for apprenticeships in engineering, business administration and construction.
What are apprenticeships good for?
Apprenticeships allow you to build your skills, while earning a good wage and getting a qualification. They also build your employment skills as you will be working in a company all through your apprenticeship. This means that if you can make a good impression on your employer it can possibly lead to a full-time job after you complete your course. Alternatively, if you find you enjoy studying, you can carry on taking more qualifications and even progress your training to a degree.
Where can I find out more?
Have a look through our guides on the different types of apprenticeships available in the career resources section. search our apprenticeship vacancies and the UK apprenticeships website for more information. You can also get advice about your options from connexions-direct.com
Apprentices in numbers…
* 89% of apprentices would recommend an apprenticeship to other people in similar circumstances to themselves
* Over 9 out of 10 apprentices are in work or education on completing their apprenticeship
* More than three-quarters of apprentices say that without their apprenticeship they wouldn't be earning their current salary
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