Different Types of Apprenticeships: Everything you need to know

Different Types of Apprenticeships: What is an Apprenticeship? and other useful info…

An apprenticeship is a real job with training. While working for an employer apprentices also work towards a qualification.

Apprentices are given real responsibilities and are expected to work hard.

An apprentice:

  • works and learns at the same time
  • has a contract of employment and gets paid a salary
  • is entitled to statutory benefits like holiday and sick pay.

There are apprenticeships available at intermediate, advanced, higher and degree levels. These cover more than 1,500 job roles across 170 industries; Business, Hairdressing, Digital, Childcare, Engineering, Hospitality.

You can achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree with a degree apprenticeship. So, it’s worth doing your research to see if you can achieve your career goal by following the apprenticeship pathway.

You can start an apprenticeship once you are over 16yrs old and have completed year 11.

70+ universities and 200+ colleges are approved to deliver higher and degree apprenticeships.

A survey conducted by the National Apprenticeship Service showed that the majority of apprentices (90%) either stay employed with their employer or will go on to find another job with a different employer.

Degree apprenticeships offer the chance of higher education with none of the cost as they are covered by the employer. They are still relatively new.

You can apply for higher and degree apprenticeships at the same time as applying to uni.

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you need to be 16yrs+, living in England, and NOT in full-time education.

Different Types of Apprenticeships: Is an Apprenticeship Right for You?

You should consider applying for an apprenticeship if you:

  • know what job you want to do in the future
  • are ready to start work and don’t mind forgoing the university experience
  • enjoy doing more practical based work
  • are organised and disciplined enough to find time to study while working in a job

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Different Types of Apprenticeships: What are the differences between doing a Degree at University versus doing a Degree Apprenticeship?

  • Apprentices have to work a minimum of 30 hours a week in an apprenticeship
  • They will learn on the job, and be coached by people within the company
  • Apprentices will have to complete assessments which test both academic learning and how good they are at their job. These assessments will occur throughout the apprenticeship.
  • The study element will be agreed with the employer. It can be one day a week, one week a month, or online based.

Different Types of Apprenticeships: What are the Different Levels of Apprenticeships?

Intermediate

Qualifications: Level 2 Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications (NVQ Level 2)

Most then progress to a more knowledge-based qualification i.e. BTEC.

Also known as: Entry-level apprenticeship

Duration: 1-2 years

Equivalent to: Once complete this is the same as five C-A* grade GCSEs

Requirements: 16yrs old or over and C+ in English & Maths. If you don’t have them, you can pick these up during the apprenticeship

Once completed: you’ll can progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship or start looking for permanent employment.

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Not sure whether an apprenticeship or work experience is right for you? If so, check out this post on the different types of work experience you can do, and why it’s so important

Advanced

Qualifications: Level 3 Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications, (NVQ Level 3, Key Skills) and in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based certificate i.e. BTEC

They will give you similar qualifications to an intermediate apprenticeship, but at a higher level.

Subjects: everything from hairdressing and mechanical engineering, right through to business, and health & beauty.

Duration: 1-2 years but can take longer

Equivalent to: Once complete this apprenticeship is the same as two A-level passes

Requirements: you’ll usually need five GCSE passes at grade C+, including maths and English, or to have previously completed an intermediate apprenticeship.

Once completed: you can progress on to a Higher Apprenticeship.

You may think ‘Apprenticeships’ and ‘Internships’ are similar, but they are very different! read how in this post: 

What is the Difference between Internship and Apprenticeship: 12 Key Distinctions

Higher

Qualifications:

Level 4 Apprenticeships

HNC, CertHE, Level 4 NVQ, BTEC or first year of university

Level 5 Apprenticeships

DipHE, HND, Level 5 NVQ, Level 5 BTEC, foundation degree or second year of University

Level 6 Apprenticeships

BA or BSc Degree, Graduate certificate, Level 6 NVQ or BTEC

Level 7 Apprenticeships

Meng, MA, MSc, Level 7 NVQ, PGCSE or Postgraduate certificate

Subjects: less broad than the other apprenticeships, tend to be more profession focused i.e. accountant, engineer, solicitor.

There are still 100+ options so do check to see if what you are interested in is available.

Duration: 1-5 years to complete and can involve up to 20% of your week doing part-time study at a college or university

Equivalent to: A foundation degree or higher

Requirements: There are no mandatory entry requirements however these schemes can be highly competitive.

Having additional qualifications, such as two A levels or an Advanced Apprenticeship can make your application stand out.

Once completed: You can progress onto a degree apprenticeship.

Other info: Competition can be tough, as adults already in employment can apply too.

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image: daimler

Degree

Qualifications:

Level 6 Apprenticeships

BA or BSc Degree, Graduate certificate, Level 6 NVQ or BTEC

Level 7 Apprenticeships

Meng, MA, MSc, Level 7 NVQ, PGCSE or Postgraduate certificate

Subjects: less broad than the other apprenticeships, tend to be more profession focused i.e. accountant, engineer, solicitor.

There are still 100+ options so do check to see if what you are interested in is available.

Duration: 1-5 years to complete and can involve up to 20% of your week doing part-time study at a college or university

Equivalent to: See ‘Qualifications’ section

Requirements: As well as five C+ GCSEs, you’ll need QCF level 3 (two A-level passes)

Cost: The total tuition fees will be covered by your employer.

Interested in doing an apprenticehsip but not sure which industry to do one in? Check out this post giving insight into 16 key popular professions:

Different Types of Apprenticeships: What are the Different Types of Apprenticeships Available?

Creative, media, arts, and digital

i.e. photography, visual effects, journalism, theatre, television, animation, media, film, radio, graphic design, beauty, etc.

This sector is known for being very competitive, it probably helps to know someone here. The people who do apprenticeships will be at a real advantage when they graduate.

Employers include Vodafone, Penguin, L’Oréal, Giorgio Armani, BBC, Sky, etc

Information and Communication technology

i.e. IT infrastructure, web developers, network engineers, software developers

IT is a big area, depending on the internship, you can learn about software, IT networks and applications, IT security etc

Employers include IBM, Google, Yahoo, Oracle, etc

Business Management, law, financial services

i.e. Human Resources, Marketing, Public Relations, Accounting, Legal, Banking roles

Employers include the big banks i.e. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, etc.

Construction / Manufacturing Industries

i.e. Plumbers, engineers, Bricklayers, Scaffolders, etc.

Employers include the big Engineering firms i.e. Atkins, Kier, Arup, Jaguar Land Rover, Nestle, Rolls Royce, Proctor & Gamble

Health & Social Care, Life Sciences

i.e. Pharmacy, Dental Nursing, Social work, research-based jobs, laboratory technicians, science manufacturing technicians

You’ll be looking after vulnerable people and will get a chance to hone your people skills

Employers include NHS, Cancer Research,

Retail & Commercial Enterprise

i.e. Facilities, Hospitality, and Supply Chain Management

You could be doing anything from helping on the shop floor to helping them buy materials to assisting in creating window displays

Employers include Unilever, Lidl

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image: Unsplash

Different Types of Apprenticeships: Conclusion

Although there are big differences, all apprenticeships have certain thing in common. If you do an apprenticeship, you will:

  • Earn a wage of at least £3.50 an hour, and often much more.
  • Train for your job, gaining practical skills for work.
  • Work towards skills-based and knowledge-based qualifications, such as awards, certificates and diplomas.
  • Apply for your apprenticeship through the employer, not a college or university.

 

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