Apprenticeships in the UK

Academic lectures and theoretical teaching supplemented with hands-on experience help students stand tall in every single competition and set the foundation for a successful professional career. Employers are more interested in hiring candidates who are able to apply their skills and knowledge with professionalism and competence. Except if you have enough relevant job experience in the first place, it will be hard for you to measure up with their demands or expectations.

An apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to complement your theoretical knowledge with their practical use and succeed in a competitive job market. You won’t only receive certain practical skills, but you will also learn a wide set of personal skills you’re going to need in the long-term. You will learn to cooperate for common goals, to handle the pressure, take responsibilities and commit to your duties.

Many academics and employers recommend students attend one in order to boost their employability. But, what is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a training program which combines class-based education and practical training in a real-life workplace.

Let say you want to become an IT assistant manager in a company, but your practical skills don’t measure up with employers’ demands. So you decide to do an apprenticeship program through which you’re under the provision by an experienced IT specialist.

Usually, practical training accounts for the most part of an apprenticeship, but there are also academic lectures to attend. To a certain degree, the type of apprenticeship you undertake will determine the whole schedule.

Types of Apprenticeships in the UK?

There are four main types of apprenticeships in the UK

  • Intermediate Apprenticeships (Level 2)
  • Advanced apprenticeships (Level 3)
  • Higher apprenticeships (Level 4 and above)
  • Degree apprenticeships (Levels 5 – 7)

Am I Eligible For Apprenticeship in the UK?

Everyone aged 16 or over, who is settled in the UK and is not engaged in full-time education is eligible to attend an apprenticeship program in the UK.

International students are allowed to attend apprenticeships in the UK as well. However, remember that by law apprenticeship is considered a regular job, therefore certain restrictions apply to you as an international student. As long as you don’t exceed the allowed time to work specified by the British law then you’re eligible for doing an apprenticeship in the UK. Whatever the case always seek advice from your university in the UK or the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

How do I find an apprenticeship in the UK?

The UK is a place of unlimited opportunities and career choices, but it takes a lot to succeed. Each passing year thousands of students get a university degree and some of them struggle to find the job of their dream. That’s because out there the competition is fierce and only those who possess excellent practical skills are sought-after. That makes an apprenticeship in the UK almost a necessity.

But how and where do you find one?

If you’re currently attending university and you would like to gain relevant work experience through an apprenticeship program you can first ask your university for help. The Universities in the UK maintain strong links with local employers, therefore they can provide useful information if there’s any apprenticeship on offer. Moreover, they can even help you to get such apprenticeship.

If you’re not attending university and you want to undertake an apprenticeship program to find a good job afterwards there are still options left.

Our recommendation for you is to check the Government’s official and UCAS websites.

The UK Government’s maintains an extensive range of available apprenticeships in their official website. To gain access to them you need to create a personal online account. In addition, you’re going to receive regular alerts when there are any apprenticeships on offer that might interest you.

UCAS website also provides useful information regarding available apprenticeships in the UK and details concerning requirements and duties you’ll have to carry on during the program.

Requirements

There are some entry requirements, you need to measure up to in order to be admitted. These entry requirements change mainly due to what type of apprenticeship you want to take and the apprenticeship provider.

Below are given entry requirements by the type of apprenticeship

Intermediate (Level 2) – Candidates must be aged over 16 and show sufficient skills and knowledge to complete the program.

Advanced (Level 3) – Three or more GCSE passed are often required but relevant experiences can be accepted from some employers.

Higher (Level 4 and above) – Commonly five GCSEs with grades A to C at least and Level 3 qualifications, including A-Levels NVQ/SVQ Level 3 or BTEC National are required. Some employers may be looking for applicants who subjects related to the aimed apprenticeship.

Degree – Five GCSEs with grades A to C and Level 3 qualifications, including A-levels NVQ/SVQ Level 3 or BTEC National are required. Employers might also be looking for applicants who have qualifications and high grades in specific subjects related to the offered apprenticeship.

Fees for Apprenticeships in the UK

Apprenticeships are a great opportunity because they enable you to perfectly combine academic learning with training education. In the UK, apprentices spend at least one day of the week in their apprenticeship program attending class-based lectures.

So, quite logically you might be asking if there is any fee you need to cover? Fortunately, apprenticeship fees in the UK are covered jointly by the Government and your employer.

Salary For Apprenticeships in the UK

If you enter the apprenticeship program aged 16 to 19 then you’re legally entitled as an employee and therefore you’ll be paid for your job. Under current law, your employer is obligated to pay you at least £3.90 hourly, which is the National Minimum Wage in the UK.

Higher and degree apprentices are often prone to earn above this limit. Some employers offer much higher salaries to them depending on their skills and knowledge showed during the program. In some cases, their annual earnings can range between £16,000 to £24,000.

In addition to the monthly wage, often times apprenticeships in the UK are offered several other benefits, for example, a pension or a car.

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