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If you have a career in mind then an apprenticeship could be a good option for you. You will learn about your chosen career in a very hands on way, get paid a salary and you have a good chance of getting a job at the end of your training.

An apprenticeship is more than doing work experience, you will be in a real job, where you will be employed by a company, get paid and be entitled to paid holidays and sick pay just as any other employee. You will also be working towards a qualification that is relevant to that job at the same time.

There are over 1,500 different jobs roles you can do an apprenticeship in across 170 different industries, from engineering to graphic design, hairdressing to accountancy.

Adviza delivers The Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools and Colleges programme (ASK) in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.  If you would like to discuss specific support for your school please contact [email protected].

What is an apprenticeship?

  • An apprenticeship is a full time job. 
  • Apprentices earn a wage.
  • They will work for at least 30 hours per week and this will include paid time to complete their studies.
  •  They will be given real responsibilities and expected to work hard, just like anyone else in the company.
  • They will also be supported by a training provider, who will help them to achieve their qualifications and make sure they complete their apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices will spend time working alongside other people and learn from their experience. There’s a myth that apprenticeships are just like work experience, where you’re given basic tasks or asked to make the tea, but this isn’t the case.
  • An apprenticeship typically takes 1 to 4 years to complete (sometimes up to 6 for some areas like Solicitor). As a minimum, all apprenticeships must last for a minimum of 12 months.
  • It’s important to remember that apprenticeships aren’t the ‘easy option’.
    Holding down a full time job and studying takes a certain skill, and it won’t be right for everyone.

Who can do an apprenticeship?

  • To become an apprentice, you must be 16 or over, not already be in full-time education, live in England.
  • A myth is that apprenticeships are only for people that don’t go on to full time university. That’s not true – there are different levels of apprenticeships suited to everyone and you can go all the way up to degree level – so you’re still at uni but part time. 
  • Some people think that apprenticeships are the easy route, but this is not the case. Apprentices are balancing a full-time job and studying (which can be up to degree level) at the same time. They are learning and adapting in a new working environment and contributing to real-life work projects and tasks, which comes with responsibility, whilst ultimately working towards their end point assessment and achieving their apprenticeship.
  • When we talk about apprenticeships, people often start to think of Plumbing, Electrical and some of the other construction trades. There are many brilliant apprenticeships in these areas, but there are also hundreds of new apprenticeships in exciting areas that you might not know exist.

What do I get paid? 

  • The first thing to remember is that as an apprentice, you get paid a salary.
  •  Many people think that apprentices are low-paid, and this can be true, depending on the employer. Legally, an employer must pay an apprentice the National Minimum Wage for apprentices which is currently £5.28 per hour. This is lower than the normal National Minimum Wage, but it recognises that some people will be going into their first job with no experience at all.
  • The good news is that lots of employers pay a lot more than the National Minimum Wage for apprentices.
  • Some apprenticeship schemes in big organisations have a starting salaries of £15k. And some London based employers will pay even more than this.

Levels of apprenticeship

Each apprenticeship has a level and an equivalent education level. You can start an apprenticeship at any level.

Depending on the level, some apprenticeships may require previous qualifications such as an English or maths GCSE or for higher and degree level apprenticeships A levels may be required. 
At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent education level. For example, if you complete a level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent of an A level.

                                     Level                                          Equivalent education level

Intermediate                     2                                                           GCSE

Advanced                          3                                                          A level

Higher                          4,5,6 and 7                                 Foundation degree and above

Degree                           6 and 7                                     Bachelor’s or master’s degree

The level of apprenticeship you start at will depend on the kind of job that you are applying for. It’s really important not to be held back by only looking for a particular level e.g. degree apprenticeships, because it may be that you need to start at advanced or higher level and work your way up.
Doing a job is completely different to getting a GCSE or A Level and that’s why it can be a bit confusing.

How do I find and apply for an apprenticeship?

It’s really important to register with Find an Apprenticeship  and UCAS Career Finder for Level 5 and 6 apprenticeships.

Once you register, you will receive an account activation code by email. After activating your account, you will be ready to start applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

  • Have a look at the different jobs that are being advertised. Remember, this is a live jobs site so it may be that you need to try a few different searches or to broaden how far you are looking to find jobs that you are interested in.
  • Start applying for jobs that interest you. You need to remember that some of the bigger companies will advertise quite early in the year (e.g. Autumn) for apprentices to start the following September so do not leave it until the last minute or you might be disappointed to have missed a great opportunity.
  • Set up alerts. A great feature of this system is that you can get it to do all the hard work for you. You can manage your alert settings so that you receive text messages and emails when jobs come up that you might be interested in
  • Employers are always telling us that the applicants that really stand out to them, are those that have made a bit of extra effort. Consider contacting the company and asking them if they have any virtual open days coming up or other opportunities to engage with them. That will look really impressive on their application and can give them an advantage over other applicants
  • Be prepared for several stages of interviews, especially for degree apprenticeships. These may include psychometric testing, situational judgement tests and assessment centres

Whilst Find an Apprenticeship and UCAS is a great place to start looking for apprenticeships, it is not the only place.

  • If you have a particular employer in mind, visit their website and see if you can sign up for recruitment alerts or if they send out a newsletter.
  • Make sure they follow employer careers pages on social media using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too as the employer will probably use this as a way to promote their vacancies.
  • We have spoken to lots of apprentices over the years and quite often, they will say that they actually heard about their job through a family member or friend. So make sure you tell everyone you can think of that you are looking for an apprenticeship and you never know what might come up!
  • There are lots of other job search sites out there where you can look through online interactive profiles for some of the UK’s top apprentice employers
  • Definitely spend some time looking into the different types of employers. There w
    ill be a real mix from your local council through to bigger recruitment sites too. Have a look for local training providers and speak to them about how they might be able to help you.

For guidance on how to apply click here 

MAY 23rd 2023 - Amazon Web Services are hosting an interactive careers chat around the apprenticeships on offer. See here for more information:

As part of our partnership with multi-tech company Amazon Web Services (AWS), we would like to invite you and your students to take part in an interactive virtual careers chat for secondary/college students (Year 9 to 13s and equivalent). Themed Apprenticeships with AWS, the virtual chat will be on Tuesday 23rd May at 11am – 12pm. From finance and accounting to software development and IT, AWS offer a range of apprenticeships across technology and business that enables young people to kick start their careers with world class support and training.

For the session, students will hear and interact with a panel of AWS professionals:

 Samantha, Programme Manager for AWS Apprenticeships
Samantha will talk about the different types of apprenticeships available to apply for, what the process is like and timeline for applications. She’ll also provide an overall introduction to the programme and share tips on how students could work towards an application when they are post-secondary school or how teachers can support students in preparation for apprenticeships.

 Maria, Account Manager Apprentice
Maria is a current apprentice at AWS who’ll talk about her journey to obtaining an apprenticeship, what she does on her programme, and share tips for exploring your passions and securing opportunities.

 James, Director of Enterprise Support, UKI and Nordics
James started his career in tech as an apprentice and has worked his way to being a skilled leader at AWS. He’ll talk about his journey, providing a sense of the positive trajectory an apprenticeship can take your career on.

There’ll be Q&A’s throughout where students can ask our speakers questions, as well as quiz questions where students can pick up fun facts along the way.

If you’d like to join with your students, please register your details via this link – Apprenticeships in AWS Virtual Careers Chat

Further information will be shared with registrants in the lead up to the session.

Training providers

A training provider is the organisation who suppliers the training element of an apprenticeship. they are generally a separate organisation from the employer, although larger employers sometimes also act as providers. Providers will work with employers to ensure apprentices learn skills necessary for apprenticeship framework.

There are two types of providers

  • colleges of further education
  • independent training organisations.

If you already have an employer who can offer you an apprenticeship, but you need to find a training provider, then you can speak to a local or national provider.

Local Training providers for Level 3 apprenticeships:


WBTC Newbury

Newbury College

Reading College

Bracknell and Wokingham College


Windsor Forest Colleges Group


Bucks College Group


Abingdon and Witney College

City of Oxford College

HIT Training

Banbury and Bicester College

Oxfordshire Apprenticeships


Green labyrinth

Aspire training Team

New College Swindon

Wiltshire College

Bath College

Cirencester College

Andover College

To find out more about national training providers have a look at the ALTP website.  

Useful websites for further information

National Apprenticeship Service - for information about apprenticeships in England and to search for vacancies

Amazing Apprenticeshipsoverview of Apprenticeships, vacancy snapshotTime to Apply



Understanding Apprenticeship progression

Get My First Job


What is a Traineeship?

A traineeship is an education and training programme which incorporates work experience, preparing young people for their future careers by helping them to become ‘work ready’.

Designed for people aged 16 to 24 who don’t yet have the appropriate skills or experience for an apprenticeship, traineeships provide work preparation training, English, maths and work experience needed to help students to secure an apprenticeship or employment.

A traineeship has three core elements:

  • A high-quality work experience placement with an employer.
  • Work preparation training, provided by the training organisation.
  • English and maths support, if required, provided by the training organisation.

Traineeships last anything up to 6 months with the content tailored to the needs of the individual.

Employers are not required to pay trainees for the work placement and traineeships are exempt from the Minimum Wage. Young people taking part in traineeships will be undertaking education and training and some may qualify for financial support, including the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

You can search for a traineeship local to you on Find an Apprenticeship.