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All about Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are high quality work based learning programmes for those who wish to improve their prospects and develop their careers. They really give you the best of both worlds; you will be in paid employment and complete the required training to ensure that you become qualified in the area you chose to work in!

Apprenticeships are recognised as the gold standard for work based training and so there are many benefits to doing an Apprenticeship. You can earn while you learn and learn in a way that is best suited to you through hands on experience. The key benefits of being an apprentice include:

Benefits of an Apprenticeship

Considering an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a great way to kick start your career. You need to understand what they are about and how you can take control of your future.  Check out this website on Gov.UK.

Become an Apprentice


Apprenticeships are designed by employers to reflect the current market and industry needs. They offer a structured programme that provides you with the skills needed to do the job well. You will either attend college for day/block release or receive the practical training in your workplace; this depends on the course you are studying. You will work towards your Apprenticeship qualification by studying technical skills and carrying out practical assessments. Review meetings will take place with IMPACT Apprenticeships and your ‘Host Employer’ to ensure that you are progressing well with the right support.

Levels of Apprenticeships

There are three levels of apprenticeships available:

Apprenticeship Levels

Components of an Apprenticeship

An Apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications called a ‘standard’ (formerly a ‘framework’). Most Apprenticeships follow a standard format which includes a technical diploma, an NVQ diploma and functional skills.

Components of anApprenticeship

The technical qualification focuses on the knowledge and understanding that underpins the NVQ and concentrates on the theory side. A commitment to a minimum number of hours of teaching which can be at college 1 day a week or block release or in the employer’s premises is required.

The NVQ focuses on the practical skills required to do the ‘day to day’ job and also demonstrates your ability at work and your ability to do the job. The NVQ itself is work based and this element is usually achieved through assessment and training where specific units are selected at the start of the Apprenticeship programme.

Functional skills are core elements of English, maths and ICT that provide you with the skills they need to operate confidently, effectively and independently at work. If you do not have the required GCSE grades C or above in these core subjects then they will be delivered to you as part of the Apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship Training

Length of Apprenticeships

The length of an Apprenticeship varies depending on your prior skills, the qualification you are doing and industry sector. Generally, Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete. You can also start an Apprenticeship at any time of year. Apprenticeships need to be for a minimum of 30 working hours per week

Apprentices Wages

The national minimum hourly rate of pay for apprentices is £3.50 per hour from April 2017. The ‘Host Employer’ sets the hourly rate of pay appropriate to the job role and functions.  As the Apprenticeship includes both work and on and off the job training, you are paid for all the time you are on the Apprenticeship. That includes training time with the training provider.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50*

*This rate is for Apprentices under 19 or those in their first year of the Apprenticeship. If you’re 19 or over and past your first year you get the rate that applies to your age.

Night shift work for apprentices

Generally speaking, young people aged 16 and 17 years cannot work between 10.00 pm to 6.00 am (but you can agree to change this to between 11.00 pm to 7.00 am). However, there are a few exceptions if you work in:

  • hospitals
  • agriculture
  • retail
  • hotels or catering
  • post or newspaper delivery
  • cultural, sporting, artistic or advertising activities

You can work into the night if it’s crucial to your job, but only if you need to either:

  • maintain continuity of service or production
  • respond to an increase in demand for service or product

Apprentices can apply for the  NUS Apprentice extra Card

The Apprentice extra discount card has been developed by the National Union of Students and will offer vocational learners the same discounts and benefits as other students.  To find out more visit their website.