Deciding if an apprenticeship is right for you is an important question when analysing your career choices. The Government wants to create 3 million apprentices by 2020 so there has never been a better time to look into this opportunity.

What is an apprenticeship?

Although there is no upper age limit, apprenticeships are becoming a popular choice for school leavers and young adults. In short, an apprenticeship is an employed job during which you complete supported training. It allows you to enter the world of paid work while gaining skills and qualifications. An apprenticeship can last between one and six years.

What does is cost and how much do I get paid?

The answer to these questions depends on your age.

16-18 – apprenticeships are fully funded by the Government.

19-24 – the Government funds 50% and the employer either pays the other half or asks you to contribute fully or partly.

25+ – a company may fund an apprenticeship but can ask that you contribute completely or partly.

Ensure you understand what the expectation is from each employer by researching and asking before applying to make sure it is affordable and right for you.

The salary offered also depends on age but takes into consideration skill level. Unsurprisingly, most apprentices will start with little skill in the area so will set out on a lower wage, but there is scope for growth to reach advanced apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships.

You are guaranteed to receive a minimum of £2.73 per hour. Apprentice salaries commonly range from £4,940 to £13,000.

What will I learn?

What you learn will depend on the industry and role you are training for. However, all apprentices follow a set study programme, resulting in a nationally recognised qualification, including NVQ, BTEC, HNC, diploma and foundation degree.

Most industry sectors offer apprenticeships including Beauty, Construction, Health and Social Care, IT, Law and Engineering.

Employers work with a registered training provider – these include colleges, universities and private training companies. You will attend out-of-work training days, which must account for at least 20% of your working time. A tutor will visit you at your place of work to ensure you are being supported and that all requirements are being met. You will have to complete exams and coursework.

What are the benefits?

  • You get paid while you train
  • You are put onto a career plan
  • You gain training in your chosen career to ensure you are fully competent
  • It’s a great opportunity to get on the job ladder
  • There is a recognised qualification at the end of it
  • A recognised education provider is available for support
  • It’s a foot in the door to your dream job
  • A relationship with a company is built
  • You will gain experience in the working world

What are the limitations?

  • You could restrict your choices on future jobs by making early decisions
  • You will get a lower salary than others during your training period
  • You may not be ready for the workplace. It can be difficult to manage a new job, a new environment and meeting new people alongside studying and attending college
  • You could be given menial jobs others don’t want to do

Take a look at the ‘Top 50 companies for apprentices to work for guide’, which uses real-life reviews and feedback to rank and analyse apprenticeships on offer available on Good luck.

Over 600 companies reviewed and compared
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The top 150 companies to work for

Interview Tips That Will Help You Get the Job

Experts from the best companies in the UK share their experience and advice on how to boss the interview process

interview tips

Jazz Panesar is a Digital and Technology Apprentice at Severn Trent. Read Jazz’s story here.

Have your own questions prepared. It's your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Your interviewer will expect you to have...
Research the Company. Do your homework about the employer and the industry so you are ready for the interview question "What do you know about this company?"
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