to do an apprenticeship
- Get a salary & paid holiday
- Gain the skills employers want
- Learn while you earn – at a pace that suits you and with the support of a mentor to achieve nationally recognised qualifications
- Boost your progress – whether you want to study further or rise through the ranks in the workplace – or both
- Improve your earning potential – apprentices see a marked salary increase when they complete their training and higher apprentices can see their salary increase an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime
1 - 5
year to complete
estimated Increase in earnings for Higher Apprentices
Available to anyone over 16 living in England
some higher apprenticeships pay up to £500 / week
In 2015/16, 53% of apprenticeships starts were by women (268,730) and 47% by men (240,630). The number of women starting apprenticeship in England has been higher than men for every year since 2010/11.
People aged 25 and over accounted for 44% (224,100) of apprenticeship starts in 2015/16. People aged 19-24 accounted for 30% (153,860) and under 19s 26% (131,420).
In 2015/16, there were 509,400 apprenticeship starts in England, 9,500 more than the previous year.
In 2015/16 the highest number of apprenticeship starts was for Intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2) with 291,330 starts, followed by 190,870 Advanced (Level 3) and 27,160 Higher (Level 4 and above) apprenticeships. Higher apprenticeships represented 5% of all starts, up from 4% the year before.
Source: National Apprenticeship Service and Apprenticeship Statistics: England 21 November 2016
It's not a 'proper' job
You find and apply for apprenticeships just like you would for a regular job. Apprentices have rights and responsibilities, just like any other employee and as the aim is to prepare you to work full-time, you will be doing work that's important to the business. What will be different is you'll be receiving training while you work – which often includes a day each week doing classroom-based learning.
They're only in traditional manual jobs
Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 occupations across 170 industries varying from construction to manufacturing through to IT and the creative and digital sectors.
I'll be stuck making tea and coffee
Apprentices are given real work experience alongside industry professionals. Companies who offer apprenticeships have strict guidelines to adhere to. People think that because they'll be new to the job that others will try to take advantage and give them all the menial tasks that no-one else wants to do. Chances are everything you'll be asked to do will be a part of your role and things that you'll need to learn at some point anyway.
They're only for people not clever enough for University
There is a whole range of apprenticeships you can apply for, depending on the sector and your current skills and qualifications, from GCSE up to degree level.
Uni graduates earn more than apprentices
You can earn up to £250 a week while you're training, gaining on the job skills and you'll be doing it without university debt – which is an extra £27,000 in your pocket. Some graduates who go on to earn good wages, but so do many apprentices - and without that burden of debt, not to mention the benefit of real work experience. Apprentices often go straight into work once they qualify.
I won't be paid much
The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.40 per hour - but many employers pay more than this. It depends on the sector, the region and the level of apprenticeship. Some higher apprenticeships pay up to £500 per week.
I'll get trapped in the same industry
Apprenticeships aren't just available in a variety of industries but in different areas of a business too. Once you have completed an apprenticeship you can move into a different job. An apprenticeship will generally prepare you for a particular role or career path but it will also give you lots of transferable skills. If the apprenticeship takes you to a career that you love, then great. If not, there is nothing to say you can't take your skills and use them elsewhere.
They're only for young people
Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England. Of people starting apprenticeships in 2015/16, 44% were 25 or over. People aged 19-24 accounted