In 2017 the Government introduced an apprenticeship levy which encouraged all employers to invest in the training of others. Some employers initially used the levy to upskill their existing workforce but it is now apparent that employers are now looking to increase the number of school leaver opportunities.


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with hands-on experience, while also training to achieve the relevant qualification that supports your industry.

What levels of apprenticeship are there?

There are different levels of apprenticeships and it is vital that you choose the correct level before applying:

  • Intermediate – This equates to 5 good GCSE passes (Level 2 qualifications)
  • Advanced Apprenticeship – which equates to 2 A Level passes (Level 3 qualifications)
  • Higher Apprenticeships – which equates to either a Foundation Degree/Higher National Certificate. (Level 4 qualifications)

One can continue up to undergraduate /master’s Degree within the apprenticeship pathway.

Are my qualifications transferable if I change direction?

If at any stage you choose to alter direction, for example to apply to university instead, all qualifications are relevant.

Some employers will encourage you to complete a Level 3 apprenticeship although you may already have pre-existing Level 3 qualifications. This is due to the complexity of some of the Level 3 apprenticeship schemes. However, they can be completed in a 12 – 18 month period which is shorter than the usual 24 months.

Is an apprenticeship an easy option?

No as you will need to be working as well as completing all of the required tasks to achieve the qualification.

You will be in the workplace and may only get 20 – 25 days holiday a year. Studying outside of work is a full-time commitment and may require a lot of evening and weekend study.

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

There are lots of benefits to studying for an apprenticeship. Some of them are:

  • You are earning a competitive salary and not getting into debt.
  • You are not investing in further studies at university.
  • Your employer is investing in your learning.
  • You are achieving an industry recognised qualification.
  • You are gaining invaluable work experience.
  • You are developing your soft skills which are transferable.
  • Within the confines of the apprenticeship you may have the opportunity to progress to others areas of the business.

How competitive is it to get an apprenticeship?

It can be very competitive:

Some recruiters will get in excess of 300 applications from Level 3 students for approximately 35 vacancies. However, it is even more competitive to apply to top companies after graduating from university, with up to 3000 graduates in some cases applying for approximately 35 student graduate programmes. 

How many types of apprenticeships are there?

There are currently approximately 250 types of apprenticeships over 1200 job roles.

How do I find an apprenticeship?

You can find them in many ways. Apart from your careers advisor helping you, there are many useful websites, including your Unifrog site (your Head of Sixth form will give you more details on this).

Also consider registering with:

Pathway CTM

Not Going To Uni

Get My First Job

Also look at the different job opportunities that are posted on the ‘Job Opportunity’ page of this website.


If you have any more questions about any of the above, please make an appointment soon to see your academy careers’ advisor.


Our Partners


We are fortunate to be working with Pathway CTM which, is an award winning Social Enterprise that is transforming employability training, support and opportunities for schools and students. We provide an award-winning programme to thousands of students throughout the UK, helping young people make informed decisions about their next step from leaving school. Often choices and opportunities are not clear enough for students, when in fact there are many amazing paths that are out there for each and every student.

Click below to vistit their website:



Unifrog is the one-stop-shop for all things careers and destinations. We provide an online platform where students in KS3,4&5 can explore their interests, then find and successfully apply for their best next step after school. We also help you and your colleagues to manage your careers strategy, achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks and manage the progression process efficiently & effectively and analyse students' destinations.

Click below to vistit their website:


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