Apprenticeships have changed…

Apprenticeship schemes are now available across a wide-range of industries, from IT to accounting, engineering and finance. In fact, there are 1500 different job roles across 170 Industries. The UK’s modern apprenticeships have been designed to specifically prepare young people for a career. School and college leavers, you don’t have to take the university route to get a job in your desired field. Apprenticeships across the UK will provide you with the work experience, qualifications, and most importantly the skills that you will need to take your next step after education.

What are modern apprenticeships and how do they work…

The UK’s modern apprenticeships have been divided into four levels: intermediate, advanced, higher and degree apprenticeships.

Modern apprenticeships are professional work schemes which are designed for school and college leavers. Your apprenticeship will consist of a combination of real-work within a company or industry, whilst you are studying towards professional qualifications. So, apprentices benefit from important work experience and well as gaining new qualifications.

Whilst apprenticeships have traditionally been associated with trade industries, like plumbing, construction or carpentry, things have changed because now, there are opportunities to do an apprenticeship across an enormous range of fields, whether it be with a law firm, a finance organisation, or an IT or engineering company. There has never been such diverse range of options for career-minded young people.

Apprenticeships have evolved and improved to offer young people an alternative route into work or higher education. So, if getting your foot firmly on the career ladder (while earning a salary) sounds like the right career choice for you then read on to find out more about the different levels of apprenticeships, and the best apprenticeships available across the UK.

What is an intermediate apprenticeship?

An Intermediate apprenticeship is a level 2 apprenticeship, and is the first level of the modern apprenticeship. Intermediate apprentices work full-time with an employer, and spend time studying towards qualifications at a college or training provider.

An Intermediate apprenticeship is designed to train and focus a school leaver for the work environment. The focus is on key employability skills, as well as more specific training for a job within a company.

Entry requirements for Intermediate apprenticeships can differ but most employers require applicants to have two or more GCSEs (A*-C), including English and Maths and some employers will accept applicants without these grades, if they have work experience relevant to the employer. And if this is the case, you might be asked to complete a basic literacy and numeracy test.

How do intermediate apprenticeships work?

Intermediate apprentices split their time between working with an employer, and studying towards a vocational qualification with a training provider. Some companies provide training in-house and others will send you to an external training provider or college. Intermediate apprentices work for at least 30 hours a week, for thirty weeks of the year.

Individual programmes may be organised differently for example you might spend one day a week learning at college, and spend the rest of the week working alongside your employer. You will be receiving training with your employer, whilst gaining relevant qualifications on the side. Alternatively, you could work with your employer on a full-time basis being released for study periods at intervals during the year.

Intermediate apprenticeship wages

Intermediate apprentices will earn a wage for the duration of their apprenticeship this gives you an opportunity to earn while you learn, while avoiding the debts involved with other types of further education.

Visit for more information on apprenticeship pay and holidays.

When you complete your intermediate apprenticeship, you will be awarded with a Level 2 Competence qualification, and a knowledge-based qualification. These are equivalent to 5 GCSEs (A*-C).

And then you will be eligible to apply for an Advanced Level Apprenticeship…

Advanced Apprenticeships

An Advanced apprenticeship is a level 3 apprenticeship and is the equivalent of doing two A levels. These schemes are available to young people between the ages of 16-24. Entry requirements for Advanced apprenticeships can vary from scheme to scheme. Employers generally look for applicants with 5 or more GCSEs (A*-C), or an Intermediate apprenticeship. Advanced apprentices are awarded with a Level 3 Competence Qualification, and a knowledge based qualification.

What is an advanced apprenticeship?

An advanced apprenticeship is the level above Intermediate apprenticeships. Advanced apprentices study towards a nationally certified qualification, while they work on a full-time basis for an employer.

Advanced apprentices receive on the job training for a specific role within a company or industry whilst developing practical work skills. Entry requirements for Advanced apprenticeships vary from company to company, but employers look for students with at least five GCSEs A*-C.

How do advanced apprenticeships work?

Every Advanced apprenticeship is different. Employers generally organise their programmes in partnership with a training provider. Your time will be split between working for your employer and studying towards relevant qualifications with the training provider.

Some employers provide training themselves whilst with others you go to an external training provider. Apprentices work for at least thirty hours a week, which includes time spent studying. Your employer might organise one day in each week for you to spend working towards a qualification or again there might be study periods at intervals during your apprenticeship.

Advanced apprenticeships take between two to four years. Once you have completed an Advanced apprenticeship, you will be awarded a National Vocational Qualification (Level 3), knowledge based qualification, such as a higher national certificate, a higher national diploma or a foundation degree. These qualifications are equivalent to two A-levels.

Advanced apprenticeship wages

Did you know that you can earn a salary of over £25,000 when you complete an Advanced apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is just a brilliant way for you to gain your qualifications, whilst you develop your practical and professional skills. Each apprenticeship programme will offer a different salary.

Visit for more information on apprenticeship pay and holidays.

Once you have completed your advanced apprenticeship, you will be eligible to apply for a Higher apprenticeship …

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher apprenticeships or level 4/5 schemes are for school or college leavers aged 18 or above. It can take anywhere between three to four years to complete your Higher level apprenticeship.

Employers look for a minimum of two or more A levels, or an Advanced apprenticeship in a relevant field. When you complete your Higher level apprenticeship you would be awarded with any of the following qualifications: Level 4 Competence Qualification and a knowledge based qualification – Higher National Diploma/foundation degree/undergraduate degree

What is a Higher apprenticeship?

Higher apprenticeships are also called level 4 or 5 apprenticeships they are the next level up above advanced (level 3) and intermediate (level 2) apprenticeships.

Higher apprentices work for a company and are trained on the job whilst they study towards a qualification. When you complete your Higher apprenticeship, you will be awarded with a level 4 (or above) competence qualification, and a knowledge based qualification – a higher national diploma or foundation degree.

Higher apprenticeships are designed for students who are aged 18 or over. If you’ve just finished your GCSEs, an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship are the schemes to be looking at. When you finish your Higher apprenticeship then it can lead onto a degree apprenticeship or a university degree.

Employers entry requirements for higher apprenticeships can be varied but most require applicants to have a minimum of two A-levels or an advanced apprenticeship. Higher apprenticeships are designed to train a candidate for a particular job, or for a specific role within a company. Most higher apprentices have a permanent job waiting at the end. If the company doesn’t employ you after the apprenticeship, or you decide to move on, you will still be a highly employable candidate with transferable skills.

How do Higher apprenticeships work?

Higher apprenticeships are structured in the same way as the other types of apprenticeships. You will work full-time for a company, with regular day releases for you to study and attend classes with your training provider. It is combination of work and study.

Each Higher apprenticeship will be structured slightly differently. Some employers will send you off to study with the training provider for one day in each week, or again there might be study periods at intervals during your apprenticeship. Higher apprentices work for a minimum of thirty hours a week, for a minimum of thirty weeks in a year. The length of your apprenticeship will depend on your employer, but Higher apprenticeships can last anywhere between one and four years.

Higher apprenticeship wages

Did you know that you can earn a salary up to £29,000 when you’ve completed your higher apprenticeship?

Visit for more information on apprenticeship pay and holidays.

Degree Apprenticeships

The newest type of apprenticeship is a Degree apprenticeship otherwise known as level 6/7 apprenticeships. They were introduced by the government in 2015 in collaboration with the Tech Partnership. This new form of apprenticeship combines a university degree with on-the-job training.

As a Degree apprentice you will work for an industry-leading company, gaining practical skills and valuable work experience, whilst studying towards your bachelors or masters degree. Degree apprentices are paid a fantastic salary whilst they work towards their qualification, which can take anywhere between 3-5 years. Degree apprenticeships are an opportunity for school and college leavers to get a degree, without having to pay tuition fees. Your tuition is covered by the government, and the company that employs the apprentice.

The entry requirements for Degree apprenticeships are varied. Some employers will accept applicants who have competed a relevant advanced/higher apprenticeship. Most employers look for two or more A levels or a set amount of UCAS points.

What is a Degree apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships are aimed at 18 to 19-year-olds and offer a serious alternative route into higher education. Apprentices will combine full-time work for an industry leading company with part-time university study. Degree Apprenticeship can take between one and four years, and when completed earn a Bachelors or Masters degree.

Degree apprenticeship programmes have been developed through a collaboration between the Tech Partnership and higher education institutions. With government backing, a network of graduate employers and universities have joined forces to train a highly skilled workforce for key industries.

Why should I do a degree apprenticeship?

According to The Institute of Fiscal Studies the average student “leaves university with £44k of debt, and no guarantee of job.”

School and College leavers who are taking their next steps in terms of higher education need to take the Degree apprenticeship seriously. They have all the benefits of a conventional degree programme but without the financial anxieties.

Also, Degree apprenticeship provides the practical experience and wider employability skills which are critical to career success.

Degree apprenticeship salary

Did you know that you can earn a salary up to £29,000 when you’ve completed your Degree level apprenticeship? You’ll have gained a Master Degree and you won’t have had any fees to pay so no debt and most importantly you’ll already be working within your chosen career with your chosen employer.

Visit for more information on apprenticeship pay and holidays.