What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace. Apprentices learn on the job, building up knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications and earning money all at the same time.

You work towards a work-based qualification such as a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and other nationally recognized qualifications.
Employers all over the country recognize and value Apprenticeships as they show that you’ve been trained in the skills they need.
Apprenticeships typically take between one and four years to complete, depending on the type of framework. There is no set time to complete an Apprenticeship as they vary widely in content and size. The length of time taken will depend on the ability of the individual apprentice and the employer’s requirements.

Earn while you learn

Apprentices do real jobs for real employers. So you’re paid while you learn. If you are entering work for the first time, you will start earning from day one of your Apprenticeship.

There is no set rate of pay for apprentices, however all employed apprentices must receive a wage of no less than $95 per week and a recent survey showed that the average wage per week for an apprentice is now around $170 and in some job roles around $210 per week.

As your skills develop, your pay will increase accordingly. You may also get additional money for essential books, clothing or equipment, or to help you with a disability. As an apprentice, you will receive the same benefits as other employees such as pension contributions, subsidized canteen and leisure facilities.

What Levels of Apprentices are out there?

They generally fall into one of three categories:

  • ‘Apprenticeships’ equivalent to GCSE level.
  • ‘Advanced Apprenticeships’ equivalent to A-levels.
  • ‘Higher Apprenticeships’ – the equivalent to a degree.

According to The United States Department of Labor, The Registered Apprentice Program offers access to 1,000 career areas, including the following top occupations:

  • Able seaman
  • Carpenter
  • Chef
  • Child care development specialist
  • Construction craft laborer
  • Dental assistant
  • Electrician
  • Elevator constructor
  • Fire medic
  • Law enforcement agent
  • Over-the-road truck driver
  • Pipefitter