Apprenticeships – a brief guide
Apprenticeships are a way of receiving specific vocational training whilst earning. You will be able to build up your knowledge and skill within the workplace whilst also working towards qualifications. Apprenticeships can last between 1 and 4 years.
You will spend most of your time in the workplace but will also receive training from a specialist provider. This may be the local College of Further Education, such as Wiltshire College, or it may be another specialist provider for that particular industry, eg NSA who provide support for apprentices in a school setting.
Who are Apprenticeships for ?
You must be 16 or over to start an Apprenticeship. You need to be “work ready.” This means you need to demonstrate the transferable skills employers are looking for. These may include :
- Showing initiative and a willingness to learn
- Being confident enough to cope with an adult working environment
- Good communication skills
- An understanding of IT
- Be reliable, punctual and have excellent attendance
- Be polite and professional
There are apprenticeships in almost every sector of the work environment, from Child Care, hairdressing, catering, accountancy to engineering, construction and teaching assistants.
Apprenticeship framework 2015
There are three levels you can study at:
• Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) usually all 16 year olds start here
• Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3)
• Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4 and above) this is the equivalent of degree level training
The current wage for an Intermediate apprenticeship is £3.30 and most apprentices have a combined work and training commitment of 40 hours per week.
What grades do I need ?
There are no set entry requirements as this depends on the Apprenticeship, however, competition for Apprenticeships can be fierce, so good qualifications are important, as well as being “work ready”
Research by the BBC found that a record 11 applications are being made for each Apprenticeship vacancy in the UK. Some Apprenticeships are more competitive with 17 applications per place, for example in the arts, media and ICT.
Most local apprenticeships at Intermediate level ask for 2/3 GCSE at D and above or a level 1 or 2 passes or merits in Btec qualifications. Many also ask for Maths or English GCSE at C and above if relevant to the job. For example an apprentice receptionist may be required to send emails so they may ask for C in GCSE English
How do I find an apprenticeship locally ?
There are two places to start :
1. Wiltshire College or Bath College. Follow the links from the school website to the College homepage and search for Apprenticeships. All Colleges of Further Education offer apprenticeships. Most require you to apply on line and you can ring a helpline if you need support. You could even start on a Btec course and ask the college to transfer you to an apprenticeship once one becomes available. The school website has an updated list of local vacancies.
2. The National Apprenticeship Website. This will have details of every apprenticeship in the UK. Although the site might seem daunting you can set up a user account and they will alert you about vacancies. Once you have set up an account you can apply for live vacancies.
An excellent summary of apprenticeships can be found on the Careerpilot site. Follow the link below or go to links in the Futures area of the school website.
To apply for either Apprenticeships and Traineeships you will need to set up an “users account.” You can do this by going to https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship or https://www.gov.uk/find-traineeship
Once you have set up an account you can apply for live vacancies.
Apprenticeship starter presentation Year 9-11 (PowerPoint)
Collaborative Apprenticeship Offer (Download)