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National Apprenticeship Week 2018

As well as National Careers Week comes to a close, National Apprenticeship Week ends too!

Apprenticeship Basics

An apprenticeship is a combination of working and learning, splitting time being an employee and at college or a training centre. Typically, this is 4 days in work and 1 day at college. There are 4 different types of apprenticeship:

  • Intermediate - equivalent to five good GCSE passes and normally lasting between one year and 18 months.
  • Advanced - equivalent to two A-level passes and are normally studied over two years.
  • Higher - equivalent to the first stages of higher education, such as a foundation degree and can take three to six years to complete.
  • Degree - comparable to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and can take three to six years to complete. Find out more at degree apprenticeships.

Entry Requirements:

  • For an intermediate apprenticeship, you'll just need to be over 16 years old and no longer in full-time education.
  • For an advanced apprenticeship, you’ll at least three A*-C or 9-4 grade GCSEs or equivalent - such as an intermediate apprenticeship qualification and you're likely to be asked for prior work experience.
  • Higher apprenticeships are the equivalent of a foundation degree or first year of a Bachelors, so you'll usually need at least five A*-C or 9-4 grade GCSEs, as well as some Level 3 qualifications in relevant subjects, to apply.
  • Degree apprenticeships will have the tightest entry requirements. These may include three A-levels in a specified grade range or a higher apprenticeship qualification, on top of at least five A*-C or 9-4 GCSE grades. It's likely you'll be required to have prior work experience.

How to Find an Apprenticeship

There are many routes to finding an apprenticeship from online to offline.

  • The Internet is a useful tool in finding an apprenticeship
    • Job search engines – such as Indeed, Monster etc
    • National Apprenticeship Service website
    • Government apprenticeships websites – Get In Go Far, Find an Apprenticeship
    • Not Going To Uni website
    • FindApprenticeships.co.uk
    • UCAS website


  • Social Media
    • Companies or family/friends will often share opportunities on their social media accounts
    • Job search engines typically have social media accounts and will share opportunities


  • Directly approaching companies
    • You can contact companies either online or by calling them to see if they have any vacancies. Larger companies will most likely have their vacancies on their website while smaller companies may not.


  • Local training providers and careers advice companies
    • Both will share relevant opportunities on their social media or websites
    • With some local training providers, they may work with you and help you find a suitable apprenticeship

Apprenticeship Variety

Apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes and many different careers:

  • Creative & Media
  • Business, Admin & Accounting
  • Construction, Agriculture & Environmental
  • Engineering, IT & Telecommunications
  • Healthcare & Social Care
  • Animal Care
  • Education
  • Retail & Sales
  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Transport & Logistics
  • Sports & Leisure  

Apprenticeship vs University

The major difference between university and doing an apprenticeship is the cost. University costs up to £9000 a year for fees while at an apprenticeship you will get paid a minimum of £3.30 an hour. While at university most students get a part time job whereas an apprenticeship is a full time job with one day a week at college.

The amount of times it takes to complete both an apprenticeship and a university degree will depend on the type of degree and apprenticeship you do. For some careers, you have no choice but to go to university. This includes doctor, psychotherapist, surgeon, psychiatrist and ecologist.