Apprenticeships are a great way of earning as you learn and are available in a variety of work-related subjects including construction and health care. They involve on and off-the-job training, so as well as working for an employer; you’ll spend time at a college, university or with a training provider. They may be suitable for you if you know what you want to do and want to start gaining the qualifications and skills necessary for your future career. It takes between one and three years to complete an Apprenticeship.
Salary will vary from job to job but as an employed apprentice you must receive a minimum of £2.60 an hour if you are under 19. This includes all time spent working and training (e.g. an Apprentice working 38 hours will receive a minimum of £95 a week and an Apprentice working 40 hours will receive a minimum of £100 a week). A lot of employers pay more than the minimum wage — on average, apprentices earn £170 a week.
You can apply for apprenticeships at three different levels:
A level 2 programme, which is equivalent of five good GCSEs. You will work towards work-based learning qualifications, such as NVQ level 2, functional skills in English and maths and in some cases, a relevant such as a BTEC. From an Apprenticeship you could move into skilled employment, further education or progress onto an ‘Advanced Apprenticeship’.
A level 3 programme which is equivalent to two A levels. You will work towards work-based learning qualifications, such as NVQ level 3, functional skills in English and maths and in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC. On some Advanced Apprenticeships you may study towards level 2 qualifications before you move on to level 3 qualifications. From an Advanced Apprenticeship you could move into skilled employment, higher education or progress onto a Higher Apprenticeship where they are available.
A level 4 programme in which you will work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ level 4 and some cases, an academic qualification such as a Foundation degree. Higher Apprenticeships are not available everywhere yet.
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