Apprenticeship Guide 2021

After your GCSE’s, you might not feel like Sixth Form or College courses are the right route for you, however, you could consider a more hands-on approach. Apprenticeships are an amazing way to gain a qualification in a job area that you want to make your career. Whilst earning a wage and getting practical on the job experience, you can also improve your English and Maths.

Apprenticeships are offered at various levels according to your academic ability starting at level 2 (intermediate) and right up to Level 5-7 (Master’s degree level). They are offered in a broad range of vocational areas from hairdressing to electrician, teaching assistant to finance assistant, project management to law, and many more.

You must be sixteen or over to apply but there is no upper age limit, adults can and do complete apprenticeships. You’ll have a contract of employment and earn at least the apprenticeship wage for your age.

An apprenticeship can be a minimum of one year (level 2- intermediate) or up to six years for the degree apprenticeships. You can move up through the apprenticeship levels, so you may start at Level 2. Impress your employer and then move onto a Level 3 apprenticeship and beyond.

Remember that you are working as well as studying for a qualification, so completion may take a little longer.

What are the benefits of doing an Apprenticeship?

You’ll get:

  • Practical and technical skills.
  • Soft skills and people skills, for example, working as part of a team, communication, and time management.
  • A salary including holiday and sick pay.
  • Training for a specific job role.
  • Vocational qualifications and the opportunity to improve your English and Maths grades if you need to.
What if I can’t get on an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships can be incredibly competitive; you will need to apply for a vacancy through an employer. The application process will usually mean that you will need a CV and if successful at the application stage you will be called for an interview.

Inspira Advisers can help you to prepare the application, provide you with interview support and advise you on the importance of having a Plan B.

You may have to consider a Plan B if you are unsuccessful with your search for an apprenticeship.

It might be that you: -

  • Complete a course at college this year in the vocational area that you are interested in. This will give you a head start when you apply for an apprenticeship next year.
  • You may return to Sixth Form and achieve more qualifications that will enable you to start an apprenticeship at a higher level

For more information on why having a Plan B is important, click here to check out our other videos and blogs!

How do I Find an Apprenticeship and how do I apply?
  • A good first step is to register on the government’s “Find an Apprenticeship” website. You can set up alerts to keep you updated about live vacancies in your interested area.
  • Keep an eye on Indeed.com – there are often apprenticeship opportunities available.
  • Look regularly at local and national employer websites.
  • You can also apply directly to training organisations and colleges that offer apprenticeships. We have a list of helpful links to help you decide.
  • We also have a quick step-by-step guide on how to apply for Apprenticeships and Sixth Form and College if you need the backup! Check it out here!
  • Get that CV ready! The companies will need to see a CV to get to know more about you. Check out our guide to CV writing here!

For more inspiration read Mia's story about becoming an Apprentice at Inspira.

If being an Apprentice sounds like it might be right for you, contact an expert adviser at Inspira who will provide free 1:1 advice and talk you through your options.