What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships provide the chance to 'earn and learn' in a wide range of jobs and sectors and give you the chance to develop skills, experience and qualifications. Apprenticeships can take between one and five years to complete depending on the level of Apprenticeship and the industry sector.

Apprenticeships are more than just a qualification: they are an excellent way of gaining workplace experience, understanding how a business works, improving personal and social skills, and starting out on your career.

Apprenticeships are open to all age groups over 16 years old – whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. You just need to be living in England and not taking part in full-time education.

Apprenticeships cover over 1,500 job roles, from engineering to financial advice, veterinary nursing to accountancy, and are now available to degree level and beyond. There are currently three different levels of Apprenticeships:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 2);
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 3);
  • Higher Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 4, 5, 6 and 7); and
  • Degree Level Apprenticeships (Level 6 and 7).
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.