If you are 16 years of age or over, you can become an apprentice as long as you spend at least half of your working hours in England for the duration of the apprenticeship and you are not in full-time education.

You can start an apprenticeship via two different routes:

  1. You are already in employment and you / your employer is looking to upskill you in your workplace to support your progression
  2. You are currently unemployed or looking for a change in employment and looking for an apprenticeship opportunity, a job that combines an apprenticeship training programme as part of the terms of employment.


When you're an apprentice-

  • You get paid and train at the same time, with at least six hours of your time spent during the week spent in off-the-job training, either via workshops, mentoring, learning on the job, or internal training that can consist of day release, workshops, internal workplace training, being mentored or coached, online learning and study time in the workplace
  • The rest of your time is spent applying your knowledge and skills in the actual workplace, doing your job
  • You train to be fully competent in your chosen occupation, working with your training organisation and your employer to prepare you for End Point Assessment
  • You are an employed member of staff and as such, have the same right and responsibilities as any other member of staff with a contract of employment
  • You get valuable hands-on, practical work experience that will help you in developing your career
  • There is no cost to you for the delivery of your apprenticeship training

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.


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As an apprentice you’ll:

  • Work alongside experienced staff who will mentor you in your role
  • Gain job-specific knowledge skills and behaviours as well as experience
  • Earn a wage and get holiday pay as a contracted member of staff
  • Get assigned a tutor that will work with your employer to plan and support you through the duration of your apprenticeship programme, including visiting you in the workplace
  • Get time for off the job learning related to your role

Your apprenticeship can take between one and five years to complete, depending on:

  • Which apprenticeship you choose relevant to your job role
  • What level the apprenticeship is at
  • Your previous experience relevant to the apprenticeship you are looking to enrol onto
  • The number of hours you are working per week (less than 30 hours per week will extend the duration of your apprenticeship pro-rata)
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Levels of apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels.



Equivalent educational level






A level


4, 5, 6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a certificate or diploma. All apprenticeships include Functional Skills in English and maths (unless you are exempt and have GCSE grade 4-9, A-C or equivalent).

What are the entry requirements for apprenticeships?

Eligibility requirements

Apprenticeships are funded through the government and as such have eligibility requirements to enable funding to be accessed. You must:

  • Hold a permanent contract of employment prior to starting your apprenticeship
  • Not be in any other form of education or study
  • Have been resident in the EEA (European Economic Area) for the past 3 years and have proof of this.
  • Have a national insurance number

Already in work and looking to upskill?

The entry requirements will be based on the requirements of the apprenticeship you are looking to enrol onto and the training providers you are engaged with. This may include:

  • A required level of English and maths, either through certificates previously achieved or an assessment
  • An assessment of knowledge skills and behaviours to identify individual needs and ensure that you will gain new knowledge and skills as part of these apprenticeship programme
  • Your role being matched to the apprenticeship you are looking to enrol onto e.g. your apprenticeship must be linked to the job role you are continuing to work in.

Looking for an apprenticeship placement?

Apprenticeships, like other jobs, have minimum standards that a candidate must meet in order to be considered for the role.

In the end, it’s up to the employer offering the apprenticeship. In general, a prospective apprentice may require:

  • A specified level of English and maths either through certificates previously achieved or an assessment as part of the recruitment screening process.
  • Other qualifications relevant to the job role
  • Previous experience if the role is not a new entrant position, or transferable skills



What does an apprenticeship consist of?

The content of an apprenticeship varies hugely because they are specific to the sector and job roles they are aligned to. However, the structure of an apprenticeship is generally the same. The structure and content of the apprenticeship is called a Standard.

Apprenticeship Standards are written by employer-led groups and include the specific Knowledge Skills and Behaviours needed to become competent for a specific occupation.

The standards are short and concise. Each Apprenticeship standard fits on 2 sides of A4 and consists of the:

Knowledge is the theory behind the practical application of the occupation. Having knowledge of how to do something does not necessarily mean that the individual can do it, even if they understand the steps and what should happen.

Skills are the practical application of knowledge needed to successfully undertake the duties that make up the occupation. They have to be learnt through on and/or off-the-job training or experience

Behaviours are mindsets, attitudes or approaches required for competence, generally across the entire occupation.

All apprenticeships require the apprentice to achieve functional skills in maths and English up to level 2. The individual may be exempt from this component of the apprenticeship programme if they can show certificates that match the exemption criteria (e.g. GCSE Grade 4-9, A-C or equivalent).

Some, but not all apprenticeships require the apprentice to achieve an accredited qualification as part of their overall achievement of the apprenticeship for example a certificate, diploma or other certificated course

All apprenticeship standards require the apprentice to achieve a final grade through End Point Assessment. The End Point Assessment is a synoptic assessment of the skills, behaviours and knowledge that have been learnt throughout the apprenticeship. Apprentices can attempt End Point Assessment once all other components (above) have been achieved and after the minimum length of stay required for their programme, which cannot be less than 372 days.

At the end of an apprenticeship, as an apprentice, they will go through a 'gateway' process where they are signed-off by their employer as ready for a final assessment of their knowledge and practical capabilities. The assessment will be graded (in most cases) and the Independent Assessment Organisation (IAO) and assessor must be independent of, and separate from, the training provided by the provider and employer.

End Point Assessment requirements vary dependent on the apprenticeship standard and can be a combination of:

Apprentice Showcase - enabling the apprentice to reflect and present examples of their development over the whole programme

Practical Observation - allowing the apprentice to evidence their skills, knowledge and behaviour from across the standard.

Professional Discussion - this is a structured discussion between the apprentice and an independent assessor to establish their understanding and application of knowledge, skills and behaviours

Knowledge and Behaviours Test – the apprentice will participate in a knowledge test that will cover the learning outcomes of their apprenticeship. This will consist of structured short answer and scenario-based questions and will be taken under exam conditions.

From this the apprentice can achieve their apprenticeship with a Pass, Merit or Distinction. The apprentice can also fail their End Point Assessment and will need to continue their studies until they and their employer are confident, through a re-take, that they can pass End Point Assessment

Enabling you to reflect and present examples of your development over the whole programme
Allowing the apprentice to evidence their skills, knowledge and behaviour from across the standard
This is a structured discussion between you as the apprentice and an independent assessor to establish your understanding and application of knowledge, skills and behaviours
You will participate in a knowledge test that will cover the learning outcomes of the apprenticeship. This will consist of structured short answer and scenario-based questions and will be taken under exam conditions

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Sourcing your Apprenticeship

There are hundreds of different apprenticeships to choose from all over the country, with employers large and small, in a wide range of industries and organisations from local companies to large national corporates. You could be at the start of your career, looking for an opportunity, or in employment and wanting to develop your skills in your current workplace.

Looking for a new job which accompanies an apprenticeship

It’s essential that you check by reading the job specification / advert before applying. The qualifications on offer and the level at which you’ll train will be made explicit, so you’ll be able to decide if you’re happy to undertake an apprenticeship at the level and with the qualifications advertised prior to applying.

Our apprenticeship vacancies are live on our website for you to review and apply:

View current vacancies

Everyone benefits with apprenticeships

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  • Increase employee retention74% of companies surveyed said that apprentices tended to be more loyal, than non-apprentices. 
  • Use funds that will otherwise be lost, only 14% of Levy funds have been used.  
  • Fill any skills gaps and allow the business to source future managers and leaders from within.
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  • Teams are more motivated - 92% of companies who invest in Apprentices reported a significant increase in employee motivation. 
  • Enhance team productivity, 76% say that productivity has improved since getting an apprentice. 

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  • Upskill, (92%) of apprentices felt that their apprenticeship had had a positive impact on their career. 
  • An apprenticeship gives staff the opportunity to become more valuable to the company.  
  • Higher morale, teams have higher spirit and morale, as the organisation invested time and training in them. 

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  • 97% of apprentices said their ability to do the job had improved 
  • 92% of apprentices said that their career prospects had improved 
  • Earn while you learn. 

Book a free consultation

Meet our dedicated programme design team to:

  • Discuss the process of building a programme that suits your business needs and represents your business' identity
  • Review your apprenticeship training strategy and development plans
  • The opportunities that apprenticeships can bring to your business
  • Setting up an apprenticeship role and recruiting to your vacancy
  • How staff can undertake training through apprenticeships