What is an apprenticeship?

Written by: Hiba Bukhari
Published on: 26 Jan 2024

What is an apprenticeship?

In recent years apprenticeships are becoming a more popular avenue for those joining the world of work. According to government apprenticeship and trainee figures in 2023, degree and higher apprenticeships have found an increase uptake of over 9% this year from the previous year.

Apprenticeships are an exciting work-based training program that combines working and studying. It is great way for you to gain practical experience, knowledge and skills in a specific industry or profession whilst also earning a wage. They’re available across a range of sectors and professions, from accounting, business, IT, media and law, to construction, engineering and transport.

More organisations than ever before are offering apprenticeship schemes, but how do you know where to start looking?

To simplify it, there are 4 types of internships:

  • Intermediate – Equivalent to five GCSE passes (Level 2)
  • Advanced - Equivalent to two A Level passes (Level 3)
  • Higher – Equivalent to a foundation degree in higher education(Level 4 – 7)
  • Degree - Equivalent to a Bachelor's or Masters Degree (Level 6 & 7)

The qualifications you can receive through these are:  

  • Functional skills – GCSE level in English, Maths and IT 
  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s) - from level 2 (GCSE) to level 7 (Postgraduate) 
  • Technical Certificates – BTEC diplomas 
  • Academic Certificates -  Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND), foundation degree or a full bachelor’s degree.  

As an apprentice you will earn at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices. If you’re aged between 16 and 18 the rate is £5.28 (from April 2023). This rate also applied to those aged 19 or over in their first year of training. Depending on the level you’re training at, and the job type you are likely to earn anywhere between £15,000 to £30,000 per year.  

By the end of your apprenticeship which can last anywhere from one year to six years depending on the level, you’ll have developed the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your chosen career/sector.  

There is sometimes a belief that apprenticeships are only for young people or school leavers, but that isn’t true! There’s no upper age limit for apprenticeships and they can be a great way to support a career change.  

At WMJobs we advertise a huge range of apprenticeships from employers across the public sector. You can find out more about these opportunities, read case studies from current and past apprentices and view our latest vacancies on our Apprenticeship Hub!  

Apprenticeships earn