Check out our latest magazine... Read Online

Apprenticeships 101

If university is not for you, an apprenticeship might be just what you need to take the next steps in your education and career journey. Sara Whatley reports

You’ve got the leavers hoodie, been to the end of term party, but now what? After you finish full time education you might not be ready for uni. The thought of three years of study and the university lifestyle can be quite overwhelming, and certainly not for everybody. But, you still want to educate yourself and secure your future so why not look to an apprenticeship? 

In an apprenticeship you will be a paid employee with a contract and holiday leave. Your learning will mostly be on-the-job training with dedicated study time built into your week, so the skills you learn you can put into immediate practice. You will be working alongside skilled professionals and enjoying the benefits of employment, such as a broader social life and new opportunities.

Apprenticeships are not only suitable for school leavers, but for those upskilling in their career and also for those taking a completely new direction with their career.

There are thousands of different apprenticeships available in a broad range of subjects. So ask yourself, what are you interested in? This could be the perfect opportunity to try out something new.

You may have your sights set on one day becoming a manager or CEO – try something in the Business and Administration sector. Perhaps you love playing video games and have a burning desire to design your own? Step into a role in the Creative and Design category. It might be childcare you are passionate about, or architecture; cooking or finance. Whatever floats your boat, there are apprenticeship opportunities out there for you.   

Depending on what sort of apprenticeship you choose, the qualification you achieve at the end of it will vary. However, apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:  

 

Level

Equivalent educational level

Intermediate

2

GCSE

Advanced

3

A level

Higher

4,5,6 and 7

Foundation degree and above

Degree

6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

 

To start an apprenticeship in this country you must be 16 years or over, living in England, the British Overseas Territories, or Crown Dependencies (Channel Islands and Isle of Man), and not in full time education.

There are various different channels of application, such as creating an account on the apprenticeships.gov.uk website, or you might see an apprenticeship advertised straight from an employers website. If you are upskilling in your current career, talk to your manager or HR department and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

You will need a CV and cover letter to apply. If successful, you will be invited for an interview, just like any other job application, which can be daunting. Find out beforehand what the dress code is, who to ask for when you arrive, the travel arrangements and where to park, to calm your nerves.

And if you are not ready to commit to an apprenticeship there are other options. T levels are an alternative to A levels which have been created for 16 to 18-year-olds. They are the equivalent to 3 A levels, and can be completed in a two-year course combining classroom based learning and a work placement.

The other alternative is a traineeship. These skills development programmes are suitable for 16-24 year olds who need some work experience and training in order to give them the skills they need to start an apprenticeship or career. Traineeships are unpaid work placements that run alongside a training course. They can be anywhere from 6 weeks to a year long, although most are approximately 6 months.

Whatever the next step is on your education journey, keep in mind that taking on a new challenge may be scary but will ultimately help you grow in life skills, confidence and happiness.

 

Visit www.apprenticeships.gov.uk for further information

 

More from Features

  • SPECIAL OFFER: General Admission Tickets To The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting

    We’ve got a special offer for general admission tickets for all of our Hidden members to this internationally renowned event on either Friday 21 or Saturday 22 June - RSVP on our ticket page and we'll send you a QR code for entry for TWO people!

  • Home Style: Pastures New

    The grass really was greener for this family, who left behind their recently remodelled London house for a new life in the country

  • Struck from Above: Why Lightning Loves a Tree

    When trees get struck by lightning it can be a very dramatic event, as Peter Erridge explains

  • City Breaks: Ideas to Inspire You

    Would you like to escape the everyday and broaden your horizons without spending too much time and money? If so, Lisa de Silva says a city break might offer the perfect solution

  • Join Dementia Action Week

    Alzheimer’s Research UK is keen for people to get involved and help support their ground-breaking dementia research work that potentially brings new treatments closer. Fundraising Officer Francine Clarke explains why it is so important

  • What to Watch in May 2024

    From a watch-through-your-fingers true crime documentary to the return of Doctor Who, here's your guide to all the best new films & TV shows coming to screens big and small in the month of May...

  • Tracing the Rails

    Ever wondered about the history and romance of the steam train that once trickerty- trocked it’s way along the lost Steyning Line? This dynamic group of friends did, so they made a documentary about it. Sara Whatley found out more

  • NEW COMPETITION: Win Four VIP Tickets For More Radio Live 2024

    Fancy attending this year's More Radio Live in style? We've got FOUR tickets up for grabs to our VIP Marquee with all-inclusive food and drink!

  • Be Well, Move Happy: Eating Awareness and Deskercise

    Helping us to move more and eat better, this month Sara Whatley looks at eating awareness and deskercise

  • Riding to Success

    Not a coffee morning kind of couple, Alison and Henry are soon embarking on an ambitious UK tour on their 1960s scooters, all to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. Sara Whatley finds out more

  • Home Style: Home on Wheels

    A plot on the family farm with stunning marshland views was the ideal spot for Freddie Pack and Katie McNie to build their new home – a cabin on wheels

  • Home Style: Seeing the Light

    George and Christopher Stephenson left the rat race of London for a life in the south-east countryside, transforming a dark and dated Grade-II listed farmhouse

  • Step out for St Catherine’s Hospice

    St Catherine’s Hospice popular Midnight Walk is bouncing back to the streets of Horsham on Saturday 8 June, Adele Trathan explains how readers can get involved

  • If You Ask Me... This is Beyoncé Country

    This month, Flo Whitaker considers a recent showbiz altercation and asks, “If a black woman from Texas can’t make a country album - who can?”

  • Artelium Wine – Crafted in Sussex

    As the Sussex wine industry continues to expand and lead the way for the rest of the UK it is heartwarming to find a winery that’s producing award winning wines of outstanding quality, so we sent Robert Veitch to find out more

  • Homes Extra: Expanding Space

    If you need some extra space in your home but do not want to shoulder the burden and expense of moving, then look to a small extension or home improvement, says Sara Whatley

  • Kids Zone: Mosaic Art

    Get creative with this month’s fun and sustainable activity – mosaic art. Sara Whatley explains what to do

  • Be Well, Move Happy: Gardening & Connecting with Nature

    Spring is a wonderful time of year to get out and enjoy our natural world. Sara Whatley looks at connecting with nature for wellness and gardening for fitness

  • Homes for Ukraine: Opening Your Home and Your Heart

    As the conflict in the Ukraine continues, Homes for Ukraine scheme is still keen to hear from people that are interested in hosting a Ukrainian guest, as Paul Crompton from East Sussex County Council explains

  • Charity: Age Concern Hassocks

    Fancy a new place for lunch, meeting new friends in a fun and welcoming atmosphere, or a spot of volunteering? Look no further than Age Concern Hassocks, says Sara Whatley