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Apprenticeships? Find out more about becoming an apprentice

Wednesday 24 January, 2018

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is designed to ensure that you gain recognised qualifications and skills whilst you are working and earning a wage.

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

There are multiple benefits of an apprenticeship, including:

  • earn a wage – you are a full employee and will be eligible to paid holiday etc
  • obtain a nationally recognised qualification
  • gain high-quality, work-based training
  • gain fantastic experience in the working world
  • gain the skills that future employers want
  • get first-hand knowledge of how the industry works

Who can be an apprentice?

To be an apprentice you have to be aged 16 or older and no longer in full-time education (the date on which you can leave school depends on where you live in the UK). There is no upper age limit on becoming an apprentice.

Entry requirements vary depending on the level of the apprenticeship and the nature of the job.

How does an apprenticeship work?

Apprenticeships can take between one and five years to complete. The length of an apprenticeship depends on its level, the industry in question and the existing skills the apprentice has.

Training takes place in the workplace, apprentices are employees and will work alongside other employees – they are real jobs. Apprentices may also spend some time at a local college or other learning provider depending on the delivery type of the qualification that is alongside the work-based learning.

How much can you earn?

The National Minimum Wage for an apprentice aged 16-18 is currently £3.50 per hour (due to increase on 1st April 2018). The same applies if you’re 19 and over and in the first year of your apprenticeship, after that you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for your age. However, many employers pay more than this - pay is dependent on the industry, location and type of apprenticeship.

What types of apprenticeship can you do?

There are a wide range of apprenticeship types available across many different industries including (but not limited to):

  • Business administration apprenticeships
  • Engineering apprenticeships
  • Science apprenticeships
  • Teaching support apprenticeships
  • Health and social care apprenticeships
  • HR and recruitment apprenticeships
  • IT apprenticeships
  • Hospitality apprenticeships
  • Horticulture apprenticeships
  • Animal care apprenticeships
  • Finance apprenticeships
  • Retail apprenticeships

What type of qualification is an apprenticeship?

The UK Government has recently introduced some newly approved apprenticeship standards which are gradually replacing the existing apprenticeship frameworks.

Apprenticeship Standards will have an assessment at the end of the apprenticeship that is designed to test the skills and knowledge linked to the standard. This is to assess whether the apprentice is fully competent in that role. Means of assessment could include: written exams / interviews or oral assessments / the content of the apprentice portfolio / observation in the workplace.

Apprenticeship Frameworks include a technical certificate / NVQ or competency qualification / Functional skills English, Maths and ICT / Employer Rights and Responsibilities.

Levels of apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

 Name Level Equivalent Educational Level
 Intermediate  2  GCSE
 Advanced  3  A-level
 Higher  4,5,6 & 7  Foundation degree and above
 Degree  6 & 7  Bachelor's or master's degree

Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.

Next step once you have achieved your apprenticeship

At the end of the apprenticeship it may be possible to become a full time employee with the same company (depending on their staffing needs). You could choose to take your apprenticeship, skills and experience to a new work place. Alternatively it is possible to move on to the next level of apprenticeship:

  • Completed an Intermediate apprenticeship - could move on to an Advanced apprenticeship.
  • Completed an Advanced apprenticeship – could move on to a Higher apprenticeship.
  • Completed a Higher level apprenticeship - could move on to Higher Education and study for a Foundation Degree, a HND or other higher level qualification including a Degree Apprenticeship, or a normal degree.

An apprenticeship with SEAC

For more details about becoming a SEAC apprentice take a look at our website 

To see our current apprenticeship vacancies visit or Apprenticeship Vacancies