Getting paid while you learn might sound too good to be true – but as an apprentice you really do get the best of both worlds.

If you are keen to enter the world of work but don’t want to stop studying then an Apprenticeship could be the answer. Apprenticeships offer a practical balance between learning a trade and earning a living and there are now over 180 different Apprenticeships available.

They enable you to start working and earn a decent wage whilst learning the skills and gaining the qualifications that employers want.

All Apprenticeships lead to National Vocational Qualifications and key skills qualifications. Some Apprenticeships also offer BTEC or City & Guilds certificates.

All employed apprentices must receive a minimum wage of £2.50 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and apprentices aged 19 and over, but in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Each apprenticeship involves a structured programme of training leading to a recognised qualification, covering a wide range of occupations. They are available at different levels, letting you choose the speed you wish to learn.

An Apprenticeship can also be a route into higher education for further qualifications. To find out more visit

You don’t even have to stop once you’ve completed an Advanced Apprenticeship. You can go on to do a Foundation Degree.

The pace of progress will depend on you

An Apprenticeship does not last for a fixed length of time – it ends when all necessary elements have been completed.

Most Apprenticeships last between a minimum of one and three years and there are different types of Apprenticeships available. The Apprenticeship which is right for you will depend on your experience and the opportunities in your area.

Young Apprenticeship

Some schools offer Young Apprenticeships.

Check if your school offers them by speaking to your careers co-ordinator and/or your Connexions personal adviser.

Young Apprenticeships give you a taste of real work while you learn. They combine classroom learning with practical learning. As well as studying the normal school curriculum, you:

  • Spend 50 days (spread over Years 10 and 11) gaining experience of work with an employer, training provider or college
  • Work towards Level 2 work-related qualifications such as NVQs

Assessment includes written examinations, observation by an assessor and the creation of a portfolio of evidence.

You can use a Young Apprenticeship as a stepping stone to a full-time Apprenticeship or other training, and to further learning and employment.

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