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Apprenticeships are real jobs with real employers, allowing a young person to work, earn a salary and gain valuable qualifications and experience.

There are over 600 different apprenticeship standards covering everything from accountancy to zoo keeping, so there is an apprenticeship out there for everyone.

Apprenticeships range from Level 2 for school leavers right up to Degree level so are a great option for when a young person leaves school but also at a later date in their future.

Apprenticeships offer choice, opportunity, qualifications, support and a head start into a future career.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a paid job where the apprentice is an employee in the company where they learn whilst ‘on the job’ and gain valuable skills and experience. They are based on a model of 80% of time on the job working and 20% of their working time learning with a college or training provider towards a national recognised qualification in that industry.

How long do they last?

Apprenticeships last for a minimum of one year (but can last up to 6 yrs for the higher degree levels). All apprenticeship job adverts will state the duration.

Do I need qualifications?

Apprenticeships range from Level 2 Intermediate up to Degree level. The Level 2 is an option for after leaving school. All apprenticeship adverts (see page 13 on how to find an apprenticeship) will state the qualifications required. For a Level 2 this is likely to be some GCSE’s. Although it is always stressed to us that employers are looking for the ‘right’ person more than a rigid set of qualifications.

If you do not reach a Grade 4 (standard pass) in GCSE English and Maths or equivalent in Functional Skills (Level 2) then you will still need to continue to study English and Maths until you reach this level (or you turn 18) as part of your off-the-job study time. This a requirement for all post-16 options.

How does the 80%/20% work?

The following is taken from

In England, it is a statutory requirement for an apprentice to spend 20% of their paid time ‘off-the-job’. This involves essential training to help the apprentice gain the skills needed to complete their apprenticeship.

Off-the-job training is delivered by subject experts and can include:

Teaching theory (e.g. classroom lessons or many involve online learning:

  • Practical training (e.g. shadowing, mentoring, industry visits)
  • Learning support and time to write assignments

The training can take place in or out of the work environment. Some employers will offer in-house training, others may work with colleges or training providers.

The training must equate to 20% of the overall contracted hours for the duration of the apprenticeship. It can be delivered flexibly, for example, as part of each day, once a week, or as a block release.

Do they cost anything?

Apprenticeships are funded from contributions made by the government and the employer. This means you will not have any student loans or tuition fees.

How much is an apprentice paid?

If you’re aged 16 to 18 or in the first year of your apprenticeship, you’re entitled to the apprentice rate which is set by the Government. These rates can be found at

You’re entitled to be paid at least the apprentice rate if you’re an apprentice aged:

  • under 19
  • 19 or over, and in the first year of your current apprenticeship agreement

If you’re 19 or over and have completed the first year of your current apprenticeship, you’re entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage for your age.

What are the benefits?

Being paid whilst learning a trade or job in an industry you have chosen.

Anything to be aware of?

Apprentices are on an employers contract, therefore no more school length holidays and instead will follow their contract regarding number of days holiday a year, sick pay, leave etc. The length of each day is also likely to be longer than a school day.

How do you find an apprenticeship?

Search for all apprenticeships across the UK at:

  • You can also look at Bournemouth & Poole College as they are a training provider for a young person who secures an employer and also advertise some local opportunities:
  • Paragon Skills are another smaller training provider and advertise vacancies across a range of industries:

What if you’re not quite ready to start an apprenticeship?

Traineeships are a great option for young people who are not yet ready for an apprenticeship and would benefit from some more work experience (unpaid) first and other activities to boost their confidence, skills and prepare them for an apprenticeship in the future.

Where can I find out more?

School Calendar


Half Term – 23rd October 2023 – 27th October 2023


Christmas Holidays! 11th December 2023 – 01st January 2024