Anyone can be an Apprentice as long as they are aged over 16, live in England and not in full time education. For many, Apprenticeships are the first step onto a career ladder which can then take them as far as they want to go in their chosen career.

Hire An Apprentice – Apprenticeships for Levy Paying Employers

Watch the video on the benefits of hiring an apprentice.

Discover how apprenticeships work for businesses who pays the Apprenticeship Levy (i.e. those with a wage bill over £3m). To find out how apprenticeships could work for your organisation visit A Guide to Apprenticeships

First of all, disregard all of the stereotypes that you have previously heard about Apprenticeships. An Apprenticeship first and foremost is an excellent route into a career. Apprenticeships allow people to earn whilst they learn and train for a career, gaining structured qualifications whilst acquiring valuable work experience.

There’s a stereotype that Apprenticeships are only obtainable in manual trades like construction or hairdressing, but in reality you can now do an Apprenticeship in almost any job role. Over 600 apprenticeship standards across all sectors including social media, marketing to business administration and beauty therapy, you will find Apprentices virtually anywhere. From multi-national organisations to small local companies and everywhere in-between. Already, more than 130,000 employers offer Apprenticeships.

There are three types of Apprenticeships:

1. Intermediate Level Apprenticeship

Apprentices work towards recognised occupational skills, knowledge and behaviours and, in some cases, a relevant knowledge based qualification such as a BTEC. They also improve their skills in Maths, English and Digital at the appropriate level. These provide the skills apprentices need for their chosen career and allow entry to an Advanced Level Apprenticeship. It can take anything up to 2 years to achieve and no less than 12 months. 

2. Advanced Level Apprenticeship

Advanced apprentices also work towards recognised occupational skills, knowledge and behaviours and, in some cases, a relevant knowledge based qualification such as a BTEC, but at a higher level. They also improve their skills in Maths, English and Digital at the appropriate level. To start this programme, apprentices should ideally have five GCSEs (grade 4 or above) or have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship. Usually a 2-3 year programme. 

3. Higher and Degree Apprenticeship

Higher and degree level apprentices work towards nationally recognised qualifications (or degrees) from level 4 to 7. These can take anywhere between 2 and 6 years to achieve dependent on the level.


All apprenticeship programmes are known as ‘Standards’ and will require an apprentice to work towards a set of skills, knowledge and behaviours before undertaking an end-point assessment in order to achieve their apprenticeship and progression on to the next level.

As an Apprentice you will:

  • Earn a wage from day one.
  • Get paid holidays.
  • Get your foot on the career ladder.
  • Receive training and gain qualifications.
  • Potentially progress to degree level or into full time employment.

People with an Advanced Level Apprenticeship earn on average over £100,000 more over the course of their career, than those without.

What is the 'Apprenticeship Service?

Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of the Apprenticeship, the Apprentices’ ability and the industry sector.

An Apprenticeship is a set of skills, knowledge and behaviours, , called a ‘standard’ and they will need to complete all parts to achieve their Apprenticeship.

Maths and English are an integral part of any career, regardless of the sector worked in and if the individual hasn’t already achieved the required level GCSE grade 4 or above they will work towards and complete ‘Function Skills’ in Maths and/ or English.

To apply for an Apprenticeship you can:

Taking on an Apprentice has a huge range of benefits for your business. But don’t just take our word for it, as the facts speak for themselves.

  • 80% of companies who invest in Apprentices have reported a significant increase in employee retention.
  • 77% of employers believe Apprenticeships make them more competitive.
  • 76% of those employers who employ Apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive.
  • 81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on Apprentices.
  • 92% of employers who employ Apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
  • 83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their Apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future.

*National Apprenticeship Service data

In the below video, Apprenticeships – Our 2020 Vision, the National Apprenticeship Service outlined its plans to get more people to recognise the value of the vocational training route.

Aiming to increase the opportunities for all and therefore further increase the number of apprenticeships. 

Back in 2017 the National Apprenticeship Service and Government had a vision……….


“Our vision for the future is to encourage individuals to get involved in this high-quality path to a successful career, by providing training in a professional or technical route, from work placements, traineeships and apprenticeships right up to degree level, with opportunities suitable for every young person and every employer,” the NAS says in the film.


As part of the Government’s apprenticeship reform programme all Apprenticeship Frameworks will be phased out and as from the 31st August 2020 all apprentices starting their apprenticeship will be undertaking an apprenticeship ‘standard, only legacy learners will be on a framework, allowing them to complete their apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeships Standards are focused on quality learning with a single End Point Assessment, and are developed by the employers and industry experts, in conjunction with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Employer and Apprentice Case Studies