An apprenticeship is a work placement that provides paid practical on-the-job training, sometimes in combination with classroom-based study, to give people a first step into a career. Traditional apprenticeships involve learning a craft with a skilled practitioner, while modern apprenticeships typically permit school leavers to develop academic qualifications while being trained in a profession. Apprentices usually attend formal training, often at a college, university or training organisation, to gain a related qualification.

In the UK, apprenticeships are available to anyone who is over 16 and not in full-time education. There are three levels of apprenticeship, with different levels of educational equivalence:

• Foundation Apprenticeship (equivalent to 5 GCSE passes): provides them with the skills and qualifications for their chosen career and allow entry (if desired) to an Advanced Apprenticeship.
• Advanced Apprenticeship (equivalent to 2 A-level passes): to start this programme, some industries will require three or more GCSEs and some may want more, whereas other employers don’t specify any formal qualifications. Some may ask for previous experience in the industry or for apprentice to have completed an Foundation Apprenticeship.
• Higher Apprenticeship (which can lead to NVQ level 4 and above, or a foundation degree): Entry requirements can include at least five GCSEs grades A – C, and Level 3 qualifications, including A levels, NVQ/SVQ Level 3, or a BTEC National. Some will expect or require applicants to have subjects related to the particular apprenticeship to start this programme, you should have a Level 3 qualification (A-Levels, Advanced Diploma or International Baccalaureate) or for you to have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Every apprentice follows an approved programme of study, designed for the job they’re training for. Employers decide the structure of training, however, apprenticeships generally combine:

• a detailed training plan
• regular progress reviews
• practical training on the job
• theoretical study at a college
• assessment testing at a training facility
• mentoring and support throughout your apprenticeship
• By the end of the course, you should’ve gained the qualifications, skills and experience required by potential employers within the field.

The main benefit of doing an apprenticeship is the opportunity to learn the skills needed for a career, but there also many other benefits:

• Gain a range of qualifications while working
• Apprentices earn a wage
• Training and work experience in the same time
• Apprenticeships lead to recognized qualifications – and qualifications lead to further opportunities.
• Excellent career progression
• It will Increase apprentices’ confidence
• Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to learn actionable skills – apprentices don’t learn how to do things theoretically, they practice actually doing them.

Benefits for the employer

• Develop company’s own talent
• Make hiring Simpler and Cheaper
• Boost employee retention
• Increase in staff loyalty
• Increased productivity
• Make a positive return on investment collapse