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What is an Apprenticeship?

It’s a real job, with real training, meaning you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally recognised qualification.

To get your career started you usually need a combination of experience and qualifications. An Apprenticeship gives you both by combining on the job training with study (usually one day a week) meaning you can earn while you learn. With some Apprenticeships you can now study at Degree Level too, meaning you can get a degree, whilst earning and not racking up debt via tuition fees.

It usually takes between one and four years to complete an Apprenticeship depending on which level you take. Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industries and many high quality, prestigious companies and organisations offer them.

What can I earn?

The minimum wage for apprentices is currently £3.50 per hour, but many employers pay more than this. Apprentices going into their second year of study will earn more, with those aged over 21 earning £7.05 per hour, and those aged U18 earning £4.05 per hour, however dependant on the sector, region and Apprenticeship level - e.g. some higher Apprenticeships pay up to £500 per week. More details on salaries and entry criteria in specific Apprenticeship occupations can be found on GOV.UK Become an apprentice.

What’s in it for me?

  • Earn a real wage
  • Be trained in the skills employers want
  • You are more likely to progress quicker and higher than a typical student
  • Learn at a pace that suits you and be supported by a mentor
  • Have a holiday and be paid while your away
  • Set yourself up for the future – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training, and those completing a higher Apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.

How do I find and apply for an apprenticeship?

There are many ways to find out about apprenticeship vacancies. Here’s our best advice. The main website is the National Apprenticeship Service where you can enter your postcode and how far you are prepared to travel. There’s a guide on the page to help you.

Some apprenticeship are advertised on job websites, some are advertised directly by training providers who represent employers. It’s not a perfect system and you need to search a few places to be sure you’ve looked for everything in your area. 

Information can also be found across Devon and Cornwall using the Training Provider Network. Contact Training Providers directly to discuss apprenticeships.