National Apprenticeship Week 2024: Everything You Need To Know About Becoming An Apprentice


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There are lots of different study options out there after completing your GCSE’s, or for further study as an adult - with apprenticeships being one of them.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to gain real-world experience within an industry of your choosing and are a great option for those who feel like they are ready to enter the workforce or are looking for a career switch.

If you’re considering an apprenticeship, read on to find out everything you need to know…


Apprenticeships are an exciting option - you get hands-on training and also the chance to put your skills into practice.

Apprenticeships are real jobs - with plenty of hands-on experience, a salary and the chance to gain your qualifications - all while getting that real-world work experience you’ll need for your next step. An apprenticeship is one way to gain practical work experience, with the option to learn while you earn. 80% of your time will be spent in the workplace and 20% of your time in training.

The idea is to boost your skills in a real life environment whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification at the same time. You’ll learn in either a college, university, or through an external training provider to help boost your skills. Ultimately, you’ll be working in a real job, with an employment contract and holiday allowance - and also be getting paid! By the end of an apprenticeship, you'll have the right skills and knowledge - along with a qualification - needed to embark on and progress in your chosen career.


Earn as You Learn: Apprentices are employees too, which means you’ll get a salary while gaining work experience.

Get Hands-On Experience: An apprenticeship will provide you with first-hand practical experience in your chosen industry, and build your confidence, skills and work abilities. You’ll learn all the up-to-date skills needed to be successful in your chosen industry.

Nationally Recognised Training: You’ll get training that’s recognised and valued by employers - also helping you to develop and improve your employability skills.

Gain a Nationally Recognised Qualification: Once you have completed your apprenticeship, you will have gained valuable qualification that is relevant to the job you want to do. And what’s more, it will be recognised and accepted by universities, other education providers and businesses.

No Student Debt: You won’t pay tuition fees, so there’s no student debt to worry about. You’re entitled to student discounts too!

Guidance and Support: Throughout your apprenticeship, you will benefit from the support and encouragement of your employer and colleagues, along with your course tutor/mentor here at Hull College to ensure that you complete your apprenticeship successfully.

Get Ahead in Your Career: You can improve your career prospects by gaining a recognised credential and a network of contacts in your chosen industry.


Anyone in England aged 16 years old and above. From school leavers, to people who would like to upskill in their current roles and those who would like a complete career change - there is no upper age limit. In most cases there are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship however, some employers and training providers may ask for GCSEs (A-C) in English, maths and science for higher level apprenticeships.


There are different rates of pay for apprentices depending on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you’re in. Your employment contract should confirm your rate of pay.

Aged 16 to 18

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £5.28 per hour. This will go up to £6.40 in April 2024.

Aged 19 or over and in your first year

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £5.28 per hour. This will go up to £6.40 in April 2024.

Aged 19 or over and have completed your first year

You’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for your age.


Each apprenticeship has a level and an equivalent education level. You can start an apprenticeship at any level. At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent education level. For example, if you complete a level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent of an A Level.

There are four apprenticeship levels and each one has an equivalent education level:

Level 2

These apprenticeships provide basic knowledge and skills for specific jobs and are equal to GCSEs.

Level 3

These apprenticeships offer more specialised knowledge and skills and are equal to A levels.

Levels 4 to 7

These apprenticeships focus on higher-level professional skills and can be equal to a foundation degree, a Higher National Certificate (HNC), or a Higher National Diploma (HND).

Levels 6 to 7

These apprenticeships lead to either a full bachelor's or master's degree. Some apprenticeships require certain qualifications, for example GCSE English and maths. You may be given extra training to meet these qualifications. You may also have to meet academic requirements to apply for a higher or degree apprenticeship.

When you complete your apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent education level. For example, if you complete a level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent of an A level.


It can take between one and six years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which one you choose, what level it is, your previous experience and the industry sector. As a guide, an Intermediate Level 2 apprenticeship usually takes around 12 to 18 months and an advanced Level 3 apprenticeship around 24 months.


It is up to you what you do when you have finished your apprenticeship. Research has shown that apprenticeships boost productively, retention and overall business performance, so more and more employers are now looking to grow their businesses both through taking on apprentices and hiring former apprentices. Plus, over 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their course ends. That’s a great statistic and shows how valued their qualifications and experience are. Alternatively, you may also decide to apply for university.


Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a job, which means you will have to go through an application process. Don’t worry though, we have a dedicated Apprenticeship team on hand ready to help!

You can browse our current apprenticeship vacancies on our website here.

For more information about Apprenticeships, to search for a vacancy or to speak to someone from our Apprenticeships team for any further help or advice, you can email us at or give us a call on 0300 330 2010.

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