Employers should be clear about what level of Apprenticeship is being offered and the prospects of progression that may be available. There are three levels of Apprenticeship available for those aged 16 and over:
An Intermediate Apprenticeship is equivalent to five good GCSE passes. The apprentice works towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC. These provide the skills required for the apprentice’s chosen career and allow entry to an Advanced Apprenticeship.
An Advanced Apprenticeship is equivalent to two A-level passes. Advanced apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based certificate such as a BTEC. To start this programme, the applicant should ideally have five GCSEs at grade C or above or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship.
Higher apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation degree. New Higher Apprenticeship frameworks were developed as part of the Higher Apprenticeship Development Fund. Apprentices can also progress to higher education, including university degrees.
Levels of qualification
Level 2 (Intermediate Apprenticeships) can include:
- GCSEs grades A*–C
- BTEC First Diplomas and Certificates
- OCR Nationals
- Key Skills Level 2
- NVQs at Level 2
Level 3 (Advanced Apprenticeships) can include:
- A Levels
- Advanced Extension Awards
- GCE in applied subjects
- International Baccalaureate
- Key Skills Level 3
- NVQs at Level 3
- BTEC Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
- BTEC Nationals
- OCR Nationals
Level 4+ (Higher Apprenticeships) can include:
- NVQs at Level 4
- BTEC Professional Diplomas, Certificates and Awards
- Foundation degrees
- Honours Degrees and more
Apprentices at all levels earn a wage.
Next: Pay for apprentices