What is an Apprenticeship?

This information is designed for use by apprentices. If you are a union rep, see our Information and resources for union reps.

Apprenticeships provide the chance to 'earn and learn' in a wide range of jobs and sectors and give you the chance to develop skills, experience and qualifications. Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of Apprenticeship and the industry sector.

Apprenticeships are more than just a qualification, they are an excellent way for the apprentice to gain workplace experience, understand how a business works, improve personal and social skills, and start out on their career.

Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16 years old – whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. You just need to be living in England and not taking part in full-time education.

Levels of Apprenticeship

There are more than 200 different types of Apprenticeships suitable for over 1,200 job roles, from engineering apprenticeships to financial advice, veterinary nursing to accountancy. There are currently three different levels of Apprenticeship:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 2)
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 3)
  • Higher Apprenticeships (NVQ Level 4 and above)


Next: What do Apprenticeships offer?

See also: How much do apprentices get paid?