The following information has been provided by the Apprenticeship Guide.

Apprenticeships Explained

First of all, a little bit of history. Apprenticeships date back to the Middle Ages and the medieval craft guilds of that time. Picture groups of tradesmen or craftsmen banding together to ensure high standards of quality (they also came together for other reasons, but those are not important here). They were carpenters, painters and cloth makers, who took on apprentices to ‘pass on’ their skills and experience.

Since then, the world – and education, training and employment – have changed, and so too have apprenticeships. Today, they provide an alternative path to education while ensuring that professions and industries have the skilled workers they need.

In this century, apprenticeships have been embraced as a viable alternative to university, and the modern apprenticeship is accessible, flexible and a boon for both young people and employers.

The Basics

An apprenticeship, which must last for a minimum of 12 months, combines hands-on work with the opportunity to train and obtain qualifications. It is also a paid position, so you earn while you learn. At least 20% of your time is set aside for learning, usually at a college, university or training provider.

The rest of your time is spent applying your knowledge and skills in the actual workplace, doing the job that you set out to get. At the end of it, you will gain official certification, which will be equivalent to traditional qualifications. Apprenticeship levels are set and equivalent to as follows:

  • 2 (Intermediate): GCSEs
  • 3 (Advanced): A-levels
  • 4 (Higher): foundation degree
  • 5 (Higher): foundation degree/first year of bachelor’s degree
  • 6 (Degree): bachelor’s degree
  • 7 (Degree): master’s degree

It is important to note that there are caveats. Apprenticeships are designed to be flexible, so, for example, an employer may offer a level 6 or 7 apprenticeship, considered to be at the higher level, without giving you the option of getting an actual degree qualification, while others will.

It is essential that you check before applying – the qualifications on offer and the level at which you will train will be made explicit, so you will be able to decide if you are happy to undertake an apprenticeship at the degree level without the prospect of being awarded one at the end of it.

Many intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships will also give you the opportunity to obtain qualifications such as diplomas in relevant areas.

There is no maximum age limit for an apprenticeship, but they are for those aged 16 or over, living in England and not in full-time education.

Added Benefits

As an apprentice, you will earn a wage.

These rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age). The rates change on 1 April every year.

23 and over 21 to 22 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2023 £10.42 £10.18 £7.49 £5.28 £5.28

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they are either aged under 19 or over 19 in the first year of their apprenticeship. After their first year they are entitled to NMW.

You will also be entitled to the statutory minimum of 28 days of paid holiday per year.

Resources for Parents/Carers

“The Parent Perspective” is a podcast series for parents and carers, helping them to support their children with careers advice and guidance.

This podcast provides a space for listeners to:

  • Explore which careers are available today
  • Showcase the experiences of interesting and diverse role models
  • Provide real-time insights into how the world of work is changing

…all through a parents’ perspective.

Each episode features a panel of diverse parents, bringing their questions and insights to expert speakers to try to tackle and offer practical solutions to some of the challenges parents currently face in supporting their children to make informed decisions.

Listen here:

Apprenticeship – Hints and Tips for Parents and Carers

Resources for students

Application Process Explained

There are lots of ways to stand out in the application process and ultimately, employers are looking for the candidates who are most passionate and suited to their organisation.

This guide will help you to prepare for the application process and be ready to show you are the right person for the role you want.

Your step by step guide to applying for an apprenticeship

Covering Letters

You should always include a covering letter when you send your CV and/or an application form to an employer to show interest and to stand out from those who simply send a CV.

This quick guide sets out what you should include in a covering letter.

How to write a covering letter

CV Writing Tips

Creating your first student CV is an opportunity to begin to think about how you might fit within the job market. It is a chance to consider what your skills are and how you can put them to good use. When you are first starting out, the first step to take is to search for examples of student CVs. Here, you can see what skills, experience and qualifications you have that align with these examples. These student CV examples also indicate what works when applying for jobs. You can also get an idea of what prospective employers want to see.

These top tips are important for creating a professional student CV:

Maximise layout

To make sure that your CV is easy to read, you need to choose a straightforward format that the employer can refer to without needing too much time. Ensure that the sections in your professional student CV are visibly marked and the most important information is listed first.

Use keywords

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are used by employers to review candidate applications more efficiently. They use keywords in the job description and match that to your CV. Therefore, CVs with minimal keywords may not rank highly. So, it is worth trying to research ATS to process your CV before sending it to the prospective employer.

Add professional contact details

As a student, it is important that employers take you seriously. So, make sure that your email address is professional and that you include both your first and last names.

Read the job description

An important aspect before starting to write your professional student CV is to read the job description to note the prevalent keywords and phrases. Also, research the company and note its values and goals. When you tailor your CV with this information in mind, it indicates that you have taken the time to study the position. It also shows that you are genuinely interested in the company. You will need to edit your CV for each application you send. It is not necessary to completely rewrite the CV, but you should adapt it for each role.

Remember unpaid experience

You should include any type of experience which is valuable to the role, whether this is paid or unpaid.

How do I write a CV

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