Parental Guide to Apprenticeships

As a parent you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. There are many options available to young people after they leave school, and in this guide we outline information and benefits about apprenticeships as a key route into a successful career.

What’s an Apprenticeship?

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

What are the benefits?

Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond. Over 50 national universities are currently offering a range of degree apprenticeships with more to be confirmed throughout the year.

  • Earning a salary and paid holiday
  • Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb theranks within the workplace
  • Increased future earning potential - apprentices enjoy marked salary increases onfinishing their training and those completing a higher apprenticeship could seeincreased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.*

What levels are there?

There are various levels of apprenticeship to apply for depending on current skills andqualifications. Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

  • Intermediate Level 2: Equivalent to 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C
  • Advanced Level 3: Equivalent to 2 A level passes
  • Higher Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7: Equivalent to Foundation degree and above
  • Degree Levels 6 and 7: Equivalent to Bachelor’s or master’s degree

All apprenticeships include elements of on the job and off the job training leadingto industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships will requirean assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice`s ability andcompetence in their job role.

How do you apply?

At any one time there are up to 28,000 apprenticeship vacancies available online in avariety of careers and industries across England. Visit You can search by keyword (job role, occupation type or apprenticeship level) and by location.

Once the right job comes up, your son or daughter can simply register on the website and follow the step by step instructions to apply for the role.

The apprenticeships YouTube channel has useful hints and tips on applying plus other videos onapprenticeships, visit YouTube and search apprenticeships/NAS.

If they are not quite ready for an apprenticeship or job, they could try a traineeship with a local employer to gain valuable work experience and the opportunity to improve their English and Maths, if needed. Visit for more information or to apply for traineeship opportunities.


The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.50** per hour, but many employers pay more than this. This is 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 accessed by looking at the vacancies on ‘Find an apprenticeship’.

Entry Requirements

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job.

Some apprenticeship vacancies will display the `Positive about disabled` logo meaning the employer has agreed to take action to meet five commitments regarding the employment, retention, training and career development of disabled employees. Any disabled candidate applying for vacancies showing this logo will be guaranteed an interview as long as they meet the requirements for the job being applied for.***

School leaving age

The government has stated that all young people must stay in some form of education or training until at least their 18th birthday. This does not necessarily mean staying in school, young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post 16, which could be through an apprenticeship or traineeship.

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