Sectors and qualifications

Apprenticeships are available in all job sectors with lots of new apprenticeships being developed in professional areas such as law, finance, nursing and even in nuclear engineering. Many large national companies such as the BBC, Airbus and BMW also recruit apprentices at all levels.

What qualifications will you get?

An apprenticeship is a set of separate qualifications, called a ‘framework’ or a 'standard' and you will need to complete all parts to achieve your apprenticeship.

  1. The technical certificate demonstrates achievement of the technical skills, knowledge and understanding related to the wider industry.
  2. A range of transferable skills (either Key Skills or Functional Skills) including English, Maths, ICT, and personal learning and thinking skills such as working with others, improving own learning and problem solving. If you have already achieved GCSEs in English, Maths and/or ICT you might be able to use these to count towards the achievement of your apprenticeship.    
  3. The competency qualification (often an NVQ) shows you can perform well in your job or profession.
  4. Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) demonstrate that you know and understand areas such as employment related legislation and Health & Safety.

What level apprenticeship could you study?

There are different levels of apprenticeship available. The level you start at will depend on your current qualifications and the opportunities available in the sector you are interested in.

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship (equivalent to five good GCSE passes): Provides you with the skills and qualifications for your chosen career. You could progress to an Advanced Apprenticeship.
  • Advanced Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A Level passes): To start this programme, you should have at least five good GCSEs (grade A*-C (9-4 in new grading)) or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. This will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need for your career and allow you to apply for an Higher Apprenticeship or degree level qualification.
  • Higher Apprenticeships (equivalent to a Foundation Degree which could be topped up to an Honours Degree): To start this programme, you should have a Level 3 qualification like A Levels or a BTEC or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship.
  • Degree Apprenticeships are a fairly new government development. Apprentices will split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree from an university while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession. Find out more.

Which ones are available and how to find one?

There are 100s of types apprenticeships in a variety of sectors ranging from accountancy and engineering to veterinary nursing to floristry.

Use this tool to find whether there is an approved apprenticeships available in the job area you are interested in. You can also see what qualification level they are available in. 

Remember, even if there is an approved apprenticeship available you still have to find a vacancy. You can look at current vacancies in the Careerpilot course search.

Go here to register on the site where you can request email alerts and search for vacancies.


For young people who do not have relevant qualifications

Traineeships are ideal if you are motivated to get a job but lack the skills and experience that employers are looking for. If you have been unsuccessfully applying for apprenticeships due to a lack of skills and experience then you might be a good candidate for a Traineeship. 

Traineeships provide help and support for young people aged 16-23 who need that little extra boost in moving into employment as an apprentice.

For more information have a look at the 'Traineeship' section.

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