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Apprenticeships - for parents

Earn while you learn! Apprenticeships are a great option for many young people

Parents Guide to Apprenticeships

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships have really changed over the years. Many people used to think they were just for those in trades, but there are now lots of different types of Apprenticeships in many industries from business skills and retail, to childcare, healthcare and dental.

An apprenticeship is a real job! An apprentice has employed status for a minimum of 30 hours per week with training which would allow them to earn while they learn, whilst gaining nationally recognised qualifications.

Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and are available in 1,500 occupations across 170 industries varying from construction to manufacturing through to IT and the creative and digital sectors.

Apprenticeship levels

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

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


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

Benefits of doing an apprenticeship

  -  Earning a salary;

  -  Training in the skills employers want;

  -  Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace;

  -  Increased future earning potential

  -  apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training, and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime;*

  -  Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor;

  -  Paid holiday;

  -  Potential to gain qualifications up to degree level funded without student debt!

Will they get a job at the end?

Gaining relevant skills, experience, qualifications and business etiquette in an industry setting is a great way to impress future employers. While there is no complete guarantee of a job after an apprenticeship, the figures are extremely encouraging. 90% of apprentices stay in employment, while 71% remain employed full time with the same company.

Those who start on level 2 programmes often progress onto Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships. Your son or daughter could start on the apprenticeship route as a school leaver, and learn to be a highly qualified and experienced professional within a few years.

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 and these will be discussed as part of the interview and selection for an Apprenticeship.


The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.50** per hour, but many employers pay more than this. This is dependent on the sector, region and apprenticeship level e.g. some higher apprenticeships can pay as much as £300 – £500 per week.

Applying for an apprenticeship

There are a number of ways to apply for an apprenticeship. BDC advertise all the current apprenticeship opportunities on our website so that they can be applied for by uploading a CV and answering a small set of questions.

Alternatively, visit and search ‘find an apprenticeship’. Search by keywords (job role, occupation type or apprenticeship level) and by location. Applications are made by creating an account and submitting details in their vacancy application form.

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