Thinking about your training or work options and not sure what to do next? Are you 16 or older and about to leave school, college or university? Or are you currently working or unemployed and looking for something new?
If so, an apprenticeship or a traineeship could be for you. You’ll gain valuable hands-on work experience and the chance to develop the skills employers want across a range of different industries.
An apprenticeship is a real job, with a salary where you earn while you learn. You’ll be like everyone else, with a contract of employment and holiday leave.
As an apprentice you spend some of your time in off-the-job training, often at a college, university or with a local training provider. By the end of an apprenticeship, you’ll have the right skills and knowledge needed for your chosen career or next steps.
There are thousands of apprenticeship vacancies to choose from and some include a qualification, such as a degree.
There are opportunities in many different industries, with large and small employers.
To be an Apprentice you must
- be 16 or over
- not be in full-time education
You can take on an apprenticeship whether you’re starting out in your career, changing roles or you’re upskilling in your current job. You can also apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school, but you’ll need to be 16 or over and have finished your year 11 exams before you start the apprenticeship.
Career Starter Apprenticeships
There are plenty of apprenticeships perfectly suited to a young person leaving full-time education. View Career Starter Apprenticeships to see some of these opportunities.
If you cannot find a Career Starter Apprenticeship that you like, you can search all apprenticeships as most apprenticeships are excellent first steps to take after you leave school.
TRAINEESHIPS (England only)
A traineeship is a work-based skills development programme available for young people in England that gets you ready for a job or an apprenticeship. Traineeships combine a mix of classroom-based learning with a work experience placement in a real workplace. It can last from 6 weeks up to a year, though most traineeships last for less than 6 months.
Trainees gain a wide variety of skills, personal development and occupational training including support to find and apply for a job, CV building, and interview skills. You will also get help with English, maths and basic digital skills (if you need it). Supported by a team of experts, you’ll receive personalised careers advice to help you feel confident to make your next step into the world of work.
You can apply if you’re:
- eligible to work in England
- about to leave school or college, or unemployed and have little or no work experience
- aged 16 to 24 and qualified up to and including Level 3 (equivalent to A Level)
- or aged 25 with an education, Health and Care Plan
Other routes into skilled employment
T Levels (England only)
Thinking about what to do after GCSEs? T Levels are technical qualifications you can choose as an alternative to A levels, other post-16 courses or an apprenticeship. One T Level takes 2 years of full-time study and is equivalent to 3 A levels. There are currently ten T Level courses you can apply for at selected schools and colleges in England. More T Levels will be coming soon, with more than 20 subjects available in the future, covering everything from agriculture, to catering, engineering and science.
T Levels bring classroom learning and an extended industry placement together on a course that has been co-designed with employers so you can be confident the skills you learn will help you get a job.
You’ll spend 80% of your time in the classroom and 20% on an industry placement with an employer so you get to learn the skills and knowledge that companies look for.
T Levels will also allow you to progress onto higher level apprenticeships or further study such as university.
To learn more about and to search for T Levels in your area visit the T Levels website.