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Apprentice working with 3D printer

An apprenticeship is a real job with the opportunity to earn while you learn and gain experience.

The names of apprenticeships can vary according to the level of qualification achievable on them, and whether they are available in England and Wales and in Scotland.

The offer:

  • An apprentice works towards qualifications in one of a wide range of professions and trades, so you could finish with accredited qualifications from Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE) up to Level 7 (equivalent to a Masters degree)

Available to:

  • People aged 16 or older
  • There is no upper age limit, so apprenticeships can suit people at any stage of their working lives
  • Apprenticeships are one of the returnership opportunities also open to people aged 50 plus in England. Returnerships bring together training, skills, and support opportunities for people over 50 and looking to return to work

 Time and course type:

  • Apprenticeships last for one to five years, depending on the subject, level and your experience
  • You can expect to spend 80% of your time in on-the-job training and work experience, and 20% in classroom-based study, often at a college, university or training provider
  • There are opportunities in many different industries, and with large and small employers


  • Free to you. Your employer pays your wage, and your training and education are funded by the government and your employer.

Further information:

Find out more about apprenticeships (external website) and browse what’s available near you.

The sorts of apprenticeships available to you could depend on whether you live in England, Scotland or Wales. For example, there are graduate, foundation and modern apprenticeships in Scotland, accelerated apprenticeships in England and degree apprenticeships in Wales and England.

Find out more about apprenticeships in:

England (external website)

Scotland (external website)

Wales (external website)