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A parent's 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 is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training which would allow your daughter or son to earn while they learn, whilst giving them a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and cover 1,500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from engineering to accountancy, public relations to veterinary nursing. Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond.

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 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

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.

Apprenticeship levels

There are various levels of apprenticeship you son on daughter could apply for depending on their current skills and qualifications. Apprenticeships have equivalent education levels:

Name Level Equivalent education level
Name: Intermediate Level: 2 Equivalent education level: 5 GCSE passes at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C)
Name: Advanced Level: 3 Equivalent education level: 2 A level passes
Name: Higher Level: 4, 5, 6 and 7 Equivalent education level: Foundation degree and above
Name: Degree Level: 6 and 7 Equivalent education level: 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.


The minimum wage for apprentices aged 16-18 and those aged 19 or over in their first year is £3.70 per hour, but many employers pay more than this. This is dependent on the sector, region and apprenticeship level, for example some higher apprenticeships can pay as much as £300 - £500 per week.

School leaving age

The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training.

If your child was born on or after 1 September 1997 they 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
  • Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
  • Full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training

Applying for an apprenticeship

We list all our current apprenticeship vacancies on our application portal.