Do you want to start your career and earn some money at the same time? An apprenticeship might be what you are looking for, and you can also work towards a nationally recognised qualification.
As an apprentice, you’ll spend most of your time in the workplace, working alongside experienced staff. You’ll build up knowledge and skills through on-the-job training.
The rest of your training is likely to take place at a local college or a specialist training organisation. This 'off-the-job' training can be carried out on day release or over a number of days in a block. The amount of time you’ll spend will depend on the job sector you’re working for. It could be anything from one day every other fortnight to two days every week.
Your employment will be for at least 30 hours per week. There may be a small number of circumstances where the learner cannot complete the full 30 hours. In these cases employment will be for more than 16 hours per week.
Apprenticeships are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for work-based training. There are three levels of apprenticeships available.
Intermediate level Apprenticeships
Intermediate Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 2 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification.
Advanced level Apprenticeships
Advanced Apprentices work towards work-based learning such as a Level 3 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification.
Higher level Apprenticeships
Higher Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 4 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation Degree.
Apprentices do real jobs for real employers – so you earn while you learn. The minimum salary is £2.65 per hour. However, many apprentices earn much more.
Like most other employees, employed apprentices get at least 20 days paid holiday per year. This is on top of bank holidays.
How can I get started?
You can search and apply for an apprenticeship online at the Apprenticeships website.
On the home page click on ‘Search Vacancies’, then you will need to register as a new user to log in. There is a help link on the left hand side if you need some support.
Don't worry if you don't find something straight away: once you have registered, you can use the 'my alerts' link to receive handy text or email alerts when new vacancies are listed.
Apprenticeships in Sussex make searching easier by only listing the vacancies available in Sussex.
Local apprenticeship vacancies are also advertised on the Brighton and Hove Jobs website.
To increase your chances of success it's worth thinking about:
- getting work experience (often this can lead to an apprenticeship with the same employer)
- using any contacts you have to identify a job that could support an apprenticeship
- sending out your CV to potential employers.
When you get an interview it's important to show that you are enthusiastic and committed and that you can work in a team while at the same time act on your own initiative.
Remember: apprenticeships can start whenever the employers want - you don't have to wait until September.
Here is what the apprentices themselves have to say:
Lizzie is a trainee youth worker for East Sussex County Council.
Get some hints and tips for applying for Apprenticeships from some local employers and apprentices.