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Become an Apprentice

You can start an apprenticeship whether you’re starting your career, want a change or you're upskilling in your current job. You can have a previous qualification like a degree and still start an apprenticeship.

To become an apprentice, you must be 16 or over, not already be in full-time education and live in England.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are an exciting option - a real job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You’re an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave. By the end of an apprenticeship, you'll have the right skills and knowledge needed for your chosen career.

It can take between one and 6 years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which one you choose, what level it is and your previous experience. It’s funded from contributions made by the government and your employer.

Ella tells her apprenticeship story

Levels of an apprenticeship

Each apprenticeship has a level and an equivalent education level. You can start an apprenticeship at any level.

Depending on the level, some apprenticeships may require previous qualifications such as an English or maths GCSE or give extra training in the English or maths skills needed so you’re at the right level.


At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent education level. For example, if you complete a level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent of an A level.

Apprenticeship Level                    Equivalent education level

Intermediate                                    2                                       GCSE

Advanced                                        3                                       A level

Higher                                    4,5,6 and 7                                 Foundation degree and above

Degree                                       6 and 7                                   Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Sarah shares her apprenticeship story - NHS

Higher and degree apprenticeships

Apprenticeships offer a valid alternative to university, with the qualifications to match. If you choose a degree apprenticeship, you still get to graduate with your cap and gown, along with several years of work experience under your belt.

Annie from the NHS explains how apprentices have been a success for Cromer Hospital

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