In this month’s column, we focus on what it takes to be an apprentice and the benefits it brings to young people looking for employment.
What’s an apprenticeship?
It is a genuine job and employment will commence from day one. Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. An apprentice will work alongside experienced staff, gain job-specific skills, earn a wage and be given time for study related to their role (the equivalent of one day a week).
If you are successful in your application, you will earn a real wage, be trained in the skills employers want and perfectly set yourself up for the future.
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.
Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16 living in England and have no upper age limit.
The National Apprenticeship Service is committed to ensuring that high-quality apprenticeships are a prestigious option and accessible to everyone.
All vacancies on Find an Apprenticeship clearly state what the entry requirements are for the job being advertised. There will be different entry requirements depending on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level.
Recent changes to the minimum English and Maths requirements mean that people with a learning difficulty or disability can access a level 2 intermediate apprenticeship as long as they can achieve an entry level 3 qualification during their apprenticeship. A Disability Confident Employer will generally offer an interview to any applicant that declares they have a disability and meets the minimum criteria for the job as defined by the employer.
All apprenticeships include elements of on and off the job training leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships also require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice`s ability and competence in their job role.
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices is £3.90 per hour from April 2019.
The apprentice NMW applies to apprentices aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.
Apprentices aged 25 and over, and not in the first year of their apprenticeship, will be entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
More details on salaries and entry criteria in specific apprenticeship occupations can be found on GOV.UK. Search ‘apprenticeships’