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Sectors and qualifications

Most people know about apprenticeships in trades like building or hairdressing, but apprenticeships are available in a wide range of non-trade sectors.

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There are over 250 types of apprenticeship in a variety of sectors ranging from accountancy and engineering to veterinary nursing and floristry. Employers offering apprenticeships range from large national companies such as Sainsbury’s and BMW to smaller local companies.

Why not explore some of the sectors offering apprenticeships?

What qualifications will I gain?

An apprenticeship is a set of separate but related qualifications, called a ‘framework’. You need to complete all elements to achieve your apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship framework
  • The technical certificate demonstrates achievement of the technical skills, knowledge and understanding related to the wider industry.
  • Transferable skills (Key Skills or Functional Skills) including English, maths, ICT, working with others, improving own learning and problem solving provide evidence of your general and working knowledge. If you have already achieved GCSEs in English, maths and/or ICT you might be able to  use these to count towards the achievement of your apprenticeship.    
  • The competency qualification (often an NVQ but coiuld be a HNC/HND or Foundation Degree) shows you can perform well in your job role.
  • Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) demonstrate that you know and understand areas such as employment related legislation and Health & Safety.

Qualifications and training

Your learning will be rewarded as you achieve, as you will receive a separate certificate for each qualification as well as receiving your apprenticeship once you have achieved all components.

Your learning provider will help to coordinate your apprenticeship and help you develop your skills and knowledge, while your employer provides the practical experience to put those skills to the test. Training can be classroom based, in a workshop or in a workplace, depending on the subject and on the learning provider.

What level of apprenticeship can I study?

There are different levels of apprenticeship available, the level you start at will depend on your current qualifications and the opportunities available in the sector you are interested in.

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship is equivalent to five good GCSE passes. Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC. These provide the skills required for your chosen career and could enable progression to an Advanced Apprenticeship.
  • Advanced Apprenticeships is equivalent to two A-level passes. To start this programme, you should ideally have five GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. This apprenticeship will provide you with the advanced skills and qualifications you need for your career. Advanced apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based certificate such as a BTEC. You are likely to gain UCAS tarriff points which will allow you to consider progressing to a Higher Apprenticeship or degree level qualification. 

  • Higher Apprenticeships (equivalent to a Foundation Degree) to start this programme, you should have a Level 3 qualification like A Levels or a BTEC or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship.

  • New Degree Apprenticieships are a new government development. Apprentices will split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree from a top university while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession. Find out more

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