Get or move on from an apprenticeship

The right apprenticeship level for you

Apprenticeships are available from Levels 2-7. The level you start at depends on a number of factors including your existing qualifications and the sector.

The different levels of apprenticeship

  • Intermediate/Level 2 Apprenticeships are roughly equivalent to five GCSEs at grades 9-4/A*-C (or equivalent). 
  • Advanced/Level 3 Apprenticeships are equivalent to two A level passes and may include a BTEC or other vocational qualification.
  • Higher Apprenticeships are at Levels 4 and above and can incorporate an HNC, Foundation Degree or Honours Degree, for example. 
  • Degree Apprenticeships are at Levels 6 or 7 – the qualification is either a bachelor’s or master’s qualification.

Typical entry requirements

The level of apprenticeship suitable for you depends on your current qualifications and experience, the requirements for the role, and the opportunities available in the sector. 

Employers decide what qualifications, if any, are appropriate for entry so there are no set entry requirements. However, they will want to ensure that you can cope with the level of work. Some employers are more interested in your enthusiasm, motivation and aptitude rather than your academic qualifications, so anything that demonstrates your interest in the sector will help.

You may be able to progress from one level of apprenticeship to another. In fact, if you need to build up your occupational knowledge and skills, or if there’s a lot of competition for apprenticeships at a higher level, you should be prepared to start on an apprenticeship at a lower level and work your way up. 

  • Intermediate/Level 2 Apprenticeships – you are likely to need a few GCSEs (or equivalent) for entry.
  • Advanced/Level 3 Apprenticeships – you usually need at least five GCSEs at grade 4/C or above (or equivalent) including English and maths. 
  • Higher and Degree Apprenticeships – you normally need a level 3 qualification (e.g. A levels or a BTEC National) plus supporting GCSEs (or equivalent). Some employers ask for a certain number of UCAS Tariff points.

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