Apprenticeships are for all, from 16 to 65, and they offer individuals of all ages the chance to develop skills that will make them more employable in the long-term
Becoming an apprentice
Whether you're just starting out, upskilling, or looking for a career change - there's an apprenticeship for everyone. An apprenticeship is a real job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You're an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave. To start an apprenticeship, you need to be 16 or over and there is no upper age limit.
To start an apprenticeship, you’ll need to:
- be 16 or over
- live in England
- not be in full-time education
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.
An apprenticeship is a job where you’ll:
- earn a wage and get holiday pay
- work alongside experienced staff
- gain job-specific skills
- get time for training and study related to your role
The training might be at your place of work, a college, a training provider or online.
You’ll earn a qualification from your apprenticeship.
The 4 different apprenticeship levels are:
- intermediate: level 2 – Equivalent to 5 GCSE passes
- advanced: level 3 – Equivalent to 2 A-level passes
- higher: level 4 or 5 – Equivalent to a foundation degree and above
- degree: level 6 or 7 – Equivalent to a bachelor’s or a master’s degree
During your apprenticeship, you’ll be assessed to make sure you’re achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for your chosen apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships also include an assessment at the end of your apprenticeship to make sure you’re fully competent in your specific occupation.
Your end assessment, known as an EPA, is carried out by an independent organisation known as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO). It usually includes a practical demonstration of your skills as well as a discussion with an assessor that demonstrates your learning and your ability to do your chosen occupation.
Your employer or training provider will tell you what to expect and when the assessment will take place.
If you pass the assessment, you’ll receive a certificate, meaning you have completed your apprenticeship successfully. Depending on the apprenticeship you are doing, you may also receive a qualification.
Wages will vary and are dependent on the employer, the sector and level of apprenticeship and also the location. The minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.30 per hour. This rate applies to those under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year of an apprenticeship. Apprentices aged 19 or over, and those who have completed their first year, must be paid at least the minimum wage for their age.
Apprenticeships are advertised all year round, so it's possible to apply for an apprenticeship at any time during the year. Some employment sectors can recruit at certain times of the year, so speak with a local training provider for advice about the sector you’re interested in.
You can browse apprenticeships before you apply on apprenticeships.gov.uk
And search apprenticeships in East Sussex on this website.