Thinking about doing an apprenticeship but not sure where to start? You're not alone! In this blog post, we're going to dive into the questions you've asked and clarify the most common questions about apprenticeships.

What is the age limit for apprenticeships?

There is no upper age limit to apply for an apprenticeship! However, you must be over 16 years old and not in full-time education.

Do apprentices have rights in employment? 

Absolutely, apprentices have the exact same rights as other employees. You are entitled to a contract of employment and a minimum of 20 days' leave each year plus bank holidays. In a full-time apprenticeship, you'll typically work about 30 hours each week, along with a day dedicated to studying. This study day can take place at your workplace, university, college, or online. Like any regular job, the specific hours will be agreed upon by you and your employer. In terms of salary, if you're 16 to 18, the minimum wage for apprentices is £5.28 per hour. If you're 19 or older and in your first year, you still get the apprentice rate of £5.28 per hour. However, after you’ve completed your first year, you're entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage for your age.

What advice would you give to adults wanting to apply for an apprenticeship with minimal qualifications?

There are often misconceptions that apprenticeships are only available to young people, when that is just not the case! There is no upper age limit on apprenticeships, nor qualification requirements for lower-level apprenticeship roles. It’s a good idea to start by exploring various apprenticeship opportunities that align with your interests, focusing on Intermediate Level 2 Apprenticeships and Advanced Level 3 Apprenticeships as they do not require extensive qualifications. Remember that apprenticeships prioritise hands-on experience, making them accessible for individuals with a genuine passion for learning and growth.


Can international students apply for apprenticeships?

Yes, you can apply for an apprenticeship as an international student, however you must be eligible to work in the UK and have the correct visa. It’s important to note that not every employer offers visa sponsorship, so be sure to check the eligibility criteria within a job advert.

When is the best time to apply for an apprenticeship?

You can apply for apprenticeships anytime during the year, just like regular jobs. There's no specific deadline to worry about, except for degree apprenticeships. They usually follow the academic calendar, kicking off in September. But keep your eyes peeled because companies and schools can announce these opportunities at any time.

Commonly asked questions about apprenticeships:

What apprenticeships are there and what do I need to qualify for them?

There are 4 main apprenticeship types that are separated by the qualification it is equivalent to. These start from level 2 being the lowest and level 7 being the highest. Let’s break down these 4 types of apprenticeships: 

An Intermediate Level 2 Apprenticeship is typically the equivalent of 5 GCSE passes. Due to this being the lowest level of apprenticeship available, it tends to have minimal requirements. However, it’s important to show your passion for the subject matter and willingness to learn.

An Advanced Level 3 Apprenticeship is considered the same as 2 A Level passes. Companies would be looking for candidates who have either completed a level 2 apprenticeship in a similar field or have GCSE passes.

Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships are known as higher apprenticeships. Level 4 is the equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Certificate degree, while a Level 5 is equivalent to a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma. To be considered for a higher-level apprenticeship, you would be expected to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs with grades of A-C or 9-4 on the new grading system. The criteria for a higher apprenticeship vary based on the industry and employer. Generally, you'll need Level 3 qualifications like A Levels or their equivalent, along with at least five GCSEs, including Maths and English.

Lastly, Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships are called degree apprenticeships as they offer the opportunity to gain a full Bachelor's degree. Level 7 enables you to obtain a master’s degree in your chosen subject. The requirements for degree apprenticeships tend to be the same as typical university degrees, so it is important you have prior qualifications that are relevant to your chosen subject. 

How do I know if I’m eligible for an apprenticeship?

To apply for an apprenticeship, you must be 16 or over, not currently in full-time education or another funded further education program when you begin the apprenticeship, and eligible to work and learn in the UK. If you meet these conditions and have the necessary qualifications for the apprenticeship level, as mentioned above, you're ready to proceed!

Are apprenticeships worth it?

If you're the type of person who struggles with conventional school-style learning, an apprenticeship may be the solution you are looking for as an alternative to traditional education. It’s a great way to learn through getting hands-on experience while earning a qualification and there are many different paths to choose from. Plus, you’ll make money while you learn and have no student fees to pay. But keep in mind, you’ll have work responsibilities, and you’ll need to balance working and studying at the same time.

Which apprenticeship is right for me?

Deciding on a career path can feel overwhelming, and picking the right apprenticeship might be a challenge. Consider your skills and your interests and do a little research into what someone with your skills can do for a career. To make this process easier, we suggest taking our career quiz. It's designed to help you understand which industry aligns well with your interests and strengths, guiding you towards a more informed decision for your future. You can take the GetMyFirstJob Career Quiz here.

Who offers apprenticeships?

An increasing number of employers are providing apprenticeships, and many work with apprenticeship platforms, like us at GetMyFirstJob, to showcase their opportunities. Explore the full list of employers we work alongside and discover their available opportunities here. Additionally, various training providers offer apprenticeships across different sectors. Check out the training providers we collaborate with here.

Let’s wrap it up!

We've delved into your questions and addressed the most common curiosities about apprenticeships. Our goal is to show you that apprenticeships are an option for everyone. Contrary to misconceptions, your career choices aren't limited with apprenticeships – quite the opposite! Each year, more employers are embracing apprenticeships and actively seeking talented individuals like you to join the journey. No matter your passion or interests, there’s an apprenticeship out there with your name on it.

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