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GetMyFirstJob | Where It All Starts For Apprenticeships

Level 5 (Higher) Apprenticeships

A Level 5 Apprenticeship is a type of Higher apprenticeship which combines work experience with an employer and a level 5 qualification. They are a fantastic opportunity where you’ll get paid a competitive salary to get a qualification and get lots of experience to add to your CV!

There’s a really simple way of understanding qualifications. They’re all given a number between 1 and 8, where 1 is made up of low GCSE grades and 8 is a PhD – the highest level of qualification from a University. Level 5 sits in the middle of the range of Higher Apprenticeships so is above ‘A’ Levels and their equivalents, but below Degrees which are at level 6.

Level 5 apprenticeships are a great opportunity for those who want to combine stretching study with working in professional roles.

As a Level 5 apprentice, you’re likely to find the content challenging at times. As a result, training providers or employers may well want to know how you will cope with both work and study, so you may need formal qualifications to get onto the programme as well as an interview process. Entry requirements may include qualifications at level 3 or above. That may include level 3 or level 4 apprenticeships, A-Levels, Scottish Hires or a BTEC. As many current employees are also put through level 5 apprenticeships, you may not need recent qualifications but instead a relevant level of experience in the discipline of the apprenticeship. Many graduates who join large organisations are often put through higher apprenticeships too as a way of gaining specific knowledge and skills for their new role.

A level 5 apprenticeship can take between one to four years to complete, depending on the apprenticeship that you choose to do, and there are a lot to choose from. There are over 30 level 5 apprenticeships that you can choose from in anything from a Veterinary to Nuclear technician! As with all an apprenticeships, you’ll spend 80% of your time working with your employer either in an office, onsite or working remotely and the remaining 20% of your time working towards your qualification at a college, university, training provider or online. The best part is that everything you learn as part of your qualification you’ll also be able to apply to your day job!

As an apprentice, you’ll also be entitled to the same things that all of the other employees at your organisation get too. That means you’ll get paid annual leave (or holiday) allowance and a salary too! You’ll be paid at least Apprentice Minimum wage for the first year of your apprenticeship and then National Minimum Wage for your age group after that. However, we’ve seen some level 5 apprenticeships pay over £25,000 per annum from your first year – that’s a salary graduates would be happy to receive. As an apprentice, you’ll also be able to apply for student discount too – another great benefit you won’t want to turn down!

What are Level 5 apprenticeships like?

A Level 5 apprenticeship is much like any other apprenticeship that you could choose to do. You’ll spend 80% of your time with your employer, working in you day-job and 20% of your time with your training provider, college or university working towards your level 5 qualification.

What you’ll actually do on a daily basis will not only depend on the apprenticeship that you choose but also the employer and training provider who offers you the qualification. You could be working in an office, onsite or working remotely and your qualification could be offered at a university, college or even online depending on who you study with.

When you’re searching for opportunities, be sure to take a look at the job description which will include what you could get up to on a daily basis. This will help you understand what your apprenticeship could be like. With larger employers and some training providers, you could also attend an event to hear from current apprentices what their experience is like.

What qualifications do I get?

When you finish your level 5 (higher) apprenticeship, you’ll gain an apprenticeship at level 5 which may include a qualification such as a DipHE, or HND, or a qualification from a professional institution. Check this out as every apprenticeship is different and you’ll need to understand what you are working towards.

How do apprenticeships work?

An apprenticeship works very similarly regardless of the level of qualification you choose to do. You’ll spend 20% of your working time working towards your apprenticeship, this could be done once a week, or on block release and you could train online in the workplace, at home or go to an external training provider, college or university.

You’ll spend the remaining 80% of your time doing your day job, this will vary depending on what apprenticeship you choose to do and what your job role is. You may find that someone doing the same apprenticeship as you could have an entirely different job role; this will vary depending on the employer you work for.

Can I do a level 5 apprenticeship?

Entry requirements for level 5 apprenticeships vary depending on the employer and training provider that you apply through, however there are some basic requirements most level 5 apprenticeships will require. You’ll likely need to have a minimum of level 3 qualifications, such as a level 3 (advanced) apprenticeship, A-Levels, BTEC or NVQ. However, if you have considerable experience in the discipline the apprenticeship is in, you may not need qualifications.

Are level 5 apprenticeships also called graduate apprenticeship?

Level 5 apprenticeships are sometimes publicised as graduate apprenticeships as they are often offered to graduates when they finish university to gain relevant skills in a job if it is different from what they studied at university. You won’t gain another Batchelors degree as part of one though – that is level 6 and above.

What kind of level 5 apprenticeships are there?

There are over 30 level 5 apprenticeships for you to choose from including

  • Vet technician
  • Golf course manager
  • Leader in adult care
  • Rail and Rail systems engineer
  • Air traffic controller
  • Food and drink engineer
  • HR consultant partner
  • Nuclear Technician
  • Operations Manager
  • Dental Technician

What support will I get?

As a level 5 apprentice, you’ll get support from your employer and your training provider to ensure that you succeed in both your role and your qualification too. You’ll have a manager in your workplace who will support you in your day-to-day job and someone at the training provider who will help you through the qualification. You may even get a workplace mentor from the training provider or your employer who can help you with things you may not want to talk to your manager about, often mentors are people who have recently finished an apprenticeship themselves so can offer some sound advice!

How much does it cost?

An apprenticeship won’t cost you a penny, apart from the odd meal-deal and commuting costs. You’ll be paid at least Apprentice Minimum wage for the first year of your apprenticeship and then National Minimum Wage for your age group after that. We’ve seen some Level 5 apprenticeships pay over £25,000 per annum from your first year – that’s a salary graduates would be happy to receive!

Are level 5 apprenticeships difficult?

Working towards a level 5 qualification on its own can be challenging as it will likely be the highest level of qualification you’ve worked towards, regardless of the fact you’ll also have a full-time job! If you have good time management skills, enjoy your job and are passionate about getting an additional qualification, you’ll be fine. Bear in mind that if you are successful in a level 5 apprenticeship application, your employer and training provider believe in you and want you to succeed, so they’ll support you to achieve everything you can.

Every apprenticeship is different because your employer is different and there will be a variety of projects that you could get involved with.

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