Apprenticeship FAQ's

Will it give me a good career?

The scope for career progression is excellent for apprentices. Once the apprenticeship has finished you may be offered a permanent position with your employer with the opportunity to continue with your training at a higher level. You may even be promoted. Alternatively you could progress on to higher education in a college or university. Some apprenticeships already attract UCAS points and enable you to work towards a foundation degree before progressing onto an undergraduate course.

The National Apprenticeship Service is working with UCAS to extend this system so that more qualifications gained during an apprenticeship count towards an individual’s university application.

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Who are they for?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged over 16 (including adults already in employment) who:

  • does not possess a level 4 qualification or above
  • is living in England
  • is not taking part in any other full-time education or training course

All apprenticeships require you to be in paid employment for at least 30 hours per week. County Training will support those who are in their final year of school or college, or between the ages of 16 and 18, to secure an apprenticeship placement if they are suitable for the programme.

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What training is involved?

Apprentices learn on the job, building up knowledge and skills, gaining qualifications and earning money all at the same time. You'll work towards national vocational qualifications (NVQs), which employers all over the country recognise and value, as they show you’ve been trained in the skills they need. You also spend time off the job at one of our learning centres studying for vocational qualifications.

Apprenticeships are designed with the help of employers in industry, so they offer a structured programme that takes you through the skills you need to do a job well.

You may have access to other qualifications, such as management, first aid or food hygiene courses depending on the type and level of apprenticeship you're working towards.

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Are there different levels available?

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeships - You gain a level 2 qualification and possibly a higher qualification. This provides the skills you need for your chosen career and provides entry to:
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships - Advanced apprentices work towards level 3. To do thi programme you should ideally have 5 GCSEs (grade 4 or above) or have completed an apprenticeship.
  • Higher Level Apprenticeships - Apprentices’ opportunities for career progression are increasing with the expansion of higher apprenticeships. Equivalent to degrees, more of these specialised and highly skilled apprenticeships are being offered each year, giving you the chance to continue your professional development and fully realise your potential.

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How much will I get paid?

Pay is determined by the employer and your role within the organisation. All apprentices must receive at least the National Minimum Wage Training Allowance.

Employers may increase your pay as you progress with your qualification.

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What does it involve?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training, so you can earn while you learn and pick up some nationally recognised qualifications as you go. Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete, and cover 1500 job roles in a wide range of industries, including things like accountancy, healthcare, marketing, financial advice and engineering.

Key Benefits

  • earning a salary
  • training in the skills employers want
  • excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace
  • increased future earning potential. Apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training
  • better long-term salary prospects (research has shown that those with an advanced apprenticeship earn around £117,000 more than those without over the course of their career)
  • learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor
  • paid holiday
  • NUS membership

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Why should I consider one?

Whatever your current situation, and whatever you choose to do, it's more important than ever that you continue to learn. Becoming skilled will ensure you get the best possible start to your career.

You may have decided that college or sixth form isn't for you, and that you’d prefer to get a job, or maybe you're already working. Whatever your situation, it’s important to understand that unskilled jobs are steadily decreasing, and even if you have a job, if you want to move up the career ladder you’ll need to continually develop your skills to succeed. An apprenticeship will help you to do this as you learn while you earn.

Getting qualified while on the job can also mean:

  • you work better and more effectively
  • it can help you move into new and better jobs
  • you get better pay
  • you get to experience new and different challenges
  • your existing skills and knowledge are recognised and can help you gain a qualification faster
  • you learn at your own pace and get support when you need it
  • better job security
  • you gain skills and knowledge which can be used across a range of jobs and industries

Four great reasons for doing an apprenticeship

  • Employment opportunities are growing - Since the recession hit in 2008 we've heard constant reference made to job cuts and youth unemployment. As the economy emerges from recession, employers are in a position to begin recruiting and growing their companies once more. If you look on any jobs website, you'll notice that job opportunities are increasing, and the same goes for apprenticeships. The good news is that for apprentices it could mean there are greater opportunities for permanent employment and promotion at the end of your training programme.
  • Employers attitudes are changing - Employers increasingly see qualifications and work experience equally on a CV or job application. Once you complete an apprenticeship you could have up to three years of specialist work experience in your chosen vocational area. While you may not have the business management or marketing degree your prospective employer is looking for, you'll be able to demonstrate to them that you're highly capable of excelling in the role with the range of experiences you have gained, and the added maturity your apprenticeship will have helped you develop.
  • Major companies are getting involved with apprenticeships - Unless you've been in hiding, you've probably seen the advertising campaigns by the National Apprenticeship Service. They've been showcasing major national and global employers and their support of the apprenticeship programme. Apprentices from companies such as ASOS, Sky, Google and IBM have all featured. 
  • Promotion and career development opportunities - Figures released last year showed that almost half of recent graduates are in non-graduate jobs, while 80% of our apprentices go on to secure permanent employment with the company they started their apprenticeship with. In addition to this, a third of apprentices secure promotion within the first 12 months of completion. These career opportunities are all down to that specialist work experience and skill set gained from on-the-job training. Some of the most successful young people we know started off as apprentices, and now own their own companies or manage whole departments within an organisation.

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What prospects will I have?

Apprenticeships can be demanding, but they're also really rewarding. When you’ve completed your training you can carry on working, maybe get promoted or go on to higher education at a college or university.

We encourage all apprentices to progress onto higher level qualifications on completion of an apprenticeship.

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What qualifications will I gain?

You’ll get a package of qualifications when you finish your apprenticeship which will be recognised by any employer, anywhere in the country. Your performance and knowledge are assessed on the job as you reach different levels. These assessments count towards your final qualification.

Depending on the apprenticeship you choose, you may also study for a technical certificate, demonstrating that you have a good theoretical knowledge of your subject. You’ll also work towards functional skill qualifications in maths, English and IT, while learning about your rights and responsibilities as an employee and how you can improve your personal learning and thinking skills.

These qualifications and skills will help you do any job and make you more employable, whichever career you choose to follow.

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How do I get started?

Think about where a qualification could take you in your career. Decide on the kind of skills and knowledge that you'll need to get ahead. If you're already employed, you may want to talk to your employer or a colleague to help you with this.

County Training will guarantee all 16-18 year olds, and those who are in their last year of school or college, an interview for the apprenticeship programme; all you need to do is complete the application.

You can apply for our apprenticeship programme online or view our current apprenticeship vacancies.

If you'd like to speak about apprenticeships with a careers adviser face to face or on the phone, call us on 0345 6789023 or email us at enquiries@ctapprenticeships.co.uk

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What apprenticeships do County Training offer?

County Training offer apprenticeships in a wide range of occupational areas - View Apprenticeship Range

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What additional support is available?

If you need additional support with completing applications, attending interviews or once you're on a training programme, please let us know. Our experienced and flexible tutors will adapt their teaching styles to match the way you learn best. We can help by providing individual or small group tuition, or more specialist support.

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I finish my education this year, when can I start applying for vacancies?

You can apply for vacancies with a start date that's after the date you finish your education. Don't apply for any that start before you finish as your application won't be accepted.

If you are considering an apprenticeship when you leave School / College, it will benefit you to complete our apprenticeship enquiry form at any time during your final year.

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