An apprenticeship offers young people and adult learners the ability to learn a real trade or skill, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. These work-based training programmes are designed around the needs of you, the employer. Currently, 130,000 businesses of all sizes offer apprenticeships across the UK and they are available in more than 170 industries and 1,500 job roles.
An apprenticeship is not a qualification in itself, but a 'framework' of separately certified qualifications and courses, covering the skills and knowledge needed for a job. Funding is available to train apprentices, and employers can train both new and existing employers as apprentices.
In England, apprenticeships are offered at three different levels. An Intermediate apprenticeship is the equivalent of 5 GCSEs, an Advanced apprenticeship carries the same weight as 2 A Levels and a Higher level apprenticeship can equal anything from a foundation degree to a master's degree, depending on the programme. Because of these various levels an apprenticeship can take anything between one and five years to complete.