National Apprenticeship Week: Learner FAQs

If you’ve started looking into Apprenticeships, we understand there can be a lot of information to take in, especially with many rules changing year after year. For National Apprenticeship Week 2022 we have answered our learners most frequently asked questions to help you decide whether an apprenticeship is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an Apprenticeship and full-time education?

Unlike a full-time college or university course where you will be based permanently in a classroom setting, an apprenticeship combines your studies with the opportunity to gain practical skills, knowledge, and behaviours through training in the workplace. You will earn a wage throughout your apprenticeship while working towards a nationally-recognised qualification.

Who can do an apprenticeship?

Anyone in England aged 16 years old and above, whether employed, unemployed or leaving school. There is no upper age limit. There are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship however some employers may ask for GCSEs (level 4+) in English and Maths. If you don’t have these qualifications, we will arrange for you to complete them in a short course during the rest of your training.

What types of apprenticeship are available?

There are three levels of Apprenticeship:

Level 2: Intermediate Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to five GCSEs)

Level 3: Advanced Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to two A-Levels)

Level 4, 5 and 6: Higher Apprenticeship (Foundation degree level)

How long does an apprenticeship take to complete?

An apprenticeship takes a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 5 years depending on the level of apprenticeship and which industry sector you are training.

For example:

Level 2: 12-18 months

Level 3: 24 months

Levels 4,5 & 6: up to 5 years

How much will I earn?

The current minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.30 per hour but employers can, and often do pay more. This rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. Apprentices aged 19 or over and in the 2nd year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage dependent on their age.

For more information regarding minimum wage, please visit the website.

How is my training delivered?

An apprenticeship is a work-based qualification, so your employer and work coach will support you through building a portfolio of evidence throughout your programme. You will also have one day per week for ‘off-the-job training’, where you may have a teaching session either face-to-face or virtually.

How much will it cost?

As an apprentice, you won't pay any fees towards your training. You can discuss with your employer if you need any support with travel or uniform costs.

Are there a minimum number of hours I must work?

As an apprentice you should be required to work a 30 hour minimum week and no more than 40 hours.

Would I be an employee during my apprenticeship?

Yes, as an apprentice you have the same employment rights as a percent member of staff. The only difference is you will have contractual end date to your employment.

Do I get holiday when doing an apprenticeship?

The short answer is yes, you will receive at least 20 days paid holiday per year plus national/public holidays.

What do I do when I’ve finished?

This depends on the contract you have with your employer. If you are on an apprenticeship contract, there may be an opportunity to stay at the same company and progress to the next level apprenticeship.

Many apprentices are hired as permanent team members, so continue their role as normal once completing the apprenticeship. There may also be an opportunity to progress to the next level apprenticeship.

How do I apply?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a job. Browse through our apprenticeship courses, and once you’ve decided which course you would like to complete, register your details with us and we will match you with an employer. We also regularly post employer opportunities on our Facebook page.

Need some more advice?

If you would like more information about becoming an apprentice, you can contact our Apprenticeship Team on 0151 317 4450 or email

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