To be considered for an apprenticeship programme in England , you need to be:

  • aged 16 or over
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education

Apprenticeships would suit someone who:

  • has a clear idea of the type of career they wish to pursue
  • is willing to commit to work and study, but would prefer a more practical and work-related approach to learning
  • is ready to start work with an employer, and be based in the workplace most of the time
  • is well organised and able to cope with the demands of work and academic study at the same time
  • is ready to be assessed through a mix of assignments and written work, including essays, reports, practical exercises, end tests, and exams

The level of apprenticeship you start at will depend on the qualifications you have, the job role, and apprenticeship standard the employer wants to use.

Most learning will be through on-the-job training in the workplace.

You’ll spend at least 50% of your time at work over the course of the apprenticeship. This is usually 30 hours each week, where you’ll focus on learning to do the job. You could be learning from colleagues across all levels of the business, typically working closely with someone more senior who will coach you and review your progress.

Your employer will also give you time off to study during your working hours. You’ll also spend time attending college, university, training provider, or training at work. The learning and part-time study element of an apprenticeship fits around the job commitment, and will be agreed with the employer. You might attend one day per week (‘day release’), in blocks of a week or more (‘block release’), or study online. Some schemes use a combination.

Always do your research to see if apprenticeships are really for you. It may turn out that uni suits you better or even something else. It’s not easy to balance work life and studying so make sure to consider all the pros and cons.