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    Whether you're a school leaver or looking for a new direction with your career, apprenticeships can be a great way to learn new skills while you earn. In this blog post, we'll explore how to become an apprentice, including the eligibility requirements and qualifications you'll need and why you should consider an apprenticeship.


    What is an apprenticeship? 


    An apprenticeship is a job where you'll learn, get experience and earn a wage. You will be employed by a company with a contract of employment and entitled to holiday leave. 


    Apprenticeships can vary in length, and they can take between one and six years to complete, depending on your chosen apprenticeship, its level and your previous experience, qualifications and skills. By the end of your apprenticeship, you'll have the appropriate skills and knowledge needed for your chosen career. 


    Apprenticeships are funded by contributions made by the government and your employer. This means you will not have any student loans or need to pay tuition fees like if you were going to university. You'll need to cover your day-to-day expenses, such as lunch and travel. Some apprentices are eligible for bursaries to support them in the first year of their apprenticeship, and we will let you know if you qualify for this.


    Am I eligible to become an apprentice?


    You must be 16 or over to become an apprentice and not already be in full-time education. On Point Apprenticeships is based in Gateshead, and we provide apprenticeships in the North East of England, so to be eligible, you must also live in England. While most people consider apprenticeships an option for young people, you can start an apprenticeship at any age.


    Apprenticeships have different levels, which can equate to the level of education you'll require to be suitable for the role. You might require previous qualifications such as an English or Maths GCSE, depending on your chosen level. 


    If you didn't leave school with GCSEs, On Point Apprenticeships can help you access a traineeship, which provides some extra training in English and Maths so you have the right level of skills needed to progress in your apprenticeship, even if you didn't leave school with these qualifications. Traineeships can also be great if you need more work experience before starting your apprenticeship. You don't need to apply for a traineeship. We will direct you to one if you do not quite meet the requirements for your chosen apprenticeship.


    What are the different levels of apprenticeships, and what qualification will I finish with?


    Level 2 Apprenticeship / Intermediate

    Level 2 apprenticeships are classed as Intermediate and are equivalent once completed to GCSEs. 


    Level 3 apprenticeship / Advanced

    Level 2 apprenticeships are classed as Advanced and are equivalent once completed to A Levels. 


    Level 4 & 5 / Higher

    Levels 4 & 5 are classed as Higher and are equivalent once completed to a Foundation Degree.


    Level 6 & 7 / Degree

    Levels 6 & 7 are classed as Degree and are equivalent once completed to a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree.


    Why should I consider an apprenticeship?


    If you're a school leaver, apprenticeships provide an alternative to Higher Education. But you can become an apprentice at any age, and apprenticeships provide a practical way to develop your skills while working and earning without taking on expensive loans or taking a break from your employment.


    You can start an apprenticeship whether you're starting your career, want a change, or you're upskilling in your current job. You can have a previous qualification, like a degree, and still start an apprenticeship. If you are considering a career change and already have an undergraduate degree, level 6 and level 7 apprenticeships can help you to progress.  


    What are the roles and responsibilities of an apprentice?


    As an apprentice, you'll learn and train for a specific job. Apprentices get paid and receive holiday, and you'll get hands-on experience in a real job. 


    As you learn on the job, along with your roles and responsibilities, your employer will allocate time for studying. At least 20% of your working hours must be assigned to studying. Where you will study varies from apprenticeship to apprenticeship, but you might be provided on-site training or attend classes at a college or university. Throughout your apprenticeship and once you finish, you'll need to complete assessments.


    How much do apprentices earn?


    How much you'll earn as an apprentice varies depending on various factors. Your wage will differ depending on the industry, location and type of apprenticeship you choose. You're entitled to the apprentice rate if you are a school leaver aged 16-18 and in the first year of your apprenticeship, which is currently the same as the National Minimum Wage. If you're 19 or over and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship, you're entitled to the National Minimum Wage. This is the minimum you'll earn. Your wage as an apprentice can differ as many employers pay higher wages to offer their apprentices a more competitive salary. 

    On Point Team
    Post by On Point Team
    August 9, 2023