An apprenticeship is a real job with training which would allow your child to earn while they learn, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and cover 1,500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from engineering to accountancy, public relations to veterinary nursing. Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond.
Your son or daughter will work alongside experienced staff, gain job-specific skills, earn a wage and get holiday entitlements. They also benefit from off-the-job training that improves their skills and knowledge to perform better in their role. This route often leads to permanent employment or university. Apprentices usually start on Level 2 or 3 (equivalent to GCSE or A Level) and could continue onto Level 4 or 5 (foundation degree level) and in some cases, even up to Level 6 or 7 (bachelor’s or master’s degree level).
Apprentices have to be paid at least the minimum apprenticeship wage of £3.90 per hour. Many employers choose to pay more and in York apprentices receive an average of £4.97 per hour. Apprentices can be full or part time and after 12 months of employment, all apprentices must be paid at least the minimum wage for their age. Apprentices and employers are supported by a training provider, who deliver the theory and technical side to the programme.
There are several ways to receive training: one day per week at college or training centre, block placements (e.g. a week at college) or visits to the workplace by the training provider. Apprentices usually complete an online portfolio and some apprenticeships include formal assessments such as end point exams or projects.
For information on where to find apprenticeships:
During their time at sixth form, students explore a wide range of opportunities and pathways as they consider their next steps. Students study subjects and qualifications which have been carefully chosen to ensure they can progress confidently onto employment, degree-level study or apprenticeships.
To specifically support those considering apprenticeships, students are guided from the beginning of Year 12 to investigate courses and opportunities as they arise. Firstly, students who are considering employment or an apprenticeship are encouraged to take part in the ‘Career Ready’ program, a course designed to foster greater levels of independent working skills in students and to introduce them to a range of industries and employers.
As students progress through Year 12 and into Year 13, focus on future pathways intensifies. At the end of Year 12, students undertake work experience, which for those considering an apprenticeship can be particularly formative. In Year 13 the sixth form leadership team use Google Classroom and daily notices to draw attention to new apprenticeships in the local area and beyond. Students are also provided with time and teacher support in writing personal statements and CVs as they make their applications.
Overall, the support and opportunities provided for students heading into employment and apprenticeships is thorough and students are championed from beginning to end as they pursue their passions and look to their future beyond sixth form.