If a student is interested in starting work and they are keen to learn some skills and gain qualifications, then an apprenticeship could be the right option for them.

On an apprenticeship they study for qualifications while working and they learn the skills they need for the job they are doing. To start an apprenticeship you must be 16 or over and not in full time education. All apprentices must be paid the national minimum wage (£3.30 for under 19 and first year apprenticeships).

There are three levels of apprenticeship available, what level you start at would depend on your current qualifications and the opportunities available in the sector you are interested in.

Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2; equivalent to five good GCSE passes)

provides you with the skills and qualifications for your chosen career and allow entry (if desired) to an Advanced Apprenticeship.  To be accepted you need to be enthusiastic,  keen to learn and have a reasonable standard of education.

Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3; equivalent to two A-level passes)

to start this programme, you should have five GCSEs (grade A*-C) or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. This will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need for your career and allow entry (if desired) to a Higher Apprenticeship or degree level qualification.

Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4/5; equivalent to a Foundation Degree)

to start this programme, you should have a Level 3 qualification (A-Levels, Advanced Diploma or International Baccalaureate) or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship.


Traineeships are designed to prepare students for a future career, by helping them to get ready for the world of work and improving their chances of getting an Apprenticeship or other job. Traineeships last anything from six weeks to a maximum of six months and can include:

Work preparation training.
English and Maths support (except people who already have an A*- C in these subjects) to provide the literacy and numeracy skills needed for the workplace.
Meaningful work experience which provides insight and experience of the world of work and makes students more attractive to potential employers.

Useful Apprenticeship Links

  • This website has details of all apprenticeships nationwide.  Filters can be used to select industry and location.
  • A website for 11 to 19 year olds in Cambridgeshire with useful information on careers and learning. There are details of local apprenticeships under the “Home” tab of this site.
  • This is the national site for almost all apprenticeship applications nationwide. You need to register a free account with them, which allows you to search and apply to any apprenticeships that are suited to you.
  • A government website promoting apprenticeships.
  • information on apprenticeships with advice to help school leavers take decisions on their career choice.
  • Provides peer-to-peer information on apprenticeships, school leaver programmes, degree apprenticeships, sponsored degrees, gap year schemes and work experience. It includes some information on current job opportunities, cover letter advice and 3 different advice Hubs for students, schools and parents.
  • aimed at students considering not going to university, covering apprenticeships, gap years, distance learning and jobs.