Becoming an apprentice

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job where you learn, gain experience, and get paid. You are an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave. By the end of an apprenticeship, you will have the right skills and knowledge needed for your chosen career.

It can take between one and 6 years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which one you choose, what level it is and your previous experience. It is funded from contributions made by the government and your employer.

Levels of an apprenticeship

Each apprenticeship has a level and an equivalent education level. You can start an apprenticeship at any level.

Depending on the level, some apprenticeships may:

  • require previous qualifications such as an English or maths GCSE
  • give extra training in the English or maths skills needed so you are at the right level

At the end of your apprenticeship, you will achieve the equivalent education level. For example, if you complete a level 3 apprenticeship, you will achieve the equivalent of an A level.


  Level Equivalent education level
Intermediate 2 GCSE
Advanced 3 A Level
Higher 4,5,6 & 7 Foundation Degree and above
Degree 6 & 7 Batchelors or Master’s degree