Frequently asked questions about apprenticeships

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a work-based learning qualification that enables you to gain qualifications and experience at the same time. 


How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

Firstly, you need to find a business to employ you as an apprentice, then we can help you and your employer with your apprentice training programme.

Vacancies are advertised on our website and the National Apprenticeship Service website.
Or contact our Apprenticeships Team to discuss your options on 01322 629400 or email

You can also refer to our How to apply page

Who can I speak to about which apprenticeship suits me?

Our Apprenticeship Team are available for advice and guidance, please call our helpline on 01322 629400 or email

How many hours a week do I study and then also work?

You will work and study for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Attendance at college can be one day a week, one day a month, one week each month, block release or entirely in your workplace, dependent on the occupational area. You will be paid for both the hours you work and the hours you study. The programmes can also be flexible depending on your employer's requirements.

How long will it take me to qualify?

Each apprenticeship training programme - known as a 'Framework' or 'Standard' can range from one year, up to four years, this is dependent on the occupational area and level of qualification.

Can I become an apprentice if I'm already working?

Yes - apprenticeships are a great way to gain additional skills and qualifications to help you get promoted and you can stay in your existing job while you train. Just speak to your employer about apprenticeship training and call us for further details of how you can transfer to an apprenticeship.


What are the costs?

There are no training costs for the apprentice (or their parents), apart from normal travel to work, tools, clothing and equipment costs that any employee would pay.


Training costs for apprentices are funded by employers through the new ‘Apprenticeship Levy’. This Levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3m each year to invest in apprenticeships.

Our Apprenticeships Team can assist your employer with advice about the Levy and its implications. Please call us on 01322 629400 or email and ask for the Apprenticeship Team.

If your employer is not a levy payer, we can assist in the incentive payments, contracts and any other items required.

How much will I get paid?

The average wage for an apprentice is around £170 - £210 per week. 

Apprenticeship pay depends on the National Minimum Wage. From April 2019 this is £3.90 per hour for under 18s and in the first year of an apprenticeship.

This rises as you reach 18 and you progress into the second year and so on. For example a 22 year old apprentice in their 2nd year would be paid a minimum of £7.70 per hour (April 2017).

The National Minimum Wage changes frequently, so check out the Government website for current information

I don't have an organisation to take me as an apprentice - what should I do?

Search for vacancies and apply. Vacancies are advertised on our website and the National Apprenticeship Service website.

If you're leaving school this summer and have not found an apprenticeship, we strongly recommend you apply for a college course in the subject relevant to your chosen career.

When a vacancy arises, this puts you ahead of other candidates as you will already be part-qualified when you apply for the vacancy. We also advertise vacancies on our College vacancy board, so you will see these vacancies when they become available and can apply.

Don't wait for an apprenticeship vacancy to come up - start your course and then apply as they become available. Not all apprenticeships vacancies will start in September - they could arise at any time during the year.