What is an Apprentice?
If you live in England, are over 16 and not in full time education you can apply for an Apprenticeship.
There are three levels of Apprenticeship you can undertake depending on your current skills and qualifications:
- Intermediate Level Apprenticeship (Level 2)
- Advanced Level Apprenticeship (Level 3)
- Higher Level Apprenticeship (Level 4 or above)
All Apprenticeships are real jobs and all apprentices earn a salary. Apprentices must be paid at least the national minimum Apprenticeship wage (£3.30ph from October 2015), but many employers pay significantly more.
Apprentices should work for at least 30 hours per week and on average an Apprenticeship will take between one and two years to complete, depending upon the level of Apprenticeship and the industry sector.
Most of the training is delivered in the workplace, so you will learn the skills you need to do the job well. The rest of the training is given by Calderdale College, either at the workplace, or off-site at the College. The training is specifically tailored to ensure you develop the skills an employer wants, giving apprentices a real advantage in the workplace. This means that apprentices not only have better long term salary prospects, but they also have excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace. If you are not quite ready for an Apprenticeship, or a job, a Traineeship will help unlock your great potential. A traineeship will give you the work preparation training to prepare you for the world of work, English and maths skills and work experience needed to get an Apprenticeship or other job.
Why choose an Apprenticeship?
- Employers think that apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications.
- An Apprenticeship isn't like going to college or university. As a result at the end of your qualification, once you are qualified you will have no student loans to repay.
- As an apprentice you will be doing a real job in a real workplace – and getting paid for it.
- You will be learning new skills and meeting new people.
- You will have real responsibilities to your employer and your colleagues and you'll be working as part of a team, which will be a different environment from school or college
- Whatever Apprenticeship role you gain, both your employer and the college will work towards the same goal – your success and progression at work or higher education.
Meet an Apprentice
Beth Leeming, 20, from Ovenden, Level 2 Plumbing & Heating is an Apprentice at Thompsons Gas and started working initially in the office. After some time Beth became interested in all aspects of plumbing and wanted to have a go herself so she became an Apprentice.
Beth said: “So far so good. My Apprenticeship is interesting and I’m learning new stuff every day. It’s really good. I go to work Monday to Thursday and work with different engineers and do a wide range of different jobs and then on a Friday I come into college.”
The Plumbing & Heating Apprenticeship has given Beth a fantastic start to her career as she continued: “Once this course is finished I will get my Level 2 and then go onto Level 3. It’s always better to have on the job training and once I have my gas qualification it will opens a lot of doors for me.”
Beth came to Calderdale College because of its great reputation for Apprenticeships and she said: “I know a lot of people who have come here and I heard great stuff about it and it has a good reputation. The teachers treat you like adults and they have a lot of time for you. They are really helpful and if you are doing anything wrong, they won’t criticise you but will show you the best way to do it. They will give you loads of tips.”