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7 Things To Expect From An Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship offers a school leaver a great transition into working life and can be the first step toward a new career for someone more mature. Not only will you earn while you learn, you’ll also walk away with a nationally recognised qualification.

With National Apprenticeship Week upon us, Lilli Hender from discusses what you can expect from an apprenticeship and (almost) everything you need to know.


There are around 1,500 job roles for which you can be an apprentice. These span 170 industries and cover everything from engineering to PR, veterinary training to hairdressing.

When up to 28,000 apprenticeship vacancies are available online at any one time, deciding upon the sector and location is just the beginning. If you already have a set of qualifications under your belt, you can apply for an Advanced or Higher apprenticeship, providing even further scope.

Apprenticeship pay

If you’re completing an apprenticeship and you’re under 19, or over 19 and in your first year, you can expect to receive £3.90 per hour. Many employers will pay more than this, particularly to those enrolled on a Higher Apprenticeship.

Pay is dependent upon the individual scheme and varies with sector, region and level.  Some apprentices can hope for as much as £300 – £500 per week! If you previously had a better salary, remember the training you’re receiving will pay off in the long run.


While your training will be relevant to a specific sector, the skills you learn will be transferable to other roles. With each new job comes a set of improved problem-solving, professional, and people skills.

Overcoming new challenges will boost your confidence, which will prove useful to your work and home life. Whether you’re planning on sticking with the industry your apprenticeship is in, or branching out, you can be sure you’ve developed some helpful skills.


Starting a new placement can be scary and one of the things that can help is a good support network at home and in the workplace. During an apprenticeship, a specialist Trainer Assessor will be assigned to give assistance and advice.

They will help you set targets and host regular feedback sessions to check you’re comfortable in the role. Your Trainer Assessor ensures your apprenticeship is going to plan – for both you and your employer.


Apprenticeships can take between one and five years to complete depending on the level and sector; this means they’re a significant undertaking for both parties involved. You’ll have to work for a minimum of 30 hours per week and in most cases they will take 18 months to complete. You can expect a further 24 months if it’s an Advanced apprenticeship.  Before signing up, consider the commitment you’ll be expected to show.

Change of scene

Whether you’re leaving school or leaving a job, an apprenticeship will offer a new environment to get your head around. It has elements of work and education which may be a change from what you’re used to.

Hands-on experience will be teamed with training to provide you with a practical and theoretical experience of working life in the given industry. It’s a happy medium between work and school.


Having spent time and effort training you up, there’s a good possibility your employer will keep you on. This can be great news if you like the work and your colleagues. If you find the job isn’t for you, the set of skills with which you’ll walk away should more than make up for it.

When it comes to what to expect from an apprenticeship, it’s important to end on the fact it can offer opportunities you may never have had without it. Embarking on an apprenticeship is often the start of an exciting journey to find a fulfilling career.

National Apprenticeship Week is about increasing awareness of apprenticeships and the benefits that go along with them. Now you know what they’re all about, why not consider what an apprenticeship could do for you.