Apprenticeships are an exciting option –  you get hands-on training and also the chance to put your skills into practice.

Apprenticeships are available at multiple levels. From school leavers, people upskilling in their careers and complete career changes. There are hundreds to choose from and some include a qualification, like a degree.

What you’ll earn

What you earn will depend on the industry, location and type of apprenticeship you choose.

If you’re aged 16 to 18 or in the first year of your apprenticeship, you’re entitled to the apprentice rate.

If you’re 19 or over and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship, you’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

This is the minimum you’ll earn – many employers pay a lot more and offer their apprentices a competitive salary.

What it costs

Apprenticeships are funded from contributions made by the government and your employer. This means you will not have any student loans or tuition fees.

You’ll just need to cover the cost of your day-to-day expenses, such as lunch and travel.

If you’re 16 to 24 and a care leaver, you’ll receive a £1,000 bursary payment to support you in the first year of your apprenticeship.

Before you start your apprenticeship, your employer will usually contact you. When they do, you should try to find out:

  • your working hours
  • the dress code
  • what you need to bring – for example, your ID or a notepad and pens
  • your travel options – for example, where to park or the nearest train station
  • who to ask for on your first day

If you already work at the same place you’re starting your apprenticeship, then ask your employer directly.

You will also receive an email invitation to create an account on the My apprenticeship service. On this service, you will be able to:

  • review and confirm your apprenticeship details
  • find help and support during your apprenticeship

You’ll spend at least 20% of your working time doing ‘off-the-job training’ for your apprenticeship. There are lots of different ways you can do this training, for example, at a college, university or online at your place of work.

Your employer will find a suitable training provider for you.

To find out more about training providers, you can:

  • speak to your teacher or careers adviser
  • speak to your employer

Preparing for the first day of work

A guide to apprenticeship applications