Apprenticeships and Other Guidance

There are lots of other next step pathways and apprenticeships are an alternative way to still study for a qualification whilst working for an employer and earning money.  It is vital that students understand and do all the research necessary to ensure they have the right information on the different apprenticeship routes and how to apply, in order to make the right choice.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is available to anyone aged 16 years and over.  To carry out an apprenticeship you require an employer and a training provider.  It is a real job with training which allows you to earn while you learn, at the same time you will gain a national qualification. It is an alternative route to going to University.

You will:

  • Work alongside experienced staff and gain specific on-the-job skills
  • Earn a salary
  • Study towards a related qualification

How long will an apprenticeship take?

Level 2 – 1 year

Level 3 – 18 months – 2 years

Level 4 – approximately 3 years

Degree Level – up to 4+ years

Levels of Apprenticeships

Intermediate (Level 2) – equivalent to five GCSEs

Advanced (Level 3) – equivalent to two A Levels

Higher (Level 4) equivalent to a Foundation Degree

Degree Apprenticeships (Level 5 and upwards)

 By Law

Apprentices must work for a minimum of 30 hours per week.  An employer must pay the apprentices for the time spent training or studying for a relevant qualification, whether at work or at a college or with the training provider.

The employer must offer apprentices the same conditions as the other employees working similar roles.  This includes paid holidays, sick pay, any other benefits and support.


The minimum wage for apprentices (aged 16 – 18) and those aged 19 and over who are in their first year is currently £3.70 per hour and the rate is increased every April. Employers can to choose to pay more than this, but they are not required to.

The main website ( is where training providers should advertise their vacancies on, however most local training providers advertise their vacancies on their own websites.

Although there are many local training providers, the main ones in this area are:

  • Hull Training and Adult Education
  • Hull College
  • Chamber Training
  • McArthur Dean
  • Hull Business Training Centre
  • YH Training
  • HYA Training

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships are becoming more popular as new standards are introduced.  These are a great way to study for a degree as well as work and earn a salary at the same time.

Many large national companies offer degree apprenticeships, but this may mean you have to move away and relocate, sometimes the company will offer reduced living costs but be careful that you might have to pay for accommodation.  The government advertise on their website a monthly vacancy list of degree apprenticeships.

The application process usually opens around November and closes around March time, so be aware of the timescales but is different for each organisation.  This process is usually:

  • An online application form
  • Online tests
  • Telephone Interview
  • Assessment Day
  • Interview

Useful websites:

Examples of higher and degree apprenticeships that some of our students have been successful in achieving:

  • Manufacturing Engineer at Nestle
  • Software Engineer at BAe Systems
  • Software Engineer at IBM
  • Accounting at KPMG, EY and PwC
  • Chemical Engineer at Reckitt Benckiser

Finding a job

For many students, university degrees, apprenticeships and sponsored degrees might not be the best option for your son or daughter and going straight into the world of work could be the best option for your child.  Below are some useful websites:

Gap Year

Why does your son/daughter want to take a year out? It’s really important for them to set goals to make their time productive, so they need to identify what they want to achieve. They might want to:

  • Have a break from study
  • Gain new skills/experiences
  • Earn money
  • Spend time deciding what they want to do
  • Do a combination of the above

Useful websites:

A gap year offers the opportunity to gain skills and experiences, while giving your son/daughter time to reflect and focus on what they want to do next.

  • A productive gap year can be valuable on their CV – many employers value the experiences students have gained if they’ve actively managed their time, set themselves goals, and stretched themselves.
  • A gap year can also enhance their higher education studies – if they decide to apply for university the following year, they could tailor their gap year to relate it to the subject area they plan to study.

For further information, please contact Vicky Riseham, Work Experience and Careers Coordinator on email: or tel: 01482 346347 ext 522.