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Apprenticeships Explained

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships (or school leaver programmes) offer a real job with training and education, which allows you to earn while you learn. Your employer will pay the cost of your training and education and you will gain a nationally recognised qualification. In many cases this could be a degree.

Types of role

Apprenticeships are offered across all industry sectors. You can now even become a qualified solicitor by embarking on an apprenticeship. You can pursue a career in TV, banking, finance, media, technology, engineering, construction, property and many others. Apprenticeships are offered by many high quality, prestigious companies.

How long?

Apprenticeships take between 1 and 4/5 years to complete depending on the type that you are engaged with. During this time you will be earning a salary.


Apprenticeships are paid and you are a full time employee with paid holidays and other benefits. Pay varies dependant on sector, region and level. Some apprenticeships can pay as much as £300-£500 per week.

Apprenticeship Levels

There are various levels of Apprenticeship you can apply for depending on your current qualifications. These are:

Advanced – level 3 – equivalent to 2 A Levels

Higher – level 4, 5, 6,7 – equivalent to foundation degree or above

Degree – level 6 & 7 –equivalent to a bachelors or masters degree

In general, The Student Ladder covers higher and degree level apprenticeships meaning you need to be studying for A Levels to apply.


  • Earn a salary
  • Receive training and education which is paid for
  • No university debt
  • Gain entry into a industry or company that you may not land after university - due to increased competition
  • Excellent career and progression prospects
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