Apprenticeship Support (guidance for teachers)

This is a short guide for teachers about how apprenticeships work.

It is becoming increasingly important that schools provide students with information about apprenticeships. The following page describes, in brief, how an apprenticeship scheme works and how to find apprenticeship vacancies, as well as common Questions and Answers about apprenticeships as a whole.

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships allow young people (aged from 16) to work for a real employer, giving them the opportunity to see the world of work. They will earn a real salary whilst working towards a nationally recognised, transferrable qualification with the support of an apprenticeship training provider. Along with gaining a qualification, they will also learn new skills and experiences along the way, improving their chances in future interviews and job vacancies.

How long will an Apprenticeship last?

All apprenticeship positions are a minimum of 12 months, but some may be advertised as 2 or 3 year schemes involving progression to higher level apprenticeships. 

Will they be guaranteed a full-time position upon completion?

Usually, an apprenticeship does not mean that the young person is guaranteed a full-time position once they have finished. However, the majority of apprentices (85%) will stay in employment, with two-thirds (64%) staying with the same employer. 

What is the minimum wage for an apprentice?

All apprentices must receive the appropriate apprentice minimum wage. Please note that many employers (including the council) pay more than the apprentice minimum wage.

However, Higher Apprentices do not fall under the national minimum wage for apprenticeships.

What levels of apprenticeships are available?

There are three main levels of apprenticeship that young people can apply for:

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship (equivalent to Level 2)
  • Advanced Apprenticeship (equivalent to Level 3)
  • Higher Apprenticeship (equivalent to Level 4)

Entry criteria becomes more demanding at each level. A student who is leaving school after GCSEs might be able to apply for either an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship, depending on the grades they achieve. Higher apprenticeships are usually only accessible to students who have either completed an apprenticeship already, or who have A Levels in relevant subjects. 

How a student apply for an apprenticeship?

Finding and applying for apprenticeships is easy to do. There is a local service called Oxfordshire Apprenticeships, which is a great place for young people to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities in the local area. Or visit the national Apprenticeships website, where the majority of apprenticeship positions in the country are advertised, and have a look round!