An apprenticeship is a real job where you also study for qualifications. You have a contract of employment and are paid a wage. There are different levels of apprenticeship:
Intermediate Apprenticeships: leading to qualifications at Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grade A*-C).
Advanced Apprenticeships: leading to qualifications at Level 3 (equivalent to A Level).
Higher Apprenticeships: leading to qualifications at Level 4 and above (e.g. a Foundation Degree).
Apprenticeships can be demanding because you have to hold down a full time job and also study. You may need some GCSEs at grades A*-C, especially if you are aiming at an advanced apprenticeship. For a higher apprenticeship, you may need qualifications at Level 3 such as A Levels, BTEC National or NVQ Level 3. Aim for the highest grades you can achieve and take care over your applications.
If you find it hard to get an apprenticeship it's also worth looking at other types of work based learning such as traineeships and study programmes based with training providers.
Want to know more?
www.apprenticeships.org.uk – for more information plus vacancies across the country
www.ucasprogress.com – for local opportunities