About apprenticeships

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a paid job that combines practical training at work with study. Apprentices work alongside experienced staff, gain job-specific skills and are given time to study (usually one day a week). Apprenticeships provide an excellent opportunity to earn while you learn, gaining both work experience and a recognised qualification.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Apprenticeships take one to five years to complete, depending on their level.

What levels of apprenticeship are there?

There are three main levels:

  • Intermediate (Level 2) - equivalent to five GCSE passes
  • Advanced (Level 3) - equivalent to two A-level passes
  • Higher (Levels 4 to 7) - Foundation degree or above
  • Degree (Levels 6 to 7) - Batchelors or Masters degree

Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, for example an NVQ, BTEC or degree, and can sometimes lead to professional registration or accreditation.

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

To start an apprenticeship, you will need to be aged 16 or over, be living in England and not in full-time education. Apprenticeships are no longer just for people aged 16-24.

Each apprenticeship vacancy will include details of the entry requirements. For higher level and degree apprenticeships, employers are likely to ask for a minimum of a level 3 qualification.

Some apprenticeships dont require any previous qualifications, but all apprentices must have Functional Skills qualifications in English and Maths (and sometimes ICT) by the end of the apprenticeship. Apprentices who dont have these qualifications when they begin the apprenticeship will be provided with extra support and training.

Apprentices with an existing or previously issued Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) can apply for an adjustment to the minimum standards of English and Maths. The employer and training provider must also agree that the apprentice should otherwise be able to complete the apprenticeship.

How do I find an apprenticeship?

You can search and apply for vacancies on the National Apprenticeships website.

Current Southend-on-Sea City Council apprenticeship opportunities

Apprenticeship vacancies within the Council will be advertised on our job vacancies page

Care Leavers within Southend-on-Sea City Council

Southend-on-Sea City Council acts as a Corporate Parent to children in care and care leavers within the city. Our policy is to offer all care leavers within the city who apply for an apprenticeship at the Council the opportunity of an interview if they meet the entry requirement.

If you are a care leaver within the city and would like to speak to someone about an apprenticeship opportunity, please contact the CM16+ Team at Southend-on-Sea City Council on LeavingCareTeam@southend.gov.uk or on 01702 534574.

Contact switchboard and out of hours

Telephone: 01702 215000

Useful websites - apprenticeships

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