About Apprenticeships

The Apprenticeship Scheme

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 4-7) - Foundation degree or above
  • Degree (Levels 6-7) – Batchelor’s or Master’s 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 Borough Council Apprenticeship Opportunities

Financial Analyst

Care Leavers within Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council acts as a ‘Corporate Parent’ to children in care and care leavers within the borough.   The Council’s policy is to offer all care leavers within the borough who apply for an apprenticeship at the Council the opportunity of an interview if they meet the entry requirements.

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

Page last updated: 29/07/2019