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What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job that provides hands-on experience and training. It’s an opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’ and gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst kick-starting your career! You’ll be given a salary and allocated 20% ‘off-the-job’ training time, and will have the support of your employer and your training provider throughout the whole process.

Can I become an apprentice?

If you are over 16, live in England and not in full time education you are eligible to become an apprentice.

What can I study?

There are hundreds of different apprenticeships available, with businesses from all sectors working to develop even more. Whether you’ve just finished school or college and are looking to start your career or you want to upskill and improve in the workplace, there is likely to be a suitable apprenticeship at a level appropriate to your skillset.

An apprenticeship is also a great opportunity to change careers; no matter how little or far you’ve progressed in one field, there are hundreds of apprenticeships that could lead to new careers.

Apprenticeship levels of study range from:

  • Intermediate (Level 2) – Equivalent to 5 GCSEs
  • Advanced (Level 3) – Equivalent to 2 A Levels
  • Higher (Level 4/5) – Equivalent to High National Diploma/ Foundation Degree
  • Degree (Level 6/7) – Equivalent to Bachelor’s/ Master’s Degree

How much will I earn?

Apprenticeship salaries vary depending on the level of the course and what work you are expected to carry out on a day to day basis. Typically though, an Intermediate apprentice will earn between £8,000 – £12,000 in the first year, and an Advanced or Higher apprentice can between £12,000 – £18,000. No matter your level or work requirements, you will always be paid at least the minimum wage rate for apprentices, which is currently £3.90 per hour.

Portsmouth City Council are committed to paying all its staff a fair wage, and are pleased to offer competitive salaries for all apprentices. By becoming an apprentice, you will develop transferable skills, the opportunity to work alongside experienced colleagues, and a solid foundation to kick-start your career.

How long does an apprenticeship course take to complete?

An apprenticeship typically lasts between one and five years, dependent on the qualification level. The higher the level, the longer the apprenticeship may take to complete, but this will also be impacted by what the expectations are for your course, and how motivated you are to achieve!

There is also the opportunity to take on a part-time apprenticeship, where the timeframe is extended to accommodate the reduced weekly hours.