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Become an Apprentice

Why become an apprentice? #BeTheFuture

There has never been a more exciting time to become an apprentice in Wolverhampton. With opportunities to start or progress your career in an array of dynamic and diverse industries, leading companies both large and small are looking for future talent to drive growth and innovation. Apprentices are recognised as individuals that add real value to organisations and are integral to their success.

Apprenticeships are unique in how they provide you with the chance to earn a competitive salary and get real work experience, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. You will have the chance to work alongside creative and likeminded professionals who will enhance your confidence and develop your skills. An apprenticeship can be the first step in achieving your future goals and fulfilling your potential.

Apprenticeships are just not for people straight out of school, anyone can be an apprentice; if you're considering a career change, this can be a fantastic opportunity to start a career. From planning, engineering, teaching, dental, nursing, web design, social care to construction, the opportunities are endless when it comes to apprenticeships. Interested? Why not see where it takes you and #BeTheFuture

Benefits of choosing the apprenticeship route:

You will learn new skills whilst also being paid. Apprenticeships typically start on minimum wage (£3.70 per hour, as from April 2018). The average in Wolverhampton is around £150 per week, however this will increase after the first year. Apprentices aged 25 and over, and not in the first year of their apprenticeship, will be entitled to the National Minimum Wage and this will also increase after the first year.

Students in England will graduate with student debt of over £50,000 and typically with no work experience in their chosen field. Apprentices do not have this debt and have real work experience in a real job, meaning they are already ahead in terms of career progression.

90 per cent of apprentices are kept on by their employers and at least a quarter are promoted within 12 months of completing. Employers can choose to support further career progression for apprentices that can lead to higher-level apprenticeships, right up to degree and masters level.

Each level of qualification rewards the apprentice with a qualification, highly respected by employers in the apprentices chosen career. The levels are: Level 2 (equivalent to 5 GCSE passes), Level 3 (equivalent to 2 A-Level passes), right the way through to Level 6 (degree level) and Level 7 (master’s degree). Each level of an apprenticeship can vary in length of time, from one to three years, depending on level of qualification.

Apprentices have increased future earning potential across the course of their career, as well as not being saddled with tens of thousands of pounds of student debt. In the long-term, individuals with an advanced apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more over their lifetime than similar individuals with Level 2 qualifications. While those completing a higher (degree level) apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.

You will benefit from an assessor who will guide you through your course and provide tailored support to suit your needs. You will have a mentor in the company who will help you with all aspects of the role and provide career progression support. Additionally, you may also have peer support from current and past apprentices.

Apprenticeships are real jobs, not just making tea or filing, so apprentices will have real responsibility from the offset. Explore this A-Z list of apprenticeships and discover amazing apprenticeships you never knew existed!

You will receive the same benefits as all the other employees in the company, including an entitlement to at least 20 paid days of annual leave. You can also apply for an NUS extra card to get student discounts in a range of high street shops and restaurants. If you are aged between 16-18, you may be entitled to discounted travel . Apprentices will also have further professional development opportunities.

If you have not achieved the grades required for your chosen apprenticeship, you may still be able to apply. To progress in your apprenticeship the training provider will support you to achieve your level 2 or level 3 functional skills.


FAQs

This will vary depending on the company you work for and the level of apprenticeship you are undertaking, but the minimum wage for apprentices is £3.70 per hour. This will increase after the first year of your apprenticeship to match the national minimum age for your age-group, unless you are aged 19 or under at that point. This is the minimum that companies can legally pay - most apprentices receive more.

Higher level apprenticeships can pay as much as £500 per week. The Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2016 estimated the average gross hourly pay received by apprentices in Great Britain was £6.70 an hour for level 2 and 3 apprentices which is equivalent to nearly £14,000 per year. More details on salaries and entry criteria in specific apprenticeship occupations can be found on GOV.UK and search ‘apprenticeships’.

Most importantly you will have the chance to earn whilst having real work experience, gaining a nationally recognised qualification and developing the skills which will increase your future earning potential. Apprentices receive increases in salary upon completion of training and this often leads to great potential for career progression.

Apprenticeships are open to all ages. As long as you are aged 16 or over, and not currently in full-time education you are eligible to start an apprenticeship. You can still apply if you will be 16 at the start of your chosen scheme.

There may be further eligibility criteria, such as having a certain number of GCSEs, but this will be indicated in the job advert. If you don't have this, many apprenticeships will let you work towards it over the length of the scheme. If you need any further support please contact wolvesatwork@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

Pre-apprenticeships aim to support 16-24-year olds to develop the skills they need to progress into employment or an apprenticeship. Most are unpaid (some may include travel costs) and can last between 6 weeks and 6 months. They include work experience with a local employer and will support with English and Maths and preparing for the world of work. Pre-apprenticeships can be a fantastic gateway to those candidates who do not have the relevant or enough work experience and will equip you for a future apprenticeship or employment.

Apprenticeships are designed to help people progress within a business over a longer period of time, gaining the skills and experience in their chosen field and a nationally recognised qualification. They are the first step into a career, not just a job, and are open to anybody over the age of 16.

Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industries and organisations, and in almost all careers. There are opportunities in everything from office-based work to engineering, trades such as construction and plumbing, and vocations such as teaching and dental nursing.

The levels vary from level 2 up to level 7 and this will depend on your previous experience qualification levels. Our dedicated Apprenticeships Work Coach can explain this to you, and help you to find the right apprenticeship for you.

Contact wolvesatwork@wolverhampton.gov.uk. Please explore what apprenticeships you can do. Please explore the range of apprenticeships you can do and the A-Z list of apprenticeships.

University can provide you with qualifications and has been a proven route into careers, however, apprenticeships are unique as they will equip you with the relevant qualifications and give you real work experience in your chosen field, which may mean you progress faster than your peers at University.

Completing an apprenticeship doesn't mean you can't go to university afterwards, and many apprenticeships can lead on to University-level qualifications which you get paid to study for.

20 per cent of your working time is set aside for learning, which can be at a college or university, or sometimes on the job depending on the apprenticeship you are doing. You will receive a certificate from the training provider stating that you have successfully completed the qualification, which vary from Level 2 right up to Degree level.

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship – Level 2; equivalent to five  GCSEs at grade C or above
  • Advanced Apprenticeship – Level 3; equivalent to two A level passes
  • Higher Apprenticeship
  • Level 4: equivalent to an HNC
    Level 5: equivalent to an HND or a Foundation Degree
    Level 6: equivalent to an Undergraduate Degree
    Level 7: equivalent to a Master’s Degree
  • Degree: Degree Apprenticeships offer a full degree, paid for by your employer

No, apprenticeships are open to all ages.

If you're over 19, once you have completed the first year of your apprenticeship you will be entitled to the national minimum wage although many employers offer higher salaries. If you are over particular age, depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to benefits through Universal Credit to support you with housing and living costs. See if you would be eligible.

Apprenticeships can be an exciting career change, to go into that sector or industry you have always wanted, or a mechanism for career progression and to attain the right qualifications, whilst working and still earning a competitive salary

If you have been unsuccessful before, don't let this deter you! Applying for apprenticeships and going to interviews are fantastic experiences that will help you gain confidence. Keep going and find the right apprenticeship for you. There are a range of organisations that offer you fantastic support which you can find below. Check the Are you ready? page for more information.

90 per cent of apprentices go on to secure employment with their employer or in the same field. This can be a full-time job, or in the form of the next level apprenticeship up. A quarter of apprentices are promoted within 12 months of completing their scheme.

There are no guarantees, and it is dependent upon how you have performed throughout your apprenticeship and the business needs, but once you have completed your apprenticeship you will have experience in your chosen field and a certificate proving the skills you have acquired.

From small businesses and local enterprises, to large multi-national companies, employers are switching on to the value and benefits that apprentices bring to their organisations. See our list of employers in Wolverhampton that continue to employ, support and develop apprentices.

More information, including videos of current apprentices, is available at getingofar.gov.uk. You can search and apply for vacancies on the government’s Find on Apprenticeship pages.

Once you register on Find an apprenticeship, you can set up email and text alerts about new apprenticeship vacancies that may interest you. If you would like to view more information on a selection of well-known employers you can visit the vacancy snapshot at amazingapprenticeships.com.

It displays a range of employer fact files outlining the types of apprenticeship vacancies available at these companies across the year. If you have a specific interest in a certain employer, it is also worth going direct to their recruitment site.

Need support

  • Contact the Wolves at Work on wolvesatwork@wolverhampton.gov.uk
  • For more information contact the National Apprenticeships Helpdesk on 0800 015 0400 or by email: Find a Apprenticeship
  • Check out are you ready?

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