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Apprentices' Frequently Asked Questions

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 21 Aug 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Apprenticeship Nvq Training Jobcentre

If you are considering an apprenticeship then it is natural that you will have a lot of questions about doing one. Here are a few FAQs to help you along the way.

What Is An apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines a job with structured training and working towards a national qualification. It is recognised by employers across the country and is an alternative choice to further education or just entering employment.

Who Can Do An Apprenticeship?

Anyone who is over the age of sixteen and not in full time education can apply to do an apprenticeship. There are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship so certain sectors may ask for GCSEs (A-C) in English, Maths and Science.

Will I Get Paid To Do It?

One of the great things about doing an apprenticeship is that you will get paid to do it. As at October 2016 the minimum wage for apprentices under the age of 19 or over 19 but in their first year of apprenticeship is £3.70 per hour (2018). Apprenticies aged 19 or over who have completed one year of their apprenticeship are entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage applicable to their age. You are counted as a regular employee so get all the benefits such as holiday and sick leave as well.

What Qualification Will I Earn?

During your apprenticeship you will work towards a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). This is a well recognised qualification that will help you in your career. You may also have the chance to work on professional qualifications such as City and Guilds.

Are There Different Levels Of Apprenticeship?

There are two different levels of apprenticeship. During an apprenticeship you will work towards an NVQ2 which is equivalent to 5 good GSCEs. Or you can work towards an NVQ3 on an advanced apprenticeship which is equivalent to 2 A level passes.

What Can I Do An Apprenticeship In?

There are over 180 apprenticeships available across 80 different sectors so there is a lot to choose from. Some popular areas are construction, manufacturing and business administration.

How Long Does An Apprenticeship Take?

There is no set time for completing an apprenticeship. It depends on each individual, their progress and how quickly they complete the training. An average time for an apprenticeship though is about two or three years.

Where Can I Find Out About Vacancies?

There are a number of different ways to find out about vacancies. Visit your local jobcentre, keep an eye on job adverts or call the apprenticeship helpline on 08000 150 600

How Do I Apply?

Applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for a job so you will have to got through an application process. This will usually involve a written application and then an interview where you will have to impress your employer.

What Do I Do When I’ve Finished?

It is up to you what you do when you have finished your apprenticeship. There may be an opportunity to stay on at the same company or you may want to look for a new job. Alternatively, you may decide that you would like to gain more qualification by staying on at college or applying for university.

By making sure you have all the information you need, you can make an informed decision about whether an apprenticeship is the right path for you.

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Hi. My 18 year old son has just completed his Extended Level 3 BTEC in IT and has been told he can't now apply for a level 3 apprenticeship because yltheyre the same level. He's been told by training providers todo a Level 4 apprenticeship or find a job as they're the only options now available. Is that correct? Looking online we see forums etc saying you can do level 3 apprenticeships after A level or BTEC. We are so confused!
Teee - 21-Aug-18 @ 4:56 PM
@siane - His current experience might override the C in science (his current experience being the 'equivelent').I'm sure a lot depends upon whether they like him as a person too.
HaN - 6-Aug-18 @ 2:31 PM
Hi, my lad has just studied and finished Btec level 2, 3 and level 3 extended electrical engineering. He has his C in Engish,C in maths, B in business and a D in resident materials. He's just applied for a wind turbine apprenticeship but is worried because they want a C in Science or equivalent. Does anyone know if the qualifications he already has may overide the C science please.
siane - 3-Aug-18 @ 3:55 PM
I am 19 years old and doing my level 3 in childcare I have completed my first year in a nursery and have just started at a different nursery to complete my second year I am confused as to what pay I should be on as I am being paid £3.70 even though I have done my first year and am 19 but they are saying as I have moved setting it’s because it’s my first year with them
Nurserywork - 1-Aug-18 @ 7:13 PM
Tj - Your Question:
My daughter is 17 and doing a work based nvq 2 in business admin. Can I still get child benefit and child tax? Her college tutor calls in to the office to do course work

Our Response:
The link here should help answer your question.
AnApprenticeship - 31-Jul-18 @ 11:33 AM
My daughter is 17 and doing a work based nvq 2 in business admin. Can I still get child benefit and child tax? Her college tutor calls in to the office to do course work
Tj - 30-Jul-18 @ 2:39 PM
Dazz - Your Question:
Hi my 18 year old daughter has just finished nvq level 2 apprenticeship and her employer has asked her to stay on and do her level 3, She’s wondering what level of pay she would be entitled to as she’s only been getting £3.70 an hour which I think is disgusting. Thanks Dazz

Our Response:
The link here should help answer you question.
AnApprenticeship - 30-Jul-18 @ 1:59 PM
Hi my apprenticeship is due to finish on the 15th of September however my assessor is coming in on the 22nd to finish all of my questions and sign me off as completed am I able to leave once this has been done or do I have to wait until the official end date.thanks.
Sophie - 29-Jul-18 @ 8:18 PM
Hi my 18 year old daughter has just finished nvq level 2 apprenticeship and her employer has asked her to stay on and do her level 3, She’s wondering what level of pay she would be entitled to as she’s only been getting £3.70 an hour which I think is disgusting. Thanks Dazz
Dazz - 27-Jul-18 @ 3:54 PM
Luce- Your Question:
I’ve just completed level 2 childcare and I’m 18, am I still an apprentice or should I be getting an 18 year olds wage

Our Response:
You don't say whether you are still working for your employer and/or whether your employer is keeping you on as an apprentice or otherwise. It means it is not possible to answer your question.
AnApprenticeship - 13-Jul-18 @ 1:57 PM
I’ve just completed level 2 childcare and I’m 18, am I still an apprentice or should I be getting an 18 year olds wage
Luce - 13-Jul-18 @ 12:34 PM
@Annon - if you passed your first year and it was the same apprenticeship then I'm sure your certs would count. Best to ask your next employer at interview stage.
Issy - 22-Jun-18 @ 2:57 PM
Hi, I have previously been in an apprenticeship and I completed my first year but I left my job so I didn’t start my second year. If I applied for another apprenticeship in the same job / same apprenticeship would I go straight to the second year or would I have to start from fresh even though I have my certificates to prove I passed my first year?
Annon - 22-Jun-18 @ 10:05 AM
I'm soon to qualify for level 2 joinery NVQ and diploma so I will be classed as a competent tradesman. I will be staying on for level 3 but my boss is determined to keep me on an apprentice wage, but wants to treat me as competent among other tradesmen on a full wage which I strongly disagree with, is this legal?
Kurt - 15-Jun-18 @ 4:58 AM
Hi - was looking for some advice. I'm nearly 1 year into my 2 year apprenticeship contract. I'm currently doing a Level 4 Apprenticeship in digital marketing and am due to finish the qualification next month. I was wondering if there are any Level 6 courses that could be funded by the levy? I asked my employer if I could do a CIM level 6 equivalent but they said I would have to pay for it as it's not covered by the levy. Should I stay with my current employer on the apprenticeship contract and wage for another year (with no additional qualification) or ask for a full time role and pay for the course myself? Many Thanks Alex
Alex - 8-Jun-18 @ 2:35 PM
Pj - Your Question:
I have an interview for a level 3 apprenticeship but I haven’t passed my gsce’s can I still do the apprenticeship or would they not let me.

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether your GCSE grades are a pre-requisite to being employed in the job, you would have to ask your potential employer directly.
AnApprenticeship - 18-May-18 @ 10:53 AM
I have an interview for a level 3 apprenticeship but I haven’t passed my gsce’s can I still do the apprenticeship or would they not let me.
Pj - 17-May-18 @ 7:08 AM
JF - Your Question:
I have been on an apprenticeship working towards a level 3 in engineering, it is looking like I am going to finish the apprenticeship much earlier than expected. I was at college before starting my apprenticeship, and whilst I was there I completed most of the work I was going to have to do for my apprenticeship. I am wondering now if my salary will have to increase to the stated final salary for my apprenticeship, even though I will be completing it about 2 years in advance? Any information or advice will be very helpful

Our Response:
You would really have to speak to your employer directly regarding this matter. You may also wish to read your contract to see what it says about finishing your apprenticeship. Likewise, dependent upon your age, apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they are aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship.
AnApprenticeship - 15-May-18 @ 9:49 AM
I have been on an apprenticeship working towards a level 3 in engineering, it is looking like I am going to finish the apprenticeship much earlier than expected. I was at college before starting my apprenticeship, and whilst I was there I completed most of the work I was going to have to do for my apprenticeship. I am wondering now if my salary will have to increase to the stated final salary for my apprenticeship, even though I will be completing it about 2 years in advance? Any information or advice will be very helpful
JF - 14-May-18 @ 12:20 PM
I am currently doing a Level 2 apprenticeship in Business Admin. I started in January 2018 and I only a couple of units left which I know I'll have completed by the end of May 2018. I am currently attending college one day a week on Monday's but as from 21st May I won't be attending college anymore. Is there any chance of me finishing my apprenticeship early? or any chance of me starting my level 3 early? Thanks.
22K - 4-May-18 @ 11:29 AM
Jo - Your Question:
I am half way through my level 3 childcare apprenticeship and have nearly finished my course work, this is with an apprenticeship company, not college. My Boss says I have to pay for it if I finish early.is this true?

Our Response:
The terms and conditions of your employment contract should tell you whether you are obliged to repay any training.
AnApprenticeship - 26-Apr-18 @ 12:28 PM
I am half way through my level 3 childcare apprenticeship and have nearly finished my course work, this is with an apprenticeship company, not college. My Boss says I have to pay for it if I finish early....is this true?
Jo - 25-Apr-18 @ 8:10 PM
Hi, I am currently working in a nursery as an apprentice doing my level 3. Can I move to a different nursery close to home in a different county and carry on my apprenticeship level work where I am already at? Thanks, Jessica
Jessica - 22-Apr-18 @ 10:33 PM
If I did a NVQ Health and Social Care Level 3 in the last 10 years, can I now undertake an apprenticeship Level 3 in health? I have moved from community Trust to an acute Trust in a different speciality thanks
chris - 11-Apr-18 @ 1:48 PM
JB - Your Question:
Hi I am 23 doing a level 3 apprenticeship & just been informed (yesterday) I have to do a maths course as I didn't get the gcse grade when at school. I have since leaving school got an FSA qualification and a btec level 2 in business. My question is do I have to do the maths course FYI I am doing the apprenticeship to enable me to change career direction

Our Response:
If your employer is saying that you have to do the maths course as part of your apprenticeship, then you would have to do the course. As much as it seems like something you really don't want to or have to do, it is very useful. For instance, if you wish to go into teaching when you are older it is imperative that you have maths GSCE, regardless of your other qualifications.
AnApprenticeship - 10-Apr-18 @ 1:59 PM
Hi I am 23 doing a level 3 apprenticeship & just been informed (yesterday) I have to do a maths course as I didn't get the gcse grade when at school.I have since leaving school got an FSA qualification and a btec level 2 in business.My question is do I have to do the maths course FYI I am doing the apprenticeship to enable me to change career direction
JB - 10-Apr-18 @ 8:49 AM
My friends started a one year level 2 apprenticeship in childcare in July 2016 they fell alot behind on coursework due to feeling forced to work 8-6 with 30 minutes to 1 hour lunch break. After 1 year of their apprenticeship they didn't finish their course but their course allowed them to still complete it. Their employer said as they didn't finish the apprenticeship they will still get paid 3.30 at the time. They're still completing their level 2 now and are still get paid apprenticeship wage is this legal if they started their apprenticeship in 2016 and what can they do about this.
Ben - 6-Apr-18 @ 2:09 PM
@Natalie123 - I'd finish the course you are on and then consider the other career later (so you have your qualification in the bag). This will give you a passport to apply for other better training or jobs. It really also depends upon whether the course you want to do is very different or similar to the one you are on now?
MaK - 5-Apr-18 @ 2:34 PM
Hi, i’m currently doing a BTEC level 3 business course and I am going to be finishing the first year in June which is equivalent to 1 and a half A-levels. - Which then if I decide to go onto the second year would equate to 3 A-levels. However lately i’ve been looking on Apprenticeship sites and have seen one that I think I would really be interested in however it’s a level 2 Apprenticeship and it would mean that I would only get a qualification that’s equivalent to GCSE and 1 and a half A-levels. I am really enjoying ny course, but i’m worried I might regret it if I don’t apply for the Apprenticeship to see what it’s like if I get an interview. What do you think I should do? Should I stick to the course I’m on and complete the second year so I have that qualification there that is equivalent to 3 A-levels, or risk it with the Apprenticeship? Thank you!
Natalie123 - 1-Apr-18 @ 11:43 PM
Toni - Your Question:
Hi I am in an apprenticeship at the moment. I want to go to university after. When I first signed the contract it said it was 12 months this was good for me because incase I wanted to change my mind and go uni I could. But they have recently told me it is 16 months and my contract would need to be extended. I have not signed a new contract tho I agreed it would be fine because at that moment I thought maybe I would want to stay at the job. But now I want to go university and have already started applying. Only problem would I be able to gain my qualifications if I leave the apprenticeship early but have still done my 12 months and done all my course work and exams as these qualifications would help me get into uni. Thanks

Our Response:
You would have to discuss this directly with your employer. You don't say why the contract has been changed. However, you may have recourse to complain, please see link here . You also may wish to give ACAS a call to find out your rights under the situation. If the contract specifies it was 12 months, then your employer should keep to the terms of the contract.
AnApprenticeship - 2-Mar-18 @ 12:38 PM
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