Apprenticeships in England

Everything you need to know about apprenticeships in England

Taking an apprenticeship in England

There are apprenticeships for over 1,500 job roles — allowing you to enter careers in anything from engineering to boat building. Here you will find everything you need to know about exploring your options, and how to search and apply for an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are ideal if you have a clear idea of the career you’d like to pursue, and you’re willing to commit to work and study. Unlike in school, at college or on a traditional degree course, the majority of your learning will be through on-the-job training in your place of work.

To be considered for an apprenticeship programme in England, you need to be:

  • aged 16 or over
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education

What apprenticeships are available in England?

There are four types or levels of apprenticeship available in England, for over 1,500 job roles. They are:

See how they compare with other qualifications

Entry requirements for apprenticeships in England

The level of apprenticeship you start at will depend on the qualifications you have, the job you are applying for, and apprenticeship standard the employer wants to use. If you start with an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship, you can progress your career and work your way up through the higher level apprenticeships to achieve a master’s degree in some career areas.

Each apprenticeship vacancy will specify the entry requirements, and qualities the employer is looking for. For higher and degree apprenticeships, employers are generally asking for A levels and other Level 3 qualifications. You also need to check the job description for any essential and desirable skills they’re looking for, and specific qualifications required. 

Level Entry requirements
Intermediate (Level 2) – generally considered to be equivalent to five GCSE passes. Applicants need to be over 16 years old, and show they can complete the programme.
Advanced (Level 3) – generally considered to be equivalent to two A level passes.

Some industries want apprentices who have three or more GCSEs, but other employers don't specify any formal qualifications. Some may ask for previous experience in the industry.

Higher (Level 4 and above)

Level 4 – equivalent to an HNC, a foundation degree, or the first year of an undergraduate degree.

Levels 5 and above – equivalent to a full degree.

Entry requirements can include at least five GCSEs grades A – C (9 – 4 on the new grading system), and Level 3 qualifications, including A levels, NVQ/SVQ Level 3, or a BTEC National. Some will expect or require applicants to have subjects related to the apprenticeship.

Degree (Levels 5 to 7) – these are new and enable apprentices to achieve a foundation degree or more as part of their apprenticeship.

Level 6 – equivalent to a full degree.

Level 7 – equivalent to a master's degree.

Entry requirements can include at least five GCSEs grades A – C  (9 – 4 on the new grading system), and Level 3 qualifications, including A levels, NVQ/SVQ Level 3, or a BTEC National. Some employers have specific entry requirements. For example, recent IT degree apprenticeship adverts have required an A level (or equivalent) grade range of ABB to CCC.

Many employers will expect or require applicants to have qualifications in subjects related to the apprenticeship.

Have a look at existing apprenticeship vacancies to see whether there are any specific subjects and/or grades you need.

Where to get help and support

Sign up to Career Finder

If you think an apprenticeship could be right for you, head over to Career Finder and create an account. 

You'll be able to: 

  • search for all apprenticeship roles
  • filter by subject area, role type, location, and level of apprenticeship
  • shortlist jobs
  • sign up for alerts
  • keep tabs on applications you've made

Go to Career Finder

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