An apprenticeship offers hands-on experience, a salary, and the opportunity to gain qualifications while you work. After leaving school, you could apply for intermediate or advanced apprenticeships, depending on the type of job and how well you perform in your GCSEs.

Intermediate apprenticeships carry level 2 qualifications which are equivalent to 5 GCSEs (grades 4-9). Some employers require good GCSE grades (4/5 or above) to enter onto an intermediate apprenticeship. This could be due to knowledge needed specific to that industry. For example, a mechanic would not have been able to learn the skills required at school.

Advanced apprenticeships carry level 3 qualifications which are equivalent to A Level. To be successful in gaining an advanced apprenticeship, you will usually need to have passed level 2 qualifications, like GCSEs at grades 4 or better.

There are also higher and degree apprenticeships which can be levels 4, 5, 6 and 7. However, these are not suitable for school leavers as they require level 3 qualifications to apply. It might be worth keeping this in mind if you go to college as this is an excellent alternative to university. Imagine being paid, getting job experience, AND getting a degree, (and not accruing huge student debt!). Some prestigious companies such as BBC, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs all offer higher/degree apprenticeships. These are highly sought-after positions which demand good A Level grades.

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Apprenticeship opportunities exist in many industries including:

  • Agricultural & land-based industries
  • Beauty & wellbeing
  • Business & IT
  • Construction
  • Creative, media & the arts
  • Customer service & retail
  • Energy
  • Engineering & electrical
  • Finance
  • Health & care
  • Hospitality & travel
  • Manufacturing, processing & logistics
  • Marine
  • Public services
  • Sport & fitness
  • Vehicles & transport

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