There is a lot of information on the internet about Apprenticeships. It is a good idea to spend some time understanding how they work.


What is an Apprenticeship?

On an Apprenticeship young people study for qualifications at the same time as working. They divide their time between an employer and typically a FE college, although occasionally the Apprenticeship training is also delivered in the workplace.

Typically an employer will offer an Apprenticeship and young people apply in a similar way to a normal job. Competition is often strong so applicants will need to show determination, aptitude and commitment.
To start an Apprenticeship they must be aged 16 or over and not in full time education. There are three levels of apprenticeships, starting with those designed for young people with average GCSE grades working up to those with A levels or an Advanced Diploma.

There are lots of benefits to doing an apprenticeship. Apprentices learn while they earn and they learn in a way that is best suited to them. As an apprentice they will:

Apprenticeship training can take between one and four years to complete, but the length of an apprenticeship depends on it’s level, the industry in question and the skills the Apprentice already has.

There is no official upper age limit but government policy means that Apprentices who start their training when they are 19 or older attract less funding to cover the training costs. In reality, this means that fewer Apprentices are aged over 19 and even less are over 24.

It is also harder to get an Apprenticeship if the applicant already holds a Level 4 qualification or if they have lived in the UK for less than 3 years. Although, the new Apprenticeship Levy means that Businesses are receiving more help towards the cost of funding an Apprentice at any age.

How much do Apprentices get paid?

The National Minimum Wage for an Apprentice is dependent on age. Apprentices in their first year of study or under the age of 19 are entitled to the apprentice rate:

Age Rate until April 2019
Apprentice £3.70 per hour
19-20 £5.90 per hour
21-24 £7.38 per hour
25+ £7.83 per hour

Some employers pay more than the minimum wage, but this is entirely their decision, they don’t have to.

What can I do to increase my son/daughter’s chances of getting an Apprenticeship?

If I find an employer, how can Coventry College help?

We can deliver Apprenticeships in a range of subjects, once you have found an employer come and speak to us. We can talk to the employer about what they need to do next and support them through the process of employing an Apprentice.

Finding out more

We offer an Advice shop where anyone can drop in for impartial advice on careers. If your daughter or son has a query about apprenticeships they can find out more from the GovApprenticeship webpage, ask a careers adviser who comes into their school or speak to a careers adviser from the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900. The National Careers Service also offer webchat, texts and other means of getting in touch as listed on their Contact an Adviser webpage for young people.

Important things to consider

Starting an apprenticeship can affect the families’ benefits.

There is help available for apprentices on a low income, for example:

The NHS low income scheme
Apprentices NUS discount card:


If you need any further information then please contact us here.