Want to continue your education but have a little freedom too? An apprenticeship could be for you.

An apprenticeship allows you to study for a qualification at the same time as working. You divide your time between an employer and college, although occasionally the apprenticeship training is also delivered in the workplace.

You’ll be able to earn while you learn, gain hands-on experience in your chosen industry and access support from people who already work in the sector right now.

Coventry College offers apprenticeships from level 3 to level 5, in a huge range of industries. With fantastic facilities and staff who are experts in their fields, you couldn’t be better placed to get your career off to a flying start.

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Apprenticeships explained

With an apprenticeship, you study for qualifications at the same time as working. You divide your time between an employer and typically a Further Education college, although occasionally the apprenticeship training is also delivered in the workplace.

Typically an employer will offer an apprenticeship and candidates 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 you 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.

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2; equivalent to five good GCSE passes):
    This level provides the skills and qualifications needed for your chosen career and allow entry (if desired) to an Advanced Apprenticeship. To be accepted, applicants need to be enthusiastic, keen to learn and have a reasonable standard of education.
  • Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3; equivalent to two A-level passes):
    To start at this level, you should have five GCSEs (at grade 4-9 or A*-C) or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. This will provide the skills and qualifications needed for your career and allow entry (if desired) to a Higher Apprenticeship or degree level qualification.
  • Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4/5; equivalent to a Foundation Degree):
    To start at this level, you should have a Level 3 qualification (A-Levels, Advanced Diploma or International Baccalaureate) or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Coventry College offer apprenticeships from level 2 to level 5.

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.

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 you will:

  • Earn a salary (though not usually the same as a full-time employee)
  • Get paid holidays
  • Get paid while attending college
  • Receive training and gain qualifications
  • Can progress to degree level

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.

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.

  • You can find your own employer to employ an apprentice; this could be with a family or friend’s business, or a local business.
  • Phone, email and walk in to give in a copy of your CV to businesses to show interest. Many companies will get a lot of CVs emailed to them, so calling ahead and visiting the company will increase their chances of being successful.
  • Approaching companies in a professional manner creates a good first impression.
  • Offer to do work experience in your chosen industry. This gives the employer a chance to see you working, whilst you gain valuable experience to add to your CV.

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.

We offer an Advice Shop where anyone can drop in for impartial advice on careers.

If you have a query about apprenticeships you can find out more from the GovApprenticeship webpage, ask a Careers Adviser who comes into school (if applicable) 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.

Starting an apprenticeship could affect your family’s benefits. It’s counted as full time, paid employment as part of the household income

  • Parents will no longer be able to claim Family Allowance if the apprentice is 19 and under
  • Apprentices have to pay for their own sight tests, prescriptions and glasses although everyone under 18 still gets free dental treatment.

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.

Apprenticeship Vacancies

An Apprenticeship enables you to learn on the job and get paid while studying for a qualification.

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Interested in becoming an apprentice?

If you’d like to do an apprenticeship with Coventry College, please register your details

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