What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study. It is essentially a set of work-related qualifications called a ‘framework’.

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The framework consists of:

  • The Competence element (often an NVQ), which will enable you to demonstrate your workplace abilities and prove that you can do specific job-related tasks. 
  • The BTEC technical certificate will give you extra knowledge and understanding about the job you are training for.
  • Transferable Skills such as Functional Skills cover more general work-related skills such as communication, team working, problem solving and using new technologies. In Wales, Essential Skills is required.
  • ERR – Employee Rights and Responsibilities. In this part of the BTEC Apprenticeship you will learn about your rights and responsibilities in the workplace. On completion you will receive a BTEC Award in Workskills for effective learning and employment.
  • PLTS – Personal Learning and Thinking Skills. As part of the BTEC Apprenticeship you will develop a series of underpinning skills that employers are looking for. Skills such as creative thinking, evaluation and team working are key to future employability, making BTEC apprentices more effective employees.

Apprenticeship levels explained

There are three levels of apprenticeships available for those aged 16 and over:

Level 2 BTEC Intermediate Apprenticeships - These provide the skills you need for your chosen career and allow entry to an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Level 3 BTEC Advanced Apprenticeships - To start this apprenticeship, you should ideally have five GCSEs (grade C or above) or have completed a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

Level 4/5 BTEC Higher Apprenticeships - These apprenticeships work towards qualifications such as NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Higher National Certificate or Diploma.

Your efforts will be rewarded throughout the process, as you will receive a separate certificate for each qualification you achieve, as well as receiving a certificate once you have completed and achieved all aspects of your apprenticeship programme.

The learning provider will help to coordinate your apprenticeship and develop skills and knowledge, while your employer provides the practical experience to put those skills to the test.

Training can be classroom based, in a workshop or in a workplace, depending on the subject and on the learning provider.

Find out about the benefits of an apprenticeship:

Why choose an apprenticeship?

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