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What is an apprenticeship?

Learn more about the types of apprenticeships available, the sectors you could work in and the entry requirements needed to pursue your chosen career.

Apprenticeships at a glance

An apprenticeship is an exciting and engaging pathway to securing your dream career. There are different options you can take and factors to consider, but the key points are:

  • You get to work alongside industry experts
  • You gain essential experience to ensure you are ‘job ready’ at the end of your apprenticeship
  • You work towards nationally-recognised standards
  • You complete training in-house and/or with a training provider
  • You are entitled to company benefits within your role
  • You earn a wage while learning
  • You will have no debts – apprenticeships are funded by the government and/or the employer.

Apprenticeship levels

At West Notts College, we offer four different levels of apprenticeship:


Equivalent to a level 2 / GCSE qualification in English , maths and IT.


Equivalent to a level 3 qualification or two A Level passes.


equivalent to a level 4 / foundation degree qualification.


equivalent to a level 5/6 qualification or bachelors or masters degree.

Entry requirements

Each level of apprenticeship will require different entry requirements. However, to give you an idea of what you can expect, the general requirements are as follows:

  • Intermediate - you need to be over 16-years-old and no longer be in full-time education
  • Advanced - you will likely be required to have previous work experience and at least three 9-4 grade GCSEs or equivalent. This includes an intermediate apprenticeship qualification
  • Higher - usually you will need at least five 9-4 grade GCSEs, as well as some Level 3 qualifications in relevant subjects. This can could be AS Levels, a BTEC National or a Level 3 NVQ
  • Degree - as the highest level, you will require three A Levels in a specified grade range or a higher apprenticeship qualification. You will also need at least five 9-4 GCSE grades and potentially previous work experience.

Types of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are offered in a broad range of job sectors and for a wide variety of roles. To give you an idea, some of these include:

  • Accounting
  • Beauty
  • Bricklaying
  • Care/support work
  • Childcare
  • Digital marketing
  • Engineering
  • Hair
  • Human resources
  • IT
  • Motor vehicle/mechanics
  • Painting and decorating
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing
  • Retail
  • Transport and logistics
  • Web development

Already know what type of apprenticeship you would like? Then why not listen to one our apprentices with our latest case studies.

Apprentice pay rates and working hours

If you're aged under 19 and an apprentice, or 19 or over and still in your first year as an apprentice, you'll be entitled to the apprenticeship wage of £4.81 per hour. Apprentices aged 19 or over and who've completed their first year will be able to claim the National Minimum Wage (NMW). From April 2022, this has been set at £6.83 per hour (for those aged 18-20), £9.18 (21-22) and £9.50 (23 and over).

However, this pay rate is stated as a guideline and so rates can vary with each employers – some could pay more!

You will also be entitled to sick pay, any additional employee benefits on offer at the company; such as healthcare plans, childcare vouchers, discounts and at least 20 days of paid holiday every year.

Facts about apprenticeships

  • Anyone over 16 and living in the UK can apply for an apprenticeship.
  • Apprenticeships can be studied right up to degree-level.
  • Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries across the UK.*
  • After completing an apprenticeship, 90% of apprentices will stay in employment, with 71% staying on with the same UK employer.*
  • There are up to 28,000 job vacancies online at any one time*
  • The National Minimum Wage from April 2022 is £4.81 per hour.*

*information taken from

Ready to become an apprentice?

Register your interest with us and we'll be in touch when a relevant job vacancy becomes available.

Register your interest

Or call now on freephone 0800 121 8317

Why choose West Notts?

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96.2% A Level pass rate in 2022.

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction.**Learner Exit Survey 2019/20

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We offer a flexible and cost-effective travel pass to all students and apprentices.

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We have four campuses each boasting a number of state-of-the-art facilities.

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