Apprenticeships are offered by employers, who will train you to do a specific job in their company. There are apprenticeships covering most industries. You'll be employed to do a real job, spending most of your time in the workplace gaining job-specific skills, but you will also spend time, usually one day a week, working towards relevant qualifications at a College or training provider.

At the end of your apprenticeship, hopefully you will have gained the skills and knowledge needed to either secure permanent employment in your chosen career or progress onto the next apprenticeship level.

School leavers tend to start their training at Level 2 and progress to Level 3 with each level taking 1-2 years to complete.

There are increasing opportunities to take your study further into higher or degree apprenticeships, meaning you could gain a Level 6 qualification whilst you work with no university fees (these are paid for by your employer).

You'll also be constantly developing your transferable skills, which are highly valued by employers. These include communication, teamwork and problem solving, as well as knowledge of IT and the application of numbers.

As you will be employed, apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. This applies to all apprentices aged 16-18, or those in the first year of their course. Once you've progressed past this level, you'll be entitled to the minimum wage rate for your age. However, some employers may pay you a higher wage.

Your working hours will vary depending on your employer, but you won't be able to work more than 40 hours per week or any fewer than 30. Typically, you'll work between 35 and 37.5 hours per week.

An apprenticeship is employment, you will have to apply, be shortlisted and attend an interview - the employer may receive lots of applications, yours needs to stand out. If you need support with this please see Miss Dakin.

National Apprenticeship Service

The National Apprenticeship Service is a government website for you to research and apply for apprenticeship vacancies. If you are interested in an apprenticeship, you should register online to be notified when employers advertise their vacancies in the career area you are interested in. Applications can usually be made through this site.

National Apprenticeship Service

If you would like support accessing this, Miss Dakin and Miss Walker are on hand to help you write a CV and complete applications.