What is an advanced apprenticeship?
An advanced apprenticeship is the level above an intermediate apprenticeship. Advanced apprentices study towards a nationally certified qualification whilst also working for an employer. They receive on the job training for a specific role within a company or industry and develop practical work skills. An advanced apprenticeship can be a great step for young people looking to gain a degree in a vocational field.
What are the entry requirements?
Advanced apprentices are usually required to have five GCSEs, graded 9 to 4 (A*-C). Companies will have their own requirements, and many will be higher. Although an advanced apprenticeship is widely regarded as an alternative to 2 A-Levels, some applicants may already have gained A-Levels or similar qualifications. Some employers will also request these from candidates. Nevertheless, some employers do not ask for formal qualifications and are more interested in relevant work experience, and of course, enthusiasm.
How do advanced apprenticeships work?
Usually, companies organise their programmes in partnership with a training provider. This means that time is split between working for the employer and studying towards a qualification with the training provider. Some employers will provide in-house training, but the majority will send their apprentices to an external training provider – this is often a further education college.
What advanced apprenticeships can I do?
Advanced apprenticeships are available for hundreds of different job roles. There will be something to cover what you’re looking for.
Advanced apprenticeships span a wide variety of sectors, including:
- retail and commercial enterprise
- health, public services and care
- constructing, planning and the built environment
- engineering and manufacturing technologies
- education and training
- leisure travel and tourism
- agriculture, horticulture and animal care
- arts, media and publishing
- business, administration and law
- information and communication technology
- science and mathematics
Apprentices are required to complete 30 hours of work a week – this includes on-site training and studying. Some employers prefer apprentices to balance out their work and studies, for example giving one day a week to study towards your qualification. Whereas others give block release – this is having concentrated study periods, so it would be studying on a full-time basis for a set period. This may be something you can negotiate with your employer, or it may be predetermined for you. It could be worth looking into this when you consider your options. Advanced apprenticeships can last between two to four years. Upon completing an advanced apprenticeship, you will be awarded a National Vocational Qualification (Level 3) – this is a work-based qualification which draws on skills and knowledge required for a particularly employment field. This could be a Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma or a Foundation Degree. All of these equivalents that you can gain through an advanced apprenticeship are equivalent to two A-Levels. Once you’ve gained an advanced apprenticeship, you will then be able to enrol on a higher apprenticeship programme.
Although studying an advanced apprenticeship should be to gain essential skills and door-opening qualifications to boost you into the career of your desire, this can also be accompanied by quite a nice salary.
The salary that you’ll be given depends on many factors, like your age, type of apprenticeship, location and company. You will receive an apprentice wage (currently £3.90/hour) if you are aged 19 and under. You will also receive an apprentice wage if you are in your first year of the programme, regardless of your age. If you have advanced into a later year of study and are over 19, you will receive the national minimum or living wage according to your age. For more clarity on this please head to gov.uk, you’ll also be able to uncover information on apprenticeship holidays. It is also worth noting that many employers pay above the national minimum and living wage.
Apprenticeships in general can be a really great way to avoid student debt. You can earn while you learn and never have to take out any student loans.
Find out more
Here are some great places where you can continue to research advanced apprenticeships.