As apprenticeship programmes vary from company to company, understanding the world of apprenticeships and its levels may seem like a complicated and confusing task. However, if you’re thinking of taking a path through an apprenticeship programme into a successful career, apprenticeship levels can be easily simplified.
To begin with, if you don’t have GCSE’s in English and Maths, you’ll be beginning at level 1, where you’re required to complete some ‘functional skills’ training. To simplify this, ‘functional skills’ is a set of training that employers are encouraged to provide that aims to develop ‘applied skills’ in their industry, allowing apprentices to develop their English, Maths and (in some cases) ICT in the framework of their company. In most cases – and dependent on the individual – the training takes just enough time to get you up to speed with the working world and is nothing to be worried about. While some companies sometimes don’t offer this level of training, you’ll find that many construction companies and training providers do and will gladly help.
Above level 1 is the intermediate level (or level 2). At this level, the requirements for applicants vary, but generally you must be above 16 years of age and can show that you can complete the programme – with both your enthusiasm and academic past - and prove that you are no longer in full-time education. With these requirements you can apply for schemes in all sorts of industries, from tax and accounting apprenticeships to construction-based apprenticeships. Equivalent to 5 GCSE passes (between A*- C grades), level 2 apprentices work towards work-based qualifications like NVQ Level 2 and offer the ability to move into an advanced or higher-level apprenticeship scheme.
Upon completing level 2, you will be able to enter the advanced level of apprenticeship schemes at level 3. To be accepted into an advanced level apprenticeship scheme you should have either 5 GCSE passes or have completed an intermediate level apprenticeship. However, again this varies from company to company so the requirements may vary from previous experience in the industry to no experience at all. Completing a level 3 scheme is equivalent to two A-Level passes and will offer a more developed insight into your chosen industry, giving you the opportunity to gain a degree level qualification. Here, the opportunities are endless and you can expand your knowledge across many sectors and fields of work.
Overall, after breaking down levels 1-3, their requirements and their possibilities, you should be able to understand the possibilities of furthering your career as a newly recruited apprentice.