90% of parents that give career advice to their children don’t feel well informed about doing so, which is why we’ve decided to build this guide, covering key information for parents and carers to help your child make an informed decision. Deciding what to do once your child leaves school is a huge deal that can shape their future, and sometimes they’ll need a little help in figuring out their best option.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a brilliant alternative to university. It gives people the chance to earn a recognised qualification while being paid. In fact, apprenticeships are the government’s primary route to gaining transferable skills to build a successful career. They used to be associated with trades, like building, engineering, electrical, etc. Nowadays, there are apprenticeships for just about any role out there, from project management to data analyst, business administrators to cyber security – they’re the perfect stepping-stone into the professional world.
Not only are there thousands of different apprenticeships in different roles, but they also range in levels. Apprenticeships aren’t only for school leavers.
- The entry level apprenticeships is called ‘Intermediate’ or Level 2. The only requirements for this apprenticeship, and all others, is eligibility to work in the UK, as well as being out of full-time education – apprentices gain all the skills and experience they need during the scheme. This is the equivalent to 5 good GCSE passes and will span over 12-18 months.
- Next on the ladder of levels is an ‘Advanced’ apprenticeship or Level 3, which works to be the equivalent to passing 2 A-levels. At this stage, work experience is preferred but not vital, candidates will gain a huge amount of experience from the programme. All that’s needed to enter at this level is 3 GCSEs at grade 9-4 (or equivalent). This scheme usually last 24 months.
- The next stage is a ‘Higher’ apprenticeship or Level 4/5. This is equivalent to first stages of higher education, such as foundation degrees. The requirement for this stage is 5 GCSEs grade 9-4 (or equivalent) or a level 3 qualification.
- The final, and highest, level of apprenticeships is ‘Degree’ apprenticeships or Level 6/7. These usually range from 3-6 years long, as do ‘Higher’ apprenticeships and require 3 high a-level passes, 5 GCSEs at grade 9-4 (or equivalent), and previous experience. While the requirements are higher and a lot harder to meet, this scheme results in a Bachelor’s or Master’s being earnt by the end.
Deep dive into our recruitment process
In 2022, we made the decision to keep our recruitment process online. We did this to ensure we could continue recruiting talent over the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to protect all candidates when doing so. With the need to change our process to suit a virtual world, there have been several changes to our process. Before the full process begins, candidates are required to fill in a simple application form. This provides us with all relevant details and allows the process to begin!
Your child may then be asked to complete a Situational Judgement Test (SJT), which is a form of psychometric testing that allows us to assess whether or not they’re right for the role. It also allows them to get a sense of what a day as an apprentice may look like and whether it’s for them. If successful, they’ll then move on to the telephone interview. At this stage, our recruitment team are keen to get to know your child further, what motivates them, and what their strengths are. This also helps us to assess whether we might have a more suitable role.
If the telephone interview goes well, the next stage is the Discovery Centre. This starts with a coaching call a few days before, which gives your child the chance to ask any questions they may have as well as get a few tips from our recruitment team. The Discovery Centre consists of a virtual meeting, where you’ll get to know our Future Careers team. You’ll be given a range of tasks to complete, which all relate to the apprenticeship scheme you’ve applied for. We’ll round up the day with a big thank you, and get back to each candidate within a few days!
Hopefully, we’ve managed to cover everything you need to know about apprenticeships. With our huge range of apprenticeship schemes, we really are pros when it comes to sharing information relating to them. If you’re still unsure about aspects of apprenticeships, our website is full of useful information to help.