Apprenticeships Information for Young People

Apprenticeships provide the ideal opportunity to earn while you learn.

Who can become an apprentice?

To become an apprentice, you must:

  • Be aged 16 or over
  • Not already be in full-time education
  • Live in England

You can start an apprenticeship whether you are starting your career, want to change or are upskilling in your current job.

What is an apprenticeship?

  • A real job where you learn, gain experience, and get paid
  • Have a contract of employment and holiday leave
  • Study for at least 20% of your working hours. This is usually with a college, university, or training provider
  • Assessments are completed throughout
  • The end-point assessment takes place at the end of your apprenticeship

How long does an apprenticeship take?

Between one and six years to complete depending on which one you choose.

What different options are there?

You can start an apprenticeship at any level. Some apprenticeships may require previous qualifications for example English or maths GCSE. They may also give extra training in the English or maths skills that are needed.

Apprenticeship type


Equivalent education level






A level


4, 5, 6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

How do you apply for an apprenticeship?

It is easy to find an apprenticeship using the government 'Find and Apprenticeship' website. You can also apply directly through an employer’s website. There is more information, including advice for what to include in your application.

How does the training work?

As an apprentice you will receive two different types of training.

  1. ‘Off-the-job’ training which is delivered by a training provider and takes place during your normal working hours.
  • At least 20% of your time
  • Can be flexible and doesn’t have to mean one day out of the workplace each week. It might be blocks of time for example.
  • This training can be online, at your place or work or at a college, university, or training provider
  • It could be a combination of all three
  • The training schedule is agreed between the employer and training provider
  1. ‘On-the-job’ training and supervision which is delivered by your employer to help you to perform the job that you have been hired for.  

How are apprenticeships assessed?

You will be assessed throughout your apprenticeship to make sure you are achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours required.

You may be required to complete an end-point assessment (EPA). This assessment takes place at the end of your apprenticeship and is carried out by an independent organisation known as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO).

Your employer or training provider will be able to provide further details, but there is also an overview.

How do I find an apprenticeship?

There are a number of places to look for apprenticeship vacancies both locally and nationally including:

For additional information, head to the apprenticeships website.

Perceptions of Apprenticeships 

Dorset Young Researchers were commissioned by Dorset Careers Hub to find out the thoughts, feelings and lived experiences of different viewpoints of apprenticeships and when those viewpoints were formed.

Young Researchers designed and delivered youth-led participatory action research into young people's, parents, carers, teachers and employers perceptions of apprenticeships. They heard from 487 people - including young people, parents, carers, employers and educators.

The full report and key headlines can be downloaded.