What is an apprenticeship?

what is an apprenticeship?

If you are keen to enter employment now, but would like to continue studying then an Apprenticeship could be the answer. They enable you to earn while you learn, and develop the skills employers look for.

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you’ll:

Apprenticeships take 1 to 4 years to complete depending on their level.

Key fact: Since 2010, there have been over 2 million apprenticeship starts in England.

Why take an apprenticeship?

At City and Islington College we work with local employers to design apprenticeships that enable you to:

  • Develop your skills
  • Follow a rewarding career
  • Earn while you learn
  • Become qualified in your chosen profession
  • Gain a nationally recognised qualification
  • Build up knowledge and skills learning on the job
  • Full-time education isn't for everyone. An Apprenticeship allows you to get out and experience working in a proper job.

Apprenticeships typically take a minimum of one year to complete. As an apprentice, you’ll be in full-time employment, typically with a local company, and receiving a wage from day one. You’ll spend time learning about your trade by gaining hands-on experience working on-site with your employer and you will also attend the College or an approved training centre to learn the theoretical knowledge that you will need for your job.

Levels of apprenticeship

An apprenticeship has an equivalent education level and can be:

  • Level 2 Intermediate - equivalent to 5 GCSE passes
  • Level 3 Advanced - equivalent to 2 A level passes
  • Level 4 Higher - can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree

Unsure about which level is right for you? You can find by looking at the qualifications you currently have or are working towards and  what you need to gain access onto a partiular level.

How to apply for an apprenticeship?

You can apply for apprenticeships courses by following the same process as the majority of our courses.   Visit our How to apply? page for details.

If you're asked to "Register your interest" on the course page instead of "add to basket", don't worry someone from our Apprenticeship Team will be in touch with you about the next steps.

What next after completing an apprenticeship?

After completing an apprenticeship you will have a recognised qualification.  Many apprentices continue working at the organisation they completed the apprenticeship at.  Some apprentices progress to the next level of  the apprenticeship if available, to gain a higher qualification and continue to work.

Download our apprenticeship leaflet

You can download our Apprenticeship Leaflet or view all our apprenticeships in the course search online.

For more information you can visit the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) website.

Key national facts about apprenticeships

  • since 2010, there have been over 2 million apprenticeship starts in England
  • apprenticeships are available in over 170 industries including aerospace, fashion, broadcast media and finance – with 1500 job roles available
  • women now take up 55% of apprenticeships
  • 90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship (includes 2% self-employed)
  • 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer
  • 82% said their apprenticeship had improved their ability to do the job and 79% said that their career prospects had improved
  • more than 850,000 people have been earning and learning on an apprenticeship in 2013 to 2014
  • there has never been a better time to employ an apprentice, or start an apprenticeship
  • 100 years ago an apprentice could be summoned to court for being ‘idle’ or having a ‘bad attitude.’