Apprenticeships explained

Find out how an apprenticeship works, how long it can take and where you'll do your training.

How an apprenticeship works

An apprenticeship combines work, training, and study. You will be employed in a real job while you study for a nationally recognised qualification.

An apprenticeship can give you the opportunity to work alongside experienced colleagues and gain hands on experience in a role you are interested in. 

You don't need to take out a loan or pay any fees for your training because your employer and the government cover the costs.

Apprenticeships take between 1 and 6 years to complete. The time it takes depends on the level of the apprenticeship, the skills you already have and what industry the apprenticeship is in.

You'll train in the workplace and with a training provider, like a college or university.

Who can do an apprenticeship

You can do an apprenticeship if you are:

  • aged 16 or over
  • not in full-time education
  • living in England

An apprenticeship could work for you if you are:

  • starting your first job
  • already have a job, and want to develop new skills
  • want to retrain for a new career