Learning in the workplace
Apprenticeships are aimed at young people who wish to earn while they learn, acquiring training, tricks of the trade and valuable industry experience, all through the process of gaining qualifications 'on the job'.
Apprenticeships are designed to create a foundation on which to base a career within a chosen trade or industry. Receiving a weekly wage and, at completion, a nationally-recognised qualification, apprenticeships are an alternative to a fees-based education.
The qualifications received through an apprenticeship are not only beneficial in certain lines of work, but in many industries they are necessary. Available in 190 roles spanning a selection of industry sectors, apprenticeships range from trades (i.e. construction, engineering, manufacturing) to office based roles (i.e. administration and accountancy).
Anybody over the age of 16 may apply for an apprenticeship, with entry requirements depending on the area. Three of the main levels are as follows:
Apprenticeships - 5 good GCSE passes or equivalent
Advanced Apprenticeships - 2 A level passes or equivalent
Higher Apprenticeships - leading to NVQ Level 4 or a Foundation Degree
A literacy test may be required for some candidates, depending on their GCSE Maths and English results.
National Minimum Wage for Apprentices
As of 1 October 2011, the National Minimum Wage for apprentices is £2.60 an hour.
Research has also shown that on average an apprentice takes home £170 per week.
The National Minimum Wage for Apprentices applies to:
apprentices aged 19 and under
apprentices aged 19 or over, within in the first year of their apprenticeship
An apprentice after the first year should continue to get a weekly wage of £95 minimum. Minimum wages for agricultural workers may differ.
Leave for Apprentices
Apprentices are entitled to a minimum of 20 days of paid holiday, in addition to bank holidays.
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