Apprenticeships and traineeships give you the opportunity to train and get qualifications while working.  They offer on the job training and can be a great way of getting into employment.

For some young people going into a work enviroment suits them better than staying just in the classroom. From the age of 16 young people can choose to take up an apprenticeship or traineeship.

'You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you’ll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays.  You must then do one of the following until you’re 18: 1) stay in full-time education, for example at a college, 2) start an apprenticeship or traineeship, 3) spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training.'    (


What are apprenticeships and traineeships and what qualification will I get?

Apprenticeships are an opportunity to work and gain a qualification at the same time.  Usually an apprenticeship will last 1 to 4 years.  While you are on an apprenticeship you will earn the minimum wage for apprentices or more (depending on the apprenticeship). To become an apprentice you need to have passed some GCSEs and pass an interview. You will then work most of the time but attend a college or other provider to get your qualification.There are 4 level of apprenticeship.


This is the equivalent to a Level 2 course (see Further Education page) and 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C


This is the equivalent to a Level 3 course (see Further Education page) and 2 A level passes


This is the equivalent to Level 4,5,6 and 7 courses (see Higher Education page) and a Foundation degree and above.


This is the equivalent to Level 6 and 7 courses (see Higher Education page) and a  Bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Find out more about apprenticeships.


For some young people going straight into an apprenticeship might be too challenging. Traineeships are courses with some work experience that can help you prepare for an apprenticeship. Usually they last for 6 months and give you an opportunity to develop the skills you need to go on to become an apprentice or go into employment.  Most traineeships are unpaid and will offer you help with your Math and English skills if you need it.

Find out more about traineeships.

If an apprenticeship or traineeship is not right for you a supported internship might suit you better.


How do I get on an apprenticeships or traineeships?

Appreticeships are advertised through the appreticeship website. 

Traineeships are advertised through the traineeship website.

What support might I be able to get on an apprenticeships and traineeships?

If you're 16 to 19 years old you may be able to claim money (a bursary) for you or your college/training provider to use to meet the cost of clothing, equipment or lunch on study days.

Find out the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

Some young people may need support to be able to access their course and may need an Education, Health and Care plan. An Education, Health and Care plan will make sure that the young person gets the right support on a course that helps them meet their aspiration and reach their employment goals.

Find out about Education, Health and Care plans.

Disability Rights UK had written a guide on apprenticeships for disabled people.


Who can help me choose the right apprenticeships or traineeships for me?

Your school SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) will be able to talk to you about whether University might be the right for you.

Every school must provide independent careers advice.  Careers advice can help you think about what course or skills you might need to reach your employment goal.  Ask your setting about how they're providing careers advice. 


This page has information for residents in the City of Bristol.  Find out about what other Local Authorities do.

Last Update 1 December 2016 by Findability Team.

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