Walsall / Cannock



Redditch / Bromsgrove

Apprenticeships – things you really should know…

If you want to become an Engineer, many disciplines that you could start a career in are often best suited to an Apprenticeship.
And there are some things that you NEED to know about Apprenticeships, that a lot of people don’t get to hear.

What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a real job with training (earn while you learn) and gain valuable qualifications as you go. If you are a full-time College student, or over 16 and not in full time education, you can apply.

You will study part-time at a College or Training Provider whilst you work at a company.

How to get on to an Apprenticeship

You will need to find an employer offering an Apprenticeship or speak to a local College or Training Provider regarding their vacancies.

There are different levels of Apprenticeships (see below table), with differing entry requirements (GCSE grades). Generally with most Colleges or Training providers you will need at least 3 GCSE’s at a minimum of grade 3 in English and Maths for a Level 2 Apprenticeship or at least 4 GCSE’s with a minimum of grade 4 in English and Maths for a Level 3 Apprenticeship.

Depending on the Apprenticeship role, the level, or the employer, having GCSE’s in Science, D&T, Product Design or Engineering may also help increase your chances of successfully gaining an Apprenticeship.

It is also possible to start a ‘Higher Apprenticeship’ following A-Levels (or equivalent Level 3 Apprenticeship or qualification). Degree Apprenticeships are coming very soon and include foundation and masters degree level Apprenticeships.

Levels of Apprenticeships

Is an education and training programme (max 6 months) combined with work experience to provide you with the basic skills that an employer is looking for (English, Maths + work experience)

Intermediate (Level 2)
Equivalent to 5 GCSE Passes (normally takes 1-2 years)

Advanced (Level 3)
Equivalent to two A level passes (normally takes 2-3 years)

Higher (Level 4-5)
Leads to a Level 4 and above or Foundation Degree

Degree Apprenticeships (Level 6)
By combining higher level learning and employment, employers can develop their workforce and apprentices can gain a Degree at the same time as building their career and earning a salary

But what about getting my degree?

Did you know that this is possible via an Apprenticeship too? They are called ‘Degree Apprenticeships’.

Degree Apprenticeships are level 6, so follow on from ‘Higher Apprenticeships’ (level 4&5). Higher level Apprenticeships work towards a qualification equivalent to a Degree.

Many Engineering & Manufacturing employers offer progression onto Degree Apprenticeships, and as well as learning from the best at your place of work, your employer will fund the cost of your degree (no student debt!!). Winner, winner…

Institutions including the Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology deliver Degree Apprenticeships.