Apprenticeship Guide

Please choose from the below headings

Parent Guide | Employer Guide | Student Guide

Introductory Videos

Please see the following videos for introductions from our Apprenticeship team:

Parent Guide

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training which would allow your daughter or son to earn while they learn, all whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and cover 1,500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from engineering to accountancy, public relations to veterinary nursing. Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond.

What are the benefits?

As a parent, you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. There are many options available to young people after they leave school, and in this guide we outline information and benefits about apprenticeships as a key route into a successful career. They include:

  • Earning a salary
  • Training in the skills employers want
  • Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace
  • Increased future earning potential – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training, and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime
  • Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor
  • Paid holiday

Entry requirements

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England. There are different entry requirements depending on the level and sector:

Intermediate Apprenticeship Entry Requirements:

5 GCSE's at grade A-E or 9-3 or commitment to achieving English and Maths Level 2 (if required)

Advanced Apprenticeship & Intermediate Plumbing Entry Requirements:

5 GCSE's at grade C/4 or above, including Science, English and Maths or the commitment to achieve Level 2.

Apprenticeship levels

There are various levels of apprenticeship your son or daughter could apply for depending on their current skills and qualifications:

  • Intermediate apprenticeship (level 2)
  • Advanced apprenticeship (level 3)
  • Higher and degree apprenticeships (level 4 or above).

The core components for intermediate and advanced apprenticeships are: – A nationally recognised vocational qualification; – Functional skills (e.g. literacy, numeracy and ICT); – A technical certificate such as a BTEC or City & Guilds (relevant to the specific Apprenticeship); – Other professional qualifications or requirements as specified by the particular job. The core components for higher and degree apprenticeships are as above but exclude the functional skills element.


For the latest information on apprenticeship pay please visit the Apprenticeships website

School leaving age

The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training. If your child was born on or after 1 September 1997 they must stay in some form of education or training until at least their 18th birthday. This does not necessarily mean staying in school; young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post-16, which could be through: – Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider. – Full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training. – An apprenticeship or traineeship.

Employer Guide

Why Should You Take on an Apprentice?

Giving a placement to an apprentice can deliver real returns to your bottom line leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs, help improve productivity and in turn make your business more competitive.

By training your own apprentice you can train them to your standards and the effort you put into their training programme is personally very rewarding.

An Apprenticeship programme delivers skills and knowledge designed around your business requirements and provides the trained workers you need for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career.

Facts and Figures

80% of those employers who employ apprentices agree they make their workplace more productive

81% of consumers favour using a company which takes on apprentices

The National Minimum Wage - For the latest information on apprenticeship pay please visit the Apprenticeships website.

Employers who take on a 16-18 year old apprentice only pay their salary. The Government will fund their training.

There are over 85,000 employers offering Apprenticeships in more than 130,000 locations; there are more than 200 different types of Apprenticeships available offering over 1,200 job roles

88% of employers who employ apprentices believe that Apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce

83% of employers who employ apprentices rely on their Apprenticeships programme to provide the skilled workers that they need for the future

One in five employers are hiring more apprentices to help them through the tough economic climate

How Do You Take on an Apprentice?

There are several ways in which you can recruit an apprentice.

If you already have an employee who you think would be interested/suitable, you could approach them to see if they would be willing to carry out an apprenticeship.

You can also advertise for an apprentice. At Suffolk New College, we use the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) website, where those interested will apply, we will check that they are suitable for the qualification, then we will leave it up to you to decide if you want to take the applicant on.

If you would like help or want more information, please let us know and we will be happy to advise.

Off the Job Training - An Employers Guide

The visual guides below are useful for understanding your requirements for Off the Job Training for your apprentice, if you would like any further support please contact our apprenticeship team -

Off-The-Job Flow Chart

Off-the-Job Training: Myth vs Fact


Apprentices at Suffolk Constabulary

Suffolk Police HR Business Partner Rhiannon Day says apprenticeships are increasingly being seen as a vital part of the Constabulary's strategy.

In the last year, we have seen the introduction of the Living Wage, uncertainty of the labour market through the result of Brexit and its potential impact on skilled labour and talent pools from the EU, as well as some steady unemployment figures; and all with ongoing budgetary challenges. It is easy to understand therefore why Chief Constable Gareth Wilson is supportive of an apprenticeship scheme within the Constabulary to further support young people in the community.

Apprenticeships are a positive way of future planning to fill impending skill gaps and enable a framework to support and engage the local youth demographic. The scheme will provide a platform for introducing a new generation to the workforce, placing individuals not just in employment and continued education, but building and equipping them with essential skills required to succeed in this sector and beyond.

The scheme allows apprentices to make a valuable contribution to the organisation as we train and shape their knowledge, capability and confidence, helping to provide a pipeline of talent for future deployment.

Apprenticeships combine practical ‘on the job’ training together with studying to gain a qualification. It enables an apprentice to gain experience by working alongside experienced staff to obtain job specific skills.

It was decided that we would employ four apprentices to study for a Pearson BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Business Administration or a Pearson BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Customer Service.

They will be employed for a 12 month period and fully supported with their studies in obtaining their qualification by Suffolk New College. Natasha Stead, the Assessor from Suffolk New College, meets with the apprentices and their Supervisors regularly to support with their course work and will continue to work in partnership with the Constabulary in supporting the apprentices throughout their apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship scheme is so worthwhile in supporting new talent and enables us to ‘grow our own’ staff, officers and possible leaders of the future. The apprentice scheme will have a positive impact on the apprentices, the supervisors and aids future succession planning within Suffolk Constabulary.

Student Guide

Why Should You Become an Apprentice?

If you’re ready to enter the world of work, as well as gain qualifications that employers look for, you can get the best of both worlds with an Apprenticeship at Suffolk New College.

Whether you’re leaving school, already in employment or looking to start a new career, the College offers Apprenticeships in a range of industries from Catering to Plumbing and Hairdressing to IT.

Whatever you're looking for, we aim to provide you with quality training and a great experience of a working environment.

85% of apprentices (all age) included in the Apprentice Learner Survey 2014 said their ability to do the job had improved.

83% said career prospects had improved.

Higher apprentices could earn £150,000 more on average over their lifetime compared to those with Level 3 vocational qualifications.

The lifetime benefits associated with the acquisition of Apprenticeships are significant:

between £48,000 and £74,000 for Level 2;

between £77,000 and £117,000 for Level 3.

How to apply?

At any one time on Find an apprenticeship, in a variety of careers and industries across England, there are between 12,000 - 20,000 apprenticeships vacancies online available at You can search by keyword (job role, occupation type or apprenticeship level) and by location. In addition, some employers advertise vacancies on their website. Once the right job comes up, simply register on the website and follow the step by step instructions to apply for the role.

Earn while you learn!

Discover the best of both worlds! As an Apprentice you will reap the rewards of being both an employee and a student.

Earn a salary: Apprentices undertake real jobs for real employers. For the latest information on apprenticeship pay please visit the Apprenticeships website

Learn job specific skills: As well as earning a wage, Apprentices will gain a nationally recognised qualification

Paid holidays: Like all other employees you will be given paid holiday

Student discount: As an Apprentice, you will be entitled to an NUS Extra card which offers you the same discounts and benefits as other students

Student life: You will experience College as well as working for your employer.

Finding the Right Level

No matter what your starting point, we will find the right Apprenticeship to suit you and provide the support you need to progress through your training. There are three levels of Apprenticeships you can apply for at the College, depending on your current skills and qualifications. Each level will include an NVQ, a knowledge-based qualification and Functional Skills. Intermediate (Level 2) An Intermediate qualification is the equivalent to five good GCSE passes. Advanced (Level 3) An Advanced qualification is the equivalent to two A-Level passes. To start an advanced Apprenticeship you should have 5 GCSEs at grade C or above or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. Higher (Level 4) Higher Apprenticeships are the equivalent to a Foundation Degree, which could lead you to senior job roles or university.

What you can get out of your apprenticeship

The majority of employers want to hold on to their Apprentices, in fact a statistic from the National Apprenticeship Service says that 85% of apprentices remain with their employer in a full-time position after they have finished their training. Even if this is not the case, you will still have gained a nationally recognised vocational qualification and all the skills you will need to go out in to the world of employment.

If you complete an Advanced Apprenticeship, it can also lead to a University place or another Higher Education course!

For more information on becoming an apprentice, contact:

Tel: Apprenticeships Team 01473 382600


Post: Suffolk New College, Ipswich IP4 1LT