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Sectors and qualifications

There's a stereotype that Apprenticeships are only available in trades like building or hairdressing. But you can find Apprenticeships in a wide range of sectors in large national companies such as Sainsbury’s and BMW or in smaller local companies.

There are over 250 types of Apprenticeship in a variety of sectors ranging from accountancy and engineering to veterinary nursing and floristry. Why not explore some of the sectors offering Apprenticeships?

What qualifications will I gain?

An Apprenticeship is a set of separate qualifications, called a ‘framework’ and you will need to complete all parts to achieve your Apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship framework

Apprenticeship framework

  1. The technical certificate demonstrates achievement of the technical skills, knowledge and understanding related to the wider industry.
  2. A range of transferable skills (either Key Skills or Functional Skills) including English, Maths, ICT, and personal learning and thinking skills such as working with others, improving own learning and problem solving. If you have already achieved GCSEs in English, Maths and/or ICT you might be able to  use these to count towards the achievement of your Apprenticeship.    
  3. The competency qualification (often an NVQ) shows you can perform well in your job or profession.
  4. Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) demonstrate that you know and understand areas such as employment related legislation and Health & Safety.

What level Apprenticeship could I study?

There are three levels of Apprenticeship available, the level you start at will depend on your current qualifications and the opportunities available in the sector you are interested in.

Apprenticeship levels

Apprenticeship levels

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship (equivalent to five good GCSE passes) provides you with the skills and qualifications for your chosen career and allow entry to an advanced apprenticeship.
  • Advanced Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A Level passes) to start this programme, you should have at least five good GCSEs (grade A*-C) or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. This will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need for your career and allow entry to a higher apprenticeship or degree level qualification.
  • Higher Apprenticeships (equivalent to a Foundation Degree) to start this programme, you should have a Level 3 qualification like A Levels or a BTEC or have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship.


For young people who do not have relevant qualifications

There is a new pathway within the Apprenticeship family for young people with the potential to benefit from an Apprenticeship. 

Traineeships are ideal if you are motivated to get a job but lack the skills and experience that employers are looking for. If you have been unsuccessfully applying for Apprenticeships due to a lack of skills and experience then you might be a good candidate for a Traineeship. 

Traineeships provide help and support for young people aged 16-23 who need that little extra boost in moving into employment as an apprentice.

For more information have a look at the 'Traineeship' section,