Apprenticeships Information

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a skilled job with training. Every apprentice is guaranteed a minimum wage linked to their age. They are available at all academic levels – whether you are leaving school without GCSEs or completing your A-levels. There are apprenticeships in industries like engineering, health and accountancy – plus a host of careers you would never think of. And 9 out of 10 apprentices stay in work after completing their course.

Apprenticeships are available through both colleges and employer-led schemes. However, to start an apprenticeship you will need to be offered a job opportunity first. You cannot start an apprenticeship without first having a job. St Michael’s staff and colleges will support you to look for opportunities, and you should stay in regular contact if you are looking for an opportunity in this area. Parents are welcome to attend any careers appointment with their son or daughter.

Higher apprenticeships

A higher apprenticeship is your ticket to a high-skilled job. You will usually need at least 2 A-levels to start one, and you will come out with qualifications equivalent to a foundation degree or higher – with any tuition fees paid by your employer! Higher apprentices can earn between £300-500 per week (although you may start lower). You could train to be a solicitor or a lab scientist, and even learn how to design sweets with a confectionery apprenticeship!

Should I apply for an apprenticeship or university?

Today, apprenticeships offer a route into high-skilled jobs that you had to go to university to train for in the past. If you know what career path you want to follow, an apprenticeship could get you there without the fees – while enabling you to develop employability skills. University is essential for certain careers and great for those with passionate academic interests. Carefully consider the pros and cons of university and apprenticeships before making your decision.

Degree apprenticeship

Degree apprenticeships guarantee you a university degree, as well as on-the-job training for a high-skilled job. You will spend 30 hours a week learning from experienced colleagues at work and the equivalent of one day studying towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree at university or college. It gives you the kudos and academic grounding of a degree along with sought-after employability skills employers say graduates don’t have. And 8 out of 10 parents think it’s better than an Oxbridge degree!

Labour Market Trends?

The ultimate aim of education is to help you access the labour market. Therefore, when deciding what to study it is also important to think about which industries are growing in the local area and which are not. For more information, you can visit the World of Work or Nomis, which provides information about the labour market by area in the UK.


Today qualifications alone may not be enough to access job opportunities or higher education. Volunteering for just a few hours a week may help make an application form stand out and show an employer/education provider that you have something to offer over and above other potential applicants. For opportunities available in your local area you can visit the Do-It Trust or Lets Go.

Apprenticeships Links

Success at Schools has published links to a range of information about apprenticeships. To access the document, please click the logo below.

You can search for apprenticeships through a number of different websites:


All you need to know about apprenticeships
A global leader in digital transformation with approximately 100,000 employees in 72 countries and annual revenue of around € 12 billion
Learn a trade and earn at the same time with Barratt’s apprenticeship and trainee scheme
EDT places students with 300 top UK companies every year including Shell, Rolls Royce, EDF, Network Rail and GKN. They have placements for students interested in all areas of engineering, science, IT, e-commerce, business, marketing, finance and logistics
HS2 will be the new, high-speed train link between eight major cities in England
Kaplan, part of Kaplan Inc, is the UK’s leading global provider of diverse education and training. Programmes include professional accountancy and financial training, vocational qualifications and Apprenticeships, financial markets, postgraduate, and undergraduate degrees
For apprenticeships in law firms and routes into a variety of legal careers
For apprenticeships in one of the leading businesses in the food industry
For apprenticeships and careers in technology
The government’s resource for information on apprenticeships.
Information on the variety of options available to you if you choose not to attend university
Information for parents from the National Apprenticeship Service
For apprenticeships/routes into accounting, tax auditing and consulting
Information on courses available for 16 – 18-year-olds
Connexions mission is to positively engage Sandwell young people and provide them with high-quality independent careers advice and guidance which enables them to take up work, an apprenticeship or a further learning opportunity to fulfil their potential
Gap Year Opportunities
Your chance to spend next summer working and living in an amazing summer camp in the USA
At Gapforce, we are passionate about travel and the positive impact it has on young people’s outlook and future prospects. Our mission is to help people become global citizens through authentic, socially and environmentally responsible travel experiences which aid self-discovery and personal development.

The Year In Industry

They provide high-quality, paid placements for students in their gap year before or during their degree course