Welcome to the Abraham Darby Academy apprenticeship pages. This area aims to provide students and parents with lots of information and guidance about the apprenticeship route. 

In today’s challenging UK employment market, young people need the right education and employability skills to progress their careers in a competitive world. An apprenticeship is a structured first step into the workplace offering salary, qualifications and education as well as developing the crucial real life work experience that employers seek. 

If you would like to discuss any of this further with Mrs Chadwick or Mrs Hodson they can be contacted on 01952 386000 or by email: sarah.chadwick@taw.org.uk | bridget.hodson@taw.org.uk.  Or come up and see us in the Careers Office on the 3rd Floor.

Click the headings below to access specific topics further down the page, or scroll down to browse through the information.


What is an Apprenticeship? 


Apprenticeship Levels 


Higher and Degree Apprenticeships 


Why consider an Apprenticeship? 

pointy2Securing an Apprenticeship 



What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying skills development programme through which an apprentice will gain technical knowledge and practical experience along with wider skills needed for their immediate job and future careers. This is gained through a wide mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the chance to practice new skills in a real work environment. Supported by their employers and training providers including colleges and universities. 


EARN               LEARN               GAIN QUALIFICATIONS               REAL JOB  



Apprenticeships are designed by employers to meet their needs for that occupation or industry and by doing so the apprentice obtains the skills knowledge and qualifications to become competent in their chosen career.  The three guides linked below will provide detailed information:


Apprenticeship levels 

Apprenticeships are available at four levels for those aged 16 and over and living, working or studying in England and can take one to four years to complete (degree apprenticeships can take longer). Length will be dependent upon the apprenticeship being followed and the prior skills of the apprentice. 


  • Intermediate Apprenticeships: Five good GCSE passes 

Achievement of an Intermediate Apprenticeship may allow progression onto an Advanced Apprenticeship. To start an Intermediate Apprenticeship, the applicant should ideally have 5 GCSEs (grade E/grade 2 or above). 

  • Advanced Apprenticeships: Two A Level passes  

Achievement of an Advanced Apprenticeship may allow progression onto a Higher Apprenticeship. 
To start an Advanced Apprenticeship, the applicant should ideally have five good GCSEs (grade C/grade 4 or above) or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. 

  • Higher Apprenticeships: Foundation degree and above 

 Higher Apprenticeships involve the development and assessment of skills and knowledge at Level 4 or above (relevant to the occupational sector or job role), and as defined by the Framework or Standard. Higher Apprenticeships at Level 4 and 5 can allow progression on to university degrees.  

  • Degree Apprenticeships: Bachelors or Masters  

Degree Apprenticeships are also now becoming widely available in most sectors. They involve the development and assessment of skills and knowledge to level 6 and 7. To start a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship, the applicant should ideally have a relevant Level 3 vocational qualification or three good A Levels or have completed a relevant Level 3 Apprenticeship. 
Entry requirements vary from programme to programme and depend on the learners existing skills, grades and work experience.  Many companies both large and small, local and national offer apprenticeships across a wide range of occupations and industries with more being added. 



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Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

There is now a real and valid alternative to traditional university study. Higher and degree apprenticeships are growing in availability and areas of study. They allow you to gain qualifications, learn professional skills, progress your career and earn a wage.  You still get to graduate too with no tuition loans and having earned a wage for the duration. 

Apprentices’ opportunities for career progression are increasing with the expansion of Higher and degree apprenticeships. More specialised and highly skilled apprenticeships are being offered to give you the chance to continue your professional development and realise your potential.



Vacancies (Higher/degree)












These guides linked below will provide more detailed information:



Technology Apprenticeships (short video)

Understanding Apprenticeships (short video)


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Why consider an apprenticeship? 

Benefits include: 

  • Earning a salary and paid holidays      
  • Excellent progression opportunities 
  • Achieve qualifications       
  • Gain job specific skills 
  • Gain transferrable employability skills    
  • Increased future earning potential        

 Apprenticeships provide employers with the skilled workers of the future with new talent and investment in its existing workforce. Becoming skilled will ensure you get the best possible start to your career. Once the apprenticeship is completed you may be offered a permanent position with your employer with the opportunity to continue with your training at a higher level. Alternatively you could progress on to higher education in a college or university. Some apprenticeships already attract UCAS points. The National Apprenticeship Service is working with UCAS to extend this system. 

Becoming qualified while on the job can also mean: 

  • Working better and more effectively 
  • It can help you move into new and better jobs 
  • You get better pay 
  • You get to experience new and different challenges 
  • Existing skills and knowledge are recognised and can help you gain a qualification faster 
  • Learning at your own pace and get support when you need it 
  • Increased job security 
  • Skills and knowledge are gained which can be used across a range of jobs and industries 

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The Government has pledged to create 3 million apprenticeships across all levels by 2020. 



In Summary 

Employers attitudes are changing. Employers increasingly see qualifications and work experience equally on a CV or job application. Once you complete an apprenticeship you could have up to three years of specialist work experience in your chosen vocational area. This will enable you to demonstrate to them that you’re highly capable of excelling in the role with the range of experiences you have gained.     

Lots of national and local companies are getting involved with apprenticeships along with the National Apprenticeship Service. 

Apprenticeships can be demanding, but they’re also really rewarding. When you’ve completed your training you can carry on working, maybe get promoted or go on to higher education at a college or university. You’ll get a package of qualifications when you finish your apprenticeship which will be recognised by any employer anywhere in the country.

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Securing an Apprenticeship 

How do you get started? 

Apprenticeships are real jobs and can be highly competed for. There will be a recruitment process of application, interview and selection. You are unable to do an apprenticeship without being employed. You need to think about where a qualification could take you in your career and decide on the skills you will need to get ahead 

If this is an option you wish to pursue when you leave school,  then there is no time like the present to get started with research and familiarising yourself with the websites and people that can help. You should be looking at least 3 to 6 months before you are ready to start, longer in some cases as some employers may recruit for the following year especially in the cases of degree apprenticeships. 

 Apprenticeships can appear in many places such as employer websites and provider websites. Don’t forget that most colleges also offer apprenticeships, so it’s worth looking there.  All apprenticeships should appear on the National Apprenticeship website so it’s really important that you register on it. 



What do you need to do? 

An apprenticeship will not find you!  If this is the route you wish to follow then you are central to achieving this.  Your next steps are:

  • Research.  Use the links on this page and also visit our Student Resources page for vital links.
  • Go onto the National Apprenticeship website and create an account: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship .
  • Look at employer’s websites and social media for both local and national companies. Most have career or apprenticeship sections now and can be a valuable source of information. 
  • Register your interest on employer websites for alerts for apprenticeship positions. Most of them have them in their working for us/career sections. 
  • Register your interest with local and national training providers and colleges. 




Don’t forget any work experience, volunteering or part time jobs that you do; will help massively when you come to apply for an apprenticeship. 


Applying for an Apprenticeship 

You have looked and researched, decided this is the route for you and found an apprenticeship you want to apply for. As well as offering training, an apprenticeship is a paid job. You’ll need to apply for it in the same way you would apply for a job. 

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 Top Tips when applying for an apprenticeship 

  • Research the apprenticeship thoroughly. You’ll need to know the role inside out for your application and any possible interviews and it obviously needs to be one that is of interest to you! 
  •  Make a list of your experiences, hobbies, and interestsUse the list to refer to while you apply. You need to compare and match your experience with what the employer and training provider are looking for in their job specification. 
  • Make sure you relate your application to the job you are applying forTie in your experiences and hobbies with what you’ll be doing in the apprenticeship. For example, if you’re applying for an apprenticeship in engineering, talk about relevant projects you’ve worked on in science or maths and qualifications that you have or are undertaking. 
  • You need to be able to write about yourself. The application form is where you start to tell the employer about yourself and why you would be suitable for the apprenticeship Ask teachers, friends, and family to list some qualities to give you a starting point. 
  • Talk about your skills and qualities, not just your hobbiesHave you been captain of any sports teams, or lead any other clubs in school or out, if you have, this shows leadership and teamwork skills. 
  • The application form will be similar to a job application. You’ll need to provide examples to prove what you’re talking about. For example, if you say communication is a strength of yours, what evidence do you have to show this? For example have you done a presentation, do you belong to the school debating club. 


And finally…….  

Don’t just rely on spellcheck for your application, read through it yourself and then get someone else to read through it before you send it. Good spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important. The application is the first thing an employer sees about you and can be the difference between getting an interview or not!  Links to useful guides for compiling a CV and writing an application are now available on the student resources page.

 If you need any help with applications or interviews please arrange to speak with Mrs Chadwick or Mrs Hodson.   

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