Apprenticeships for 18 year olds
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More and more school and college leavers are choosing to do an apprenticeship. More and more of your peers are gaining great qualifications, valuable skills and work experience, and are getting paid a cracking salary at the same time.
Perhaps you weren't aware, there are now apprenticeships for 18 year olds in a wide-range of industries. Did you know, a higher level apprenticeship is a pathway to a career in law, engineering or accounting?
"Crumbs! Higher apprenticeships sound great! How do these schemes work?"
Read on for our guide to apprenticeships for 18 year olds... we will reveal secrets about how apprenticeships work, we will tackle some myths and pre-conceptions surrounding them, and show you how to find the scheme that is right for you.
If an extended overview of apprenticeships sounds spectacular, read our Guide to Apprenticeships. Our guide has all you need to know about the apprenticeship market, and more...
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are schemes which combine academic study with on-the-job training. All apprentices are employed as a full-time member of staff within a company, and develop practical skills through real-work. On the side, apprentices work towards the relevant qualifications they need for a career in that industry.
There are three main levels of apprenticeship; intermediate (level 2), advanced (level 3), and higher apprenticeships (level 4/5). While all three levels are available to candidates aged 18 or above, higher apprenticeships have been specifically designed for school and college leavers.
In addition, the government have released frameworks for a new type of apprenticeship, a degree apprenticeship (level 6/7).
All of these schemes are an opportunity for you to enter the world of work, to gain nationally certified qualifications and earn a salary. They are an alternative route for you to make your first steps towards a senior level position in an array of different industries.
Applying for an apprenticeship? Brilliant. You're going to need an apprenticeship CV and cover letter for an apprenticeship application. Follow the steps in our Guide to Writing an Apprenticeship CV, and A Guide to Writing an Apprenticeship Cover Letter, and employers will fight off a pack of starving wolves to get to you.
How do apprenticeships work?
Apprentices spend the majority of their time in the workplace. These schemes are designed to prepare an apprentice for a specific role within a company or industry, which is why there is a focus on on-the-job training.
If you do an apprenticeship, you will be working with experienced professionals from an industry. It is from working alongside these experienced professionals, that you will develop the practical skills and knowledge which is needed to work in that field.
When you are not working with your employer, you will be working towards qualifications at a training centre or college. The arrangement of work and study periods will depend on the company that organises the apprenticeship.
Some schemes are structured so that apprentices work with their employer for consecutive weeks or months, with week-long intervals to attend college. In contrast, there are schemes in which an apprentice will spend four days in a week with their employer, and one day at college.
It is best to check the information provided in job vacancies, or on company websites, for specific information about how an apprenticeship is structured.
Apprenticeships for 18 year olds
There are three different types of schemes which have been designed for 18 year olds - higher apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and school leaver programmes. Keep reading for an overview of each scheme, including the entry requirements and the qualifications you could achieve.
Higher apprenticeships, also called level 4/5 apprenticeships, are the highest level of the modern apprenticeship. Last year, there were 27,160 higher apprenticeship starts.
There were noticeably fewer level 4/5 apprenticeships starts compared to intermediate and advanced apprenticeships last year, and this issue is being addressed. The Skills Funding Agency have reported that 'there are 75 higher and degree apprenticeships available, with more in development'.
A higher apprenticeship can last between three to four years.
The entry requirements for a higher apprenticeship will depend on the company you are working for. However, the minimum requirements an employer will be looking for are:
- two or more A levels
- or an advanced apprenticeship
Applicants also have to be aged 18 or above.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS WILL I RECIEVE
Higher apprentices are awarded with a level 4 competence qualification, and a knowledge based certificate (likely to be a higher national diploma (HND), foundation degree or undergraduate degree).
Degree apprenticeships (level 6/7) are the newest level of apprenticeship. These schemes have been developed through a collaboration between the Tech Partnership and universities.
They are similar to intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeships in structure. Degree apprentices work full-time for an employer, and study towards a full honours degree on the side. There are no tuition fees, and all degree apprentices receive a salary!
A degree apprenticeship can last anywhere between three to five years, with a Bachelor's or Master's degree awarded on completion.
The entry requirements set by employers can vary from scheme to scheme. The majority of employers look for applicants with at least two relevant A-levels. There are other programmes which have a set number of UCAS points as an alternative requirement, typically between 260-300.
Employers also accept candidates who have completed lower level apprenticeships. If you have an advanced, or higher level apprenticeship under your belt, you may also be eligible for a degree apprenticeship!
Even if money were no object, 62% of parents also maintained they would rather their child applied for a degree apprenticeship, instead of a traditional degree.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS WILL I RECEIVE?
Degree apprentices will gain a full Bachelor's or Master's degree if they complete their programme. Furthermore, candidates may also receive professional qualifications, if they are needed for the job role on offer.
School Leaver Programmes
School leaver programmes are a type of apprenticeship which are designed by employers to recruit school and college leavers.
The structure of the programme will depend on the company, however they generally follow the same shape as other apprenticeships for 18 year olds. Candidates combine work placements with a company and study periods at an internal or external training facility.
These schemes last between three to four years, and candidates are paid a salary for the duration of the course.
Entry requirements for school leaver programmes depend on the company involved. The entry requirements from the vacancies on RateMyApprenticeship's jobs page are either...
- 3 A levels (A*-B) or equivalent qualification
- UCAS points (280-300)
- advanced apprenticeship (level 3) / higher apprenticeship (level 4/5)
- Full bachelors degree
- Foundation degree
- Higher National Certificate
- Higher National Diploma
(All applicants must be aged 18 or older)
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS WILL I RECEIVE?
Reviews of apprenticeships for 18 year olds
Higher apprenticeships... degree apprenticeships... school leaver programmes... the possibilities are endless. There are almost too many fantastic apprenticeships for you to apply for.
'How do I find the right scheme?'
We can feel your anguish, and RateMyApprenticeship is here to help. We have over 7000 reviews of apprenticeships for 18 year olds.
Each review is written by an apprentice who has finished, or is still completing a scheme. They provide a candid insight into what it is like to be an apprentice at one of the UK's biggest companies. The reviews reveal valuable information about the content and structure of different apprenticeships, the support received from the employer, and the opportunities available outside of work.
If you are applying for a scheme, the reviews are a must-read!
Click here to disappear to our reviews page.
“A higher apprenticeship will enable people in work to gain a qualification and gain the skills and competence they need to do a senior level role in a particular industry."
5 reasons why YOU should choose an apprenticeship...
1. WIDE-RANGE OF SCHEMES There is an incredible range of apprenticeships on offer. Whatever industry you dream of working in, or career path you want to take, there is an apprenticeship designed to help you get there.
2. FANTASTIC QUALIFICATIONS Apprenticeships for 18 year olds are a pathway to fantastic qualifications. Whether it be a full bachelor's degree, a foundation degree, a higher national diploma or a higher national certificate, all apprentices gain the qualifications they need to carve out a career in a particular industry.
3. WORKING ALONGSIDE EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS An apprenticeship is an opportunity to work with, and learn from experienced professionals in an industry. These colleagues are not only crucial to your training, but are contacts that might come in handy in your future career.
4. SALARY All apprenticeships and school leaver programmes pay a salary for the duration of the scheme. Apprentices earn and learn at the same time! Furthermore, apprentices avoid tuition fees and the debts that saddle university graduates.
5. WORK-READY The majority of higher apprentices and degrees apprentices secure a permanent role at the end of their scheme. In fact, in 2014/15, 71% of apprentices were retained by their employers after their scheme had ended. However, even if you are not offered a permanent job at the end of your apprenticeship, you will be highly employable! Apprentices are work-ready. The combination of work experience, qualifications and the development of job specific skills will have employers stalking you - in a good way.
Apply for an apprenticeship today!