HR Apprenticeships

Did you know you could turn a love for people into a career? If you invest time in people and love to see them develop, a career in human resources (aka HR) could be the way to go.

HR Apprenticeships

Did you know you could turn a love for people into a career? If you invest time in people and love to see them develop, a career in human resources (aka HR) could be the way to go.

HR is a rewarding career path because it focuses on the success of a business through its employees. You’ll help make essential decisions, hunt for fresh talent and even organise fun activities for your workplace.

Sure, you could go to university to study human resources. But there is an alternative way to launch your career. And that’s with an HR apprenticeship.

Consider this your one-stop guide to HR apprenticeships. Read on for more.

Can you do an HR apprenticeship?

You absolutely can.

While you can go to uni to study HR, an apprenticeship will give you the opportunity to gain the experience you need to land an HR role much earlier in your career.

An apprenticeship is also a great idea because you’ll also earn a full wage while you train. 

Read on to find out what you’ll do and which employers offer HR apprenticeships.

"“I have learnt several new skills since starting my apprenticeship. The ability to work as part of the recruitment, how to draft job descriptions, work collaboratively with line managers as well as developing my organisational and scheduling skills required for making sure that interviews run smoothly. I have also improved my communication skills as well as my confidence as I speak to a variety of staff and academics daily.”" HR Apprentice, University of Oxford

What is an HR apprenticeship?

HR apprenticeships start from Level 3 and go right up to Level 7.

During your apprenticeship, you’ll work alongside HR professionals and learn everything there is to know about the field of HR. You’ll receive tasks and real responsibility from your first day.

Your week will be split between working four days at your employer’s office, with one day set aside for college or university study. With some schemes, you might receive a study period, where you’ll be off work and use that time for the study side of your apprenticeship.

An HR apprenticeship will last between 18 months to four years, depending on your chosen level.

Apprenticeship qualifications are awarded by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Once you’ve finished your apprenticeship, you’ll become a CIPD member.

With a CIPD membership, you’ll:

  • Become a trusted HR professional

  • Benefit from specialist training and the latest CIPD research

  • Meet colleagues and other professionals within your field.

Read HR apprenticeship reviews

Different types of apprenticeships in HR

We already know that an HR apprenticeship is diverse, and you can work across various industries. But what’s actually out there? And who can you work for?

Long answer short, you can work anywhere and with any company. Loads of businesses have HR apprenticeships. Some of these include:

  • McDonald’s

  • Aldi

  • TUI

  • Lloyds Bank

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprises

  • bp

  • The Walt Disney Company

  • Transport for London.

Want to know more about what it’s like to do an HR apprenticeship with the above companies? We have loads of student-written reviews for you to sift through.

HR apprenticeships with the NHS

The NHS offers three HR apprenticeship schemes. In fact, it says that an apprenticeship is the best way to start an HR career with the NHS.

Level 3 HR Support

This is the first step in your HR career. During a Level 3 HR apprenticeship, you’ll spend your time handling day-to-day requests, providing HR advice and using HR systems to make that happen.

You’ll handle all sorts of requests and work on anything from recruitment to solving internal disagreements and retirement. Some of your tasks will include:

  • Be the first point of contact for HR enquiries

  • Support administration tasks for the employee lifecycle: recruitment, onboarding, offboarding etc

  • Scouting talent using LinkedIn and other professional networking sites

  • Updating and maintaining employee records

  • Office management.

You’ll also see an HR support role called HR & Ops assistant, HR assistant, or HR executive at this level. They all lead to the same path and have very similar responsibilities.

Heard all about apprenticeships, but not exactly sure what they are or what options are available to you? Read our Guide to Apprenticeships. It has everything you need to know. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll be an apprenticeship master.

Level 5 HR Consultant/Partner

Lasting 24 months, the Level 5 HR Consultant/Partner apprenticeship is a huge step up, and you’ll get a lot more training and experience to become the best HR person the world has ever seen.

As a consultant, you’ll train to become the authority on all things HR. Think of yourself as an oracle, developing expertise in a variety of situations and specialising in one of the following:

  • Specialist employment law

  • Diversity and Inclusion

  • Well-being at work.

Level 7 Senior People Professional

During a Level 7 HR apprenticeship, you’ll work towards a Master’s degree. That’s right, a real degree, minus the debt. You’ll already have a detailed understanding of everything HR entails and a wealth of work experience.

Some of your tasks will include:

  • Develop and implement people plans aligned with the organisation’s strategy

  • Identify interventions to create desired culture and behaviours in the company

  • Inclusive implementation of people policies and practices supporting diversity.

Level 7 apprentices usually are interested in becoming one of the following after their apprenticeship:

  • HR Director

  • HR Head of Centre

  • HR Consultant

  • HR Business Partner

  • HR Manager.

What qualifications do I need for an HR apprenticeship?

The qualifications and grades you need depend on the employer and the level you apply for. 

Entry requirements for Level 3 apprenticeships are usually five GCSEs graded at 9 to 4 (A* to C* including maths and english.

For Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships, you’ll need three A Levels or equivalent. And for a Level 6/7 apprenticeship, you’ll need at least one year’s experience within HR to reach a senior position within a company.

Outside of that, there are skills that employers are looking for that you might already have. Some of these skills include:

  • Very strong interpersonal and communication skills

  • Able to work as part of a team

  • Empathetic skills - good with people

  • Enthusiastic about HR

  • Good IT skills and knowledge of programme suits (Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc.).

If you don’t have work experience to add to your CV, there are ways to show off any skills you might have picked up at or outside of school. For example:

  • Being part of a club

  • Volunteering

  • Leading a team.

Want to know what it’s like to work in HR? Meet June Ann Joseph, an HR apprentice at Waltham Forest Council.

Is an HR apprenticeship worth it?

Absolutely. Apprenticeships are worth it, full stop.

The great thing about apprenticeships is you get all the experience you need to enter the working world. There are loads more benefits also:

  • Earn while you earn. An apprenticeship is a real job, so you’ll earn a salary for all the hours you work (and study)

  • Gain professional qualifications. These are industry-recognised and will go a long way in getting the job you deserve.

Working in HR is a versatile role that every company needs - so you’re guaranteed a job for life.

You can literally work in any industry you want, and there’s plenty of opportunity to work across industries too. For example, you might start working in tech and then change to work in entertainment.

How much does an HR apprentice get paid?

This all depends on your employer and the level of apprenticeship you do. The current national apprenticeship wage is £5.28 per hour, but employers pay much more.

A Level 3 apprentice can earn between £18,000 and £19,700 in their first year, increasing to £22,250 in their second year.

A Level 5 apprentice can earn up to £23,800 in their first year, moving up to just over £26,000 in their second year.

If you’re at Level 7, expect to earn mad sterling as your salary could start at £34,000 per year and move up to £38,000 in your second year of apprenticeship.

Salary changes are made all the time, so it’s worth doing your research.

Taking the leap into the career you deserve is always worth it. 

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