Level 2 Apprenticeships (Intermediate)

Build the skills needed to thrive in the workplace, and blast your career into the stratosphere with an intermediate apprenticeship.

Level 2 - or intermediate apprenticeships - are the first stop aboard the career train, and an opportunity for you to start working straight after school or college.

So if you’re looking for that next step and want to pave the way for a bright future, read our guide to all things intermediate apprenticeship...

Apply for Level 2 Apprenticeships (Intermediate)

What is an intermediate apprenticeship?

Designed primarily for 16-year-olds, intermediate apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with academic study, allowing you to gain nationally-recognised qualifications like an NVQ level 2 and a BTEC Diploma, and develop key soft skills.

Intermediate apprenticeships can be found in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care

  • Arts, Media and Publishing

  • Business, Administration and Law

  • Construction, Property and Surveying

  • Education and Childcare

  • Engineering and Manufacturing

  • Hair and Beauty

  • Health, Public Services and Care

  • Information and Communication Technology

  • Leisure, Travel and Tourism

Once you’ve completed your level 2 apprenticeship, you’ll gain an invaluable head start in your career and can either continue onto a level 3 apprenticeship or progress into full-time employment.

What is a level 2 apprenticeship equivalent to?

Level 2 apprenticeships are the equivalent of getting five GCSEs graded at 9 to 4 (or A* - C). They are the first step on the apprenticeship ladder, blending hands-on learning with academic study.

As an apprentice you’ll spend 80% of your time working for an employer and 20% studying towards a qualification at a college or training provider.

How long does a level 2 apprenticeship take?

Level 2 apprenticeships take between 12-18 months to complete. The length of your apprenticeship will depend on the following factors:

  • Your chosen occupation

  • Your apprenticeship level

For example, a team member apprenticeship with Pret A Manger will take you 15 months to complete. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a shorter apprenticeship, try a tailored two-week contact centre programme with Natwest (in partnership with social mobility charity LTSB).

Intermediate apprentices earn a real wage for the duration of their programme. You can expect to earn at least £4.81 per hour, however, most top employers will pay their apprentices a higher base salary.

Intermediate apprentices at Aldi, for instance, earn around £6.61 per hour (£198 per week) in their first year. Check out what one of them had to say about their time on the programme:

At the very least, you will be paid in line with the National Minimum Wage.

Read our blog on the Highest Paid Apprenticeships in the UK to learn more.

"I’ve learnt how to use a till and how to rotate long life / short life products to ensure there is no waste. Ever since I’ve joined Aldi I’ve gained confidence in myself and find it much easier to talk to others."(Store Apprentice at Aldi)

CV advice

Applying for an apprenticeship? Fantastic news. You’re going to need a CV that’s tailored for an apprenticeship application. Check out our guide to Apprenticeship CVs, which has a downloadable CV template. Use this - and employers will be like play-doh in your hands.

What are the entry requirements for a level 2 apprenticeship?

The entry requirements for level 2 apprenticeships vary from scheme to scheme. Most intermediate apprenticeships only have TWO entry requirements:

  • You must be over 16 years old

  • You need to show you are capable of completing the programme

Some companies will ask for two or more GCSEs graded at 9 to 4 (A* to C). So if you don’t have GCSEs in Maths or English, you might be asked to take these at some point during your apprenticeship.

Find a Level 2 Apprenticeship →

Can you do an apprenticeship without GCSEs?

If you’re wondering whether you can do an apprenticeship without any GCSEs, the answer is a resounding YES. As we aforementioned, there are usually only two entry requirements and grades aren't one of them unless specified.

Employers don’t need you to be an expert. After all, an apprenticeship is designed to teach you the skills and knowledge to succeed in your chosen career.

Show interest and enthusiasm in your application and you’ll be accepted onto the scheme in no time. Find out more information on how you can do an apprenticeship without GCSEs here.

Which employers offer level 2 apprenticeships?

Each year, we use the thousands of reviews submitted to RateMyApprenticeship.co.uk to create our Best 100 Apprenticeship Employers guide.

These companies are the best in business when it comes to running apprenticeships for school and college leavers. They are the Michael Jordans of apprentice employers.

Discover our Best Apprenticeship Employers →

What are the benefits of apprenticeships?

Intermediate apprenticeships are the gift that keep on giving. Here are some of their many benefits:

1. Earn while you learn

Apprenticeships offer the best of both worlds. They combine work training with academic study, and enable you to receive a top notch salary in the process.

2. Gain professional qualifications

Earn industry recognised qualifications equivalent to 5 GCSEs and progress onto a level 3 apprenticeship or full-time employment.

3. Upskill yourself

Learn practical and soft skills; including communication, organisation and teamwork, and become a superstar employee in your industry.

Studies have shown that 85% of apprentices stay in employment and 64% of these continue working with the same employer.

4. Gain confidence

Apprenticeships allow you to adjust to a professional setting in a supportive environment and build up your confidence.

"You will be supported, encouraged to develop, celebrated when you succeed and helped when difficulties are encountered, both professionally and personally. You will have so many opportunities to explore other areas of the business too."(Planning & Control Lead Apprentice at AstraZeneca)

5. Learn on-the-job

If you prefer a hands-on approach, an apprenticeship is a great option for you. Not only will you spend the majority of your time learning on-the-job, you’ll play to your strengths and learn new skills too.

Watch apprentice and YouTuber K-Lara share her thoughts on the pros and cons of apprenticeships:

Intermediate apprenticeship reviews

So, you’ve decided level 2 apprenticeships are the best option for school leavers since the national lottery opened to 16-year-olds. But how do you go about finding the right one for you?

That’s where we come in.

RateMyApprenticeship.co.uk is home to thousands of honest reviews of intermediate apprenticeships – all written by level 2 apprentices.

The reviews reveal TOP secrets about apprenticeships with some of the UK’s TOP employers; including how well structured the programme is and how much support you can expect to receive.

Read level 2 apprenticeship reviews →

Apply for Level 2 Apprenticeships →

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