Advanced Apprenticeships

What is an advanced apprenticeship?

Here is an overview of advanced apprenticeships, to give you an idea about whether one of these programmes is right for you.

Advanced apprenticeships, also known as Level 3 apprenticeships are generally considered to be equivalent to two A level passes. An advanced apprenticeship is the level above intermediate apprenticeships. They are designed for candidates who want to continue learning. 

 Some people who already have Level 3 qualifications, including A levels, choose the advanced apprenticeship route because it enables them to develop work-based skills and experience in a particular job and sector. This means some advanced apprenticeships are highly competitive.  

What are the entry requirements?

Entry requirements vary, but you will need to have completed an intermediate apprenticeship or obtained at least five GCSEs with grades 9 to 4/A* to C, including English and math’s. 

On these schemes, you'll combine practical experience and training (with an employer) with time spent learning and studying, at a further education (FE) college or training provider.

What qualifications can you gain on an advanced apprenticeship?

A major benefit of these programmes is that you can earn great qualifications while developing practical knowledge and skills. The qualifications you can earn include NVQs, BTEC, diplomas and HNCs up to level three. Completing an advanced apprenticeship means you can progress onto doing a higher apprenticeship.

How do advanced apprenticeships work?

Each advanced apprenticeship will be run slightly differently. Companies generally organise their programmes in partnership with a training provider. You will split your time between working for your company, and studying towards relevant qualifications with the training provider.

Some companies provide in-house training; others will send you to an external training provider or college.

Apprentices are expected to work for at least thirty hours a week, including time spent studying. An employer might organise one day in each week for you to spend working towards a qualification. Or, they might favour block releases, in which you will study on a full-time basis for a set period of time.

Advanced apprenticeships can last between two to four years. Once you have completed an advanced apprenticeship, you will be awarded a National Vocational Qualification (Level 3), knowledge based qualification, such as a higher national certificate, a higher national diploma or a foundation degree. These qualifications are equivalent to two A-levels.

What's available?

Advanced apprenticeships are available for hundreds of different job roles across a wide range of sectors including:

  • constructing, planning and the built environment
  • leisure travel and tourism
  • agriculture, horticulture and animal care
  • arts, media and publishing
  • business, administration and law
  • engineering and manufacturing technologies
  • education and training
  • information and communication technology
  • science and mathematics
  • retail and commercial enterprise
  • health, public services and care

To get an idea of what Level 3 apprenticeships are, take a look at the government's A-Z list of apprenticeships.  

What will I get paid?

Did you know that you can earn a salary of over £25,000 if you complete an advanced apprenticeship?

Each apprenticeship programme will offer a different salary. Your wage will depend on:

  • your age, (see the table below)
  • the type of apprenticeship you are doing
  • location: apprenticeships in London and the South often pay more, due to higher travel/living costs
  • the company you are working for

Here is the National Minimum Wage table. Visit gov.uk for more information on apprenticeship pay and holidays.

Age

Current Rate

25 and over

£8.21

21 - 24

£7.70

18 - 20

£6.15

Under 18

£4.35

Apprentice

£3.90

For specific information about the salaries that different companies offer, check out the information in the job vacancy.

What is a competitive salary?

Often the salary will be described as ‘competitive’. A competitive salary means that they are paying you at, or above the market rate. In other words, what competitors will pay the rate of a similar apprenticeship. If you see the salary stated as ‘competitive’, check the salary information for advanced apprenticeships in the same industry as the scheme you are applying for.

Case study - What is it like to be an Intermediate Apprentice?

A day in the life of Hugh 

Hugh is a Business Administration Apprentice who was working with My Mustard in Hemel Hempstead whilst studying his level 4 qualifications. Through his apprenticeship he has managed to secure a job within My Mustard, carrying out many of the digital marketing tasks he has learnt over the 2 years.

How did you get onto the apprenticeship?

I went to the University of Hull to read Law after sixth form, but after a year I made the decision that the city wasn’t for me, and instead of transferring to a different university and starting over, I decided to begin an apprenticeship.

Why did you choose it?

Rather than accumulating £9,000+ more debt and being out of work for another year, I decided to find an apprenticeship so I could make some money whilst gaining real-life skills as well as a qualification.

How has your apprenticeship benefited you?

I am now very confident in situations that used to be uncomfortable, such as networking events and client meetings. I have learnt lots about best practice in businesses through my business administration course, which will be applicable to most – if not all – of the working environments I find myself in going forwards.

Learning by doing, rather than just reading a textbook, has made it much easier for me to learn some administration concepts that I would have otherwise struggled to understand. As I have been working in a small business (<10 employees) I have learnt so much about every aspect of running a business, which has put me in good stead to start my own someday.

Do you have any advice for future Apprentices?

Get out of your comfort zone and make it comfortable. Try to say yes to all opportunities that come your way, no matter how daunting they may seem at first. When interacting with clients or networking try to not see yourself as ‘the apprentice’; you have more to offer than you may think!

Further Details:

Click here for My Mustard's career opportunities 

Advanced Apprenticeship Vacancies in Hertfordshire

So, if you have decided that an advanced apprenticeship is for you, but with so many employers offering programmes in different industries, how do you find the apprenticeship that is right for you?

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