Just like with any new job, starting an apprenticeship can be a daunting experience. But don't panic! We've got you covered, from first applying for your apprenticeship to the interview right through to your first day on the job. Take a look through the pages below to get the best from your apprenticeship experience. 

Where do I start?

Each apprenticeship programme lasts a minimum of one year and includes some kind of an assessment at the end. This could be a project, a discussion, or an observation of practice. Entry requirements to apprenticeships vary but it is useful if you have GCSE A-C (9-4) in English and Maths to start, although some employers will let you do this at the same time as your apprenticeship.

Depending on what qualifications you have already will depend on your starting point. Some employers use apprenticeships to develop their existing staff into different or more senior roles. They might also employ new staff members as apprentices and use this opportunity to train them over at least a year to work safely and competently within their organisation. If you are looking for an apprenticeship it is useful to know what area/s you wish to study. This might be based on your GCSE, A-Level, or college course or on your interests. Do some reading on careers that might interest you as this will help you search later.

  • Levels of apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels.



Equivalent educational level






A level


4,5,6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.

To start an apprenticeship you have to be aged 16+, living in England and not in full-time education, or have a similar qualification to that which you want to study.

Do some research

You need to do some reading and investigating in your search for an apprenticeship. It is the same as applying for a job, so you must give it the same focus, and dedicate a good amount of time and energy into preparing yourself and writing your applications. 

It is important to know what kind of field you want to train in. Having a look at current vacnacies really helps to see what's available.  If you are looking for degree apprenticeships, and you already have, or are studying on A Level courses then you will need to start searching in October of Year 13. A number of large employers advertise early, and although they may leave the advert open for months, applying early gets your application started and gives less pressure later.

It is best to go for a general area at first, then read as many adverts as you can – this will help you to understand what roles exist in your chosen fields, you might have lots of choices, and then you can eliminate those you don’t like the sound of, or are too far to travel to. This reading will help you understand what your role might be as an apprentice, what responsibilities you would have and what qualification you will study during your apprenticeship. It also helps you to understand what the entry requirements are and what the required grades might be for key subjects. This is especially important in key areas where your apprenticeship builds on GCSE study in the sciences, or maths and English.

Current vacancies

Wether you are still researching or you're ready to apply, we've brought all the apprenticeship vacancy information into one place.


Applying for an apprenticeship

If you are applying for an apprenticeship in the NHS, you will most likely use the NHS jobs website to make your application. This means you will put your information into an online form - you won't need to upload a CV.

Social care and organisations in the voluntary and community sector might have different ways for you to apply, like using a CV for example.

 A CV is a useful way of having all your exam results and any other work or volunatry experience in one place and you can refer to it when doing your applications. When you write your supporting statement make sure you refer to the job you’ve applied for and include points on how you meet the person specification. This is your opportunity to show them that you have the skills and experience that make you suitable for the apprenticeship you’re applying for.

Top tips
  1. Read: Make sure you understand the role you want to apply for, read the advert carefully. Get online and search the employer's website and learn about what services they offer and where they're located for example. Think about wether you can you travel there? What is the pay and how many hours are you expected to work? What kind of an apprenticeship is it? How is the study time supported – a day a week, in blocks, do you travel there?
  2. Presentation is important: If you are writing a CV type up your information using a clear, uncomplicated font (Times New Roman or Arial tend to work best). Make sure to keep the same size font throughout (12 is standard) and avoid trying to do clever visual things. Clean and tidy are far more important to the prospective employer.
  3. Relevant: Make sure you include your qualifications – all of them. Maths and English are still important even if you did exams a while ago, and some managers will shortlist on this basis. Use volunteering, school, college, or work examples to highlight your suitability for the job, and make sure you make each application relevant, don’t use a standard application. This is especially important in the supporting information section.
  4. If you’re doing a CV for yourself (handy to keep everything in one place) or applying to other employers make sure you organise it carefully: There are some good examples on the internet, browse and find a layout you like, but follow the same simple rules on font size etc. Categories should include qualifications, skills, experience and achievements. You can use some headings: work experience, education and extracurricular activities. Part-time jobs go under work, secondary school under education and anything you’ve done in your own time should go under extracurricular activities. List them in date order, with the most recent first. Restrict the information you include to dates, locations and, most importantly, achievements. Employers want to see what you’ve accomplished.
  5. Customise: Tailor your application or CV to the job you’re applying for. This is so important! Use the person specification if there is one to match the skills you have with the ones the employer is looking for. If there’s no person specification, use the job description and personalise it.
  6. Take time to check it: Make sure your application and CV is free of mistakes, including spelling and grammar. Use the spell check and make sure you have used sentences that make sense. Check your punctuation. Read it over several times and then ask someone else to check it. Show it to a careers advisor or teacher who is trained to do this kind of thing. Then check it again.
  7. If you use a website application like NHS jobs you won’t need a covering letter. If you do need one, treat it with the same care that you gave your application. Search for a model you like and use it as a template, but change it every time. Employers who think they’re reading a standard letter that isn’t about their job won’t be impressed, so make the effort with this first impression. Remember to check it several times.
  8. Why you want the job: Lead with what attracted you to the job in the first place, keeping it to two or three sentences unless what you’re saying is really relevant. You might be attracted to the company, or the area is something for which you have a passion. You might see the apprenticeship as a foot in the door to a great long term career, perhaps  have done some work experience or have a friend or relative in the field. Let them know why you’re interested.
  9. Understand the person specifications: Almost every job advert will list the key qualities that a person must have in order to get the job. These will range from previous experience in the particular field, to demonstrable skills such as teamwork and organisation. For some apprenticeships you will need to have maths and English qualifications already, for others you can study these whilst doing the apprenticeship. Make sure you meet the minimum requirement. Depending on the job you’re after, they may include more specialist skills or experience, such as certain software packages, or familiarity with certain methodologies and regulations. Match your own experiences and achievements with as many as you can in your cover letter, outlining what you meet and how you’ve met it, as succinctly as possible.
  10. Anything else you bring to the table: An avid reader? Keen on sports? Add some personal details to close, to give the employer an insight into you as a person.
  11. References: You’ll need at least two references when applying for a job. These are usually contacted when you have been offered the position. They’ll be former employers, teachers, or anyone who knows you well, although relatives and friends are not permitted. It is good practice to inform them that you’ve included them as a reference, but if you’re working already and don’t want your employer to know, wait until you’re offered the job before telling them.