I left school years ago – is an apprenticeship for me? - Harrogate, North Yorkshire | FW Solutions

I left school years ago – is an apprenticeship for me?


Well, the short answer is yes! There is no upper age limit to start an apprenticeship and a work-based qualification can be the ideal solution for someone wanting to change their career or begin working in a specific sector. It’s also a great way to upskill in your current job. You can have a previous qualification like a degree and still start an apprenticeship.  

There are some simple steps to help get you on your apprenticeship journey. Firstly, and most importantly decide on the sector you wish to work in. Secondly, register for an account on the government Find an Apprenticeship website https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.  By setting up an account you will be able to: 

– Search and apply for the full range of apprenticeships
– Save your searches and set up notifications to your mobile phone and/or email
– Apply on-line for jobs that interest you  

You can also search for vacancies in Early Years on the FW Solutions website https://www.fwsolutions.net/apprenticeship-vacancies/. Thirdly, it’s time to apply!  

If you need some help with your CV or feel nervous about going for an interview have a look at our Interview and CV tips https://www.fwsolutions.net/about/information-guidance/interview-cv-tips/ 

So, what is an apprenticeship?  

It’s a real job, with hands-on experience, a salary and the chance to train while you work. You’re treated just like all the other employees, with a contract of employment and holiday leave. 

As an apprentice you’ll: 

  • learn and train for a specific job 
  • get paid and receive holiday leave  
  • get hands-on experience in a real job 
  • study for at least 20% of your working hours – usually at a college, university or with a training provider  
  • complete assessments during and at the end of your apprenticeship 
  • be on a career path with lots of future potential 

Levels of an apprenticeship 

Each apprenticeship has a level and an equivalent education level. You can start an apprenticeship at any level.  

Depending on the level, some apprenticeships may: 

  • require previous qualifications such as an English or maths GCSE 
  • give extra training in the English or maths skills needed so you’re at the right level 

At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent education level. For example, if you complete a level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent of an A level. 

             Level                    Equivalent education level 
Intermediate                   2                                                                GCSE 
Advanced                   3                                                               A level 
Higher         4,5,6 and 7                     Foundation degree and above 
Degree             6 and 7                      Bachelor’s or master’s degree 


Apprentice pay and the National Minimum Wage 

There are different rates of pay for apprentices depending on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you’re in. Your employment contract should confirm your rate of pay. 

Aged 16 to 18 

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £4.30 per hour. 

Aged 19 or over and in your first year 

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £4.30 per hour. 

Aged 19 or over and have completed your first year 

You’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for your age. 

Check you’re being paid the minimum wage with the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage calculator. 

For more information and guidance please get in touch with us! 01423 536672 | enquiries@fwsolutions.net