What is an Apprenticeship?

If you like practical learning, want to earn a wage and get into the world of work, then an apprenticeship could be the right choice for you.

Apprenticeships are a mix of work, training and skills. You’ll have a job with an employer and be a real member of their team, trained in a specific role.

You’ll also spend time at Gateshead College where you’ll receive up to date training that’s relevant to your job and complete coursework to get you nationally recognised qualifications.

As an apprenticeship you’ll get paid. This varies depending on the position and will be listed with each vacancy.

Apprenticeship FAQs

You can do an apprenticeship in pretty much any subject or sector, as long as there is a vacancy available. There now are lots of new apprenticeships in digital technologies, marketing, customer services and software development. 

This depends on the employer as they set the apprenticeship wage. There are national minimum wages depending on your age.

This depends on the type and level of apprenticeship you are doing and can be from one year to four years.

Most apprentices are employed for 30 hours a week, with one day at college.

When you finish your apprenticeship you’ll have the skills, knowledge and experience relevant to the job you’ve been doing. You’ll also have maths and English qualifications at Level 2, if you didn’t have them already.

Yes. Apprenticeships are available from Level 2, the same level as GCSEs, up to master degree level.

This depends on the qualifications, skills and experience you have. Most school leavers can start at Levels 2 or 3. Adults tend to start from Level 3 and above.

Yes. You’ll be entitled to at least 20 days holiday, plus 8 statutory days such as Bank Holidays.

Applying for an apprenticeship is very similar to applying for a job. Check out our vacancies page for all our latest vacancies. You’ll be asked to complete an application form and, if you’re shortlisted, you’ll be invited in for an interview with the employer. We can provide help and support every step of the way to help give you the best chance of success.

We’ll help you to find another vacancy, or, if you’re about to or have just left school, you might want to consider applying for one of our full time study programmes instead.

With a CV bursting with work experience and skills, you’ll be ideally placed to secure a job in your chosen field. Your apprentice employer may even decide to keep you as part of their team. If you want to continue with study, you can progress onto an HNC.

Yes. Some apprenticeships attract UCAS points or lead to HNCs or foundation degrees, which you can top up to full honours degrees at university.

Learn and earn

The average weekly wage for an apprentice is £235. This is dependent on the sector, region and apprenticeship level, for example; some Higher Apprenticeships can pay as much as £300 – £500 per week.

The salary will be advertised with the apprenticeship. You’ll also be entitled to a minimum of 20 days holiday, plus 8 statutory days such as Bank Holidays. 

Work-relevant skills

An apprenticeship is a mix of work and training. As an apprentice, you’ll have a job with an employer where you’ll work as a member of their team and be trained to do a specific role by your colleagues or supervisor. 

When you finish your apprenticeship you’ll have a fantastic set of skills and hands-on work experience to put on your CV. Many apprentices are promoted and go on to successfully climb the career ladder; did you know more than 50% of Nissan’s board of directors were former apprentices?

A recognised qualification

As part of your apprenticeship programme you’ll spend time at Gateshead College where you’ll receive up to date training that is relevant to your job. You’ll come away not only with a fantastic set of skills and work experience but with a nationally recognised qualification that is valued by employers. 

Usually the qualification you’ll receive will be a technical certificate and an NVQ. There are three different levels of apprenticeship training, if your employer agrees you could progress up to Level 3 Higher Apprenticeship which is the same as a Foundation Degree.


  • After an apprenticeship, seven out of 10 learners get a permanent job with their employer
  • Almost a quarter of all apprentices who secure a permanent job are then promoted within 12 months
  • Apprenticeships go up to Level 4+ which is equivalent to an honours degree, and Level 4 is equivalent to a foundation degree
  • There are approximately 1,500 different types of apprenticeships available nationally with over 28,000 vacancies available online at any one time

Take a look at our available apprenticeships

*Source: DfE Apprenticeship Core Brief – November 2016