Become an Apprentice

Apprenticeships are paid jobs which allow you to earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain skills and that valuable work experience. They can take between one and four years to complete, depending on the level of apprenticeship, your ability and the industry sector. The minimum salary is £3.50 per hour; however, many apprentices earn significantly more.

On 1st April 2018, the minimum wage will be changing. This means the apprentice wage will be £3.70 per hour.


What types of apprenticeships are available?

There are three categories of apprenticeships available for those aged 16 and over:

Levels of Apprenticeship. Level 2 (Intermediate) equivalent to GCSEs. Level 3 (Advanced) equivalent to 4 or 5 GCSE's Grade C or above. Level 4,5,6 & 7 (Higher) equivalent to A Levels or a Level 3 qualification.

Intermediate Level Apprenticeships (Level 2)

These apprenticeships are equivalent for students with five GCSE passes at A*-C level. 

If you do not meet the requirements, there's the option of completing a traineeship to prepare you for an intermediate apprenticeship. Some employers will accept apprentices who have relevant work experience. It is advised that you check the entry requirements for each job.

Advanced Level Apprenticeships (Level 3)

These are equivalent to an A-level pass. An advanced level apprentice will work full-time and attend college or in-house training centre on a day release basis.

If you complete an advanced apprenticeship, you wil be rewarded with a level 3 NVQ, and a knowledge based qualification.

For more information, please look at the UCAS apprenticeship guide.

Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4,5,6)

These are equivalent to a foundation degree and above. The entry requirements for higher and degree apprenticeships is typically a completed Level 3 qualification e.g. A Levels, BTECs or even a level 3 apprenticeship. 

Degree Apprenticeships (Level 4-7)

Degree apprenticeships are the newest form of apprenticeships. It is an opportunity to get a degree without paying any tuition fees, while getting work experience, which gives you that crucial advantage.

These are equivalent to an Bachelor's or Master's degree.

For more information on Higher and Degree apprenticeships, please look at the Higher and Degree Apprenticeships guide by Which? University

What are the benefits of apprenticeships?

Going straight to university isn’t the only route to progress yourselves after GCSE’s or college. Higher and Degree apprenticeships are real alternatives to following the traditional route. They offer all the benefits of higher education with none of the costs. You will not only be learning, but earning a salary, from day one. This way you’re much less likely to build up debt. Your tuition fees are paid for by your employer and the government.

On average, individuals with an level 3 (advanced) apprenticeship earn between £77,000 and £117,000 more over their lifetime than similar individuals with Level 2 qualifications. Those apprentices completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.

Other benefits include:

  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Earn a salary
  • Get paid holidays
  • Receive training
  • Gain nationally recognised qualifications

For more benefits, why not look at The Apprentice Experience, you'll find information from real apprentices and their experiences whilst on an apprenticeship.

What are standards and trailblazers?

Standards: Employers are at the forefront of the development of higher and degree apprenticeships and they, along with higher education institutions, have set agreed standards as to how they should work and what you, the apprentice, should be doing whilst in employment. they have called these "Apprenticeship Standards"; providing apprentices like you with real workplace skills that are key to business and industry.

They show what you will be doing and the skills required of you. In simple terms, they outline the job specification. More standards are being published as they are developed and approved, which will mean more choice for you. All standards ave an "End Point Assessment Test". 

Trailblazers: They are a group of employers, who have been working together to design the standards for occupations within their sectors.

For more information and to search the different types of standards, please follow the Institute of Apprenticeships page

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

  • Anyone 16 and over can apply.
  • Able to work full time and committed to a 1 year programme.
  • Living in England and not in full-time education, whether you’re a school leaver or have been working for years and want a new career, you can apply.

Some industries have specific entry requirements; we recommend you check before applying.

How can I apply for an Apprenticeship?

You can view a list of the latest apprenticeship vacancies in Derby‌.

You can apply for these vacancies online through the Apprenticeships website. If you have not already done so you will need to register your details before applying for an Apprenticeship

If you want to be kept informed about the latest Apprenticeship opportunities, follow the official Apprenticeships page on Twitter.


If you are not quite ready for an apprenticeship a traineeship is a good way to gain the skills employers will be looking for. Traineeships provide the essential work preparation training, maths and English and work experience needed to get an Apprenticeship or other job.

They are delivered by training providers and funded by the government, with employers providing the valuable work experience placement and interview as part of the programme.

If you want to find out more please call City Placements on 01332 642633

Contact details

Post address:
Apprenticeship Hub
Economic Regeneration Division
Derby City Council
Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 641631

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