Apprenticeship Q&A

So what is an apprenticeship?

An apprentice is employed as an employee by an organisation and learns job-specific skills from experienced staff in the workplace. He or she will also undertake off-the-job training at the AMRC Training Centre.

Who can take an apprenticeship?

As long as you live in England, over 16 years old and are not in full-time education you can apply. There are no other formal entry requirements.

How much does it cost to become an apprentice?

It won't cost you anything. The apprenticeship is funded by the Government and will cover all the costs of your training.

How long does an apprenticeship take?

Each apprenticeship is different and there is no set time to complete the apprenticeship. In general they can take between 1 and 4 years to complete.

How do I get on to an apprenticeship?

Like any employee you will be interviewed to determine your suitability for the role and you may even be asked to undertake some tests. Obtaining an apprenticeship is very much like applying for a job - you will need to show your enthusiasm and keenness for the job role.

Will I get paid during my apprenticeship?

Yes. All apprentices must receive at least the appropriate national minimum wage. This is the government wage guidance page (search 'National Minimum Wage' at the GOV.UK website to see what you could earn). These minimum hourly rates are reviewed by government yearly. Quite often this can be up to £11,000 a year, depending on the size of the company.

So what does AMRC Training Centre do?

This is where you receive your off-the-job training. We will appoint you with a personal mentor who will work with your employer and ensure that your training is well planned. We will then offer guidance throughout your training and help you deal with any issues that arise.

What does the employer do for an apprentice?

Your employer is fundamental to your apprenticeship. It is the employer that gives you the on-the-job training and experience to help you further for career and they also pay your wage! Your employer will also ensure that you have a manager who will be there to support you throughout your apprenticeship.

Can I choose my employer?

Of course. Your training provider can help you decide which employer is right for you, but ultimately the choice is yours.

Can I take an apprenticeship with my existing employer?

Yes. As long as your employer is happy to do it, you can become an apprentice in your existing place of work.

Can I start straight away?

You can apply straight away, but your on-the-job training can only start when a suitable position becomes available with an employer.

Do apprentices get holidays?

You will receive the same holiday entitlement as most paid employment - 20 days' paid holiday per year, plus Bank Holidays.

Will there be a job interview?

Yes as the selection process is the same as applying for a job. You will be asked to attend several interviews and in some cases you will need to sit tests, but these are just to make sure you're right for the position.

How many apprentices are there?

The number of UK apprentices has risen from 491,300 in 2009 to 851,500 today – an increase of 73%.

How realistic is the TV programme 'The Apprentice' to the apprenticeship undertaken?

'The Apprentice' was great at raising awareness of apprenticeship schemes but in reality, the two are very different. The show made for good TV as it showed the fast paced nature of the fierce competition and the ups and downs of driving the business forward but really apprenticeships are there to encourage you to learn and grow your confidence in a stable work place environment.

Could I go on to university from an apprenticeship?


So is doing an apprenticeship better than going to university?

Neither route is better than the other. Should you choose not to go to university, work-based learning is seen as a serious alternative. Some individuals find that apprenticeships offer the chance to train, learn and earn at the same time. There are many examples of successful businessmen and women and even celebrities who started off as apprentices.

In a nutshell, why should I do an apprenticeship?

As an apprentice you earn as you learn, gaining valuable, practical and transferable skills whilst keeping all your options open. And once you've completed your apprenticeship, the outlook is excellent: over the course of your career you'll earn on average £100,000 more than your counterparts who didn't receive the same training.

For any other questions or to make an enquiry please contact an advisor on 0114 222 4445 or email

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