Apprentice FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Apprentices

Are you an apprentice looking for information and guidance? Trafford College has developed considerable apprenticeship knowledge after developing as a leading training provider in Greater Manchester.

We have brought together common queries about every aspect of apprenticeships. From what an apprenticeship is to the types of apprenticeships available, find the answers to your apprenticeship questions below.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes that are designed to help employers train people for specific job roles. At the same time, apprentices get a paying job with valuable training while they work towards a nationally recognised apprenticeship standard or framework.

In short, with an apprenticeship you can get paid, get trained and get qualified.

Who can do an apprenticeship?

Anyone in aged 16 years old and above, whether employed, unemployed or leaving school can start an apprenticeship. There is no upper age limit. There are no formal qualifications needed to do an apprenticeship however some employers do require you to have GCSEs (A-C/9-4) in English, Maths and Science as a standard.

How much will I earn?

The apprentice rate is currently £3.90 per hour and is the minimum amount an apprentice can be paid. Many employers pay more than this and the average weekly wage is £200. An apprentice must be paid at least the minimum rate if they are under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship.

If over 19, following the first year of apprenticeship the apprentice is entitled to the minimum wage for their age group.

National Minimum Wage*

Apprentice Rate 18 to 20 years 21 to 24 years 25 and over
£3.90 £6.15 £7.70 £8.21

*Accurate as of April 2019

What qualification do I gain?

During your apprenticeship programme you will working towards a nationally recognised apprenticeship standard or framework. This is accredited by relevant industry regulatory bodies and will help further you in your chosen career.

Depending on the type of programme you enrol onto you may also have the chance to work towards QCF accredited diplomas and qualifications in Maths and English.

How long does an apprenticeship last?​​

The duration of an apprenticeship depends on the course being followed and the ability of the individual apprentice. An apprenticeship can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of apprenticeship, the apprentice’s ability and the industry sector.

As a guide, an Intermediate Level 2 apprenticeship usually takes around 12 to 18 months and an advanced Level 3 apprenticeship around 24 months.

How does on-site/ on the job training work?

An apprenticeship is a work-based qualification, which means that all of the training and assessment for the apprenticeship will be completed on-site. You will need to build an apprenticeship portfolio of evidence. Your trainer will observe you in the workplace and guide you on which pieces of work-based evidence are suitable for your portfolio.

Across the length of an apprenticeship you will be visited by a trainer every three to five weeks.

If you are completing a Standard towards the end of your apprenticeship you will have a meeting with your training and manager to determine whether you are ready for you End Point Assessment (EPA). The EPA is completed to assess the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you have learnt throughout the apprenticeship. You will practice parts of the EPA assessment throughout the apprenticeship and you will only take the final assessment when you feel ready. The content of the EPA will vary, depending on the course you are completing.

What types of apprenticeships are there?

There are three levels of Apprenticeship:

Level 2: Intermediate Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to five A* GCSEs)

Level 3: Advanced Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to two A-Levels)

Level 4,5 and 6: Higher Apprenticeship (Foundation degree level)

How do I apply?

Applying for an apprenticeship is different to applying for a full-time course. Think of it more like applying for a job, you will have to search apprenticeship vacancies, or approach a business yourself and go through an application process.

Our dedicated Apprenticeship Team at Trafford College will support you in your search for an apprenticeship. View our current vacancies and start your journey to sourcing an Apprenticeship.