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Best Apprenticeships for 16 Year Olds

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If you’re 16, you’re probably thinking about your next steps in education.

You might have figured out that full time classroom learning is not for you, if so, this article might be the most important thing you will read.

As a 16-year-old, you have two more years of full-time education to complete, but did you know, you can work full-time, gain a wage AND a qualification?

With apprenticeships… you can! 

In-fact, 16–18-year-olds form 23.7% of the apprentice population!

Read on to discover the best apprenticeships for you.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is where learning meets earning! 

Apprenticeships are exciting learning experiences where learners dive headfirst into their dream industry. You’ll be spending 80% of your working hours on-the-job training, and the other 20% in the classroom and privately studying. 

Plus, you get paid! 

Apprenticeships are the perfect way to gain work experience while gaining a recognised qualification and completing your full time education. Upon completion of the programme, not only will you have a qualification, but you will have experience too! This makes you the perfect candidate for employment.  

Can a 16-year-old get an apprenticeship?

Yes! In-fact, the minimum age to start an apprenticeship is 16 years old, so now is the perfect time to consider one as your next steps in your education.

Why choose to do an apprenticeship as a 16-year-old?

Are you bored of classroom-based learning?

Now that you’re 16, you probably have a good understanding of what type of learner you are. Some may prefer classroom-based learning, while others prefer hands-on, practical learning.

If you prefer hands-on learning, an apprenticeship is perfect for you! 

During an apprenticeship course, you spend 80% of your time on-the-job training, and only a small 20% in the classroom, with fun and engaging lessons. This way, you get to learn alongside industry professionals and put your knowledge to good use!

What apprenticeship level should a 16-year-old do?

Level 2 apprenticeships

Equal to:

5 GCSEs at grades A*-C or 9-4.

Entry requirements:

No formal qualifications. Must show employers you have an interest in the industry.


12-18 months. 30-40 hours per week.

Suitable for:

Those with no formal qualifications. 

Explore the benefits of Level 2 apprenticeships here. 

Level 3 apprenticeships

Equal to:

2 A-Levels at grades A*-C.

Entry requirements:

Entry requirements are often 3-5 GCSEs at grades A*-C or 9-4 alongside a demonstrated interest in the industry.


12-18 months. 30-40 hours per week.

Suitable for:

Those looking to pursue a career in a new industry.

Those looking to upskill in their current role.

Typically, Level 3 apprenticeships are more popular and accessible. If you have 3-5 GCSEs at grades A*-C, then it is recommended to do a Level 3 apprenticeship. 

What apprenticeship sectors are available for 16-year-olds?

Here at Total People, we specialise in a wide range of industries, including:

Care, Early Years and Education

Are you the kind of person who finds joy in supporting others, especially those in vulnerable situations? If your heart lights up at the thought of making a difference to the lives of children, adults, or those in need of care, then this apprenticeship is tailor-made for you.

Professional Services

Embarking on an apprenticeship in Professional Services is a smart move for those with a broad interest in the business world. If you are business minded, have good people skills and are organised, these apprenticeships might interest you. 

Technical Trades

Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty? With technical trade apprenticeships, it's about mastering the tools of the trade. Whether it's a hammer, wrench, or soldering iron, you get to gain the expertise and functional skills to create, repair, and maintain the physical infrastructure that keeps our world running.

How much do 16-year-old apprentices get paid?

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice between the ages of 16-18 is £5.28 per hour. After April 2024, this will increase to £6.40. Both of these apprenticeship wages are equal to the regular minimum wage for 16–18-year-old non-apprentices. It is at the employer's discretion if they wish to pay more. 

Apply to the best apprenticeship provider today 

Looking to kickstart your career through an apprenticeship? 

Total People is your go-to provider in the Northwest of England, and here's why.

  • Our profits are reinvested to support our mission: improving lives and economic success through learning and skills. 
  • We collaborate with a multitude of businesses, offering tailored solutions for recruitment and skills development. 
  • With highly skilled Learning Coaches, professional training centres, and a commitment to integrity, teamwork, innovation, and sustainability, we're not just about jobs – we're about creating careers.

Ready to join us? 

Check out our current vacancies and let's shape your future together. 

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Our Apprenticeship Paths

Total People offer apprenticeships in a variety of different industries.