What apprenticeship levels are available?

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Apprenticeships Employers Blogs

An apprenticeship blends professional training with on-the-job learning.

You’ll study for a recognised qualification and earn a wage while gaining experience in a job at the same time. There are a range of apprenticeship qualification levels to choose from, use this guide to help you understand what apprenticeship level is right for you and your goals. 

Level 2 Apprenticeships (Intermediate Apprenticeships)

Level 2 apprenticeships are the lowest paid apprenticeship qualification* available and are one of the most popular apprenticeship levels in the UK. Level 1 qualifications are available however these are unpaid traineeships and study programmes.  

What are Level 2 apprenticeships equivalent to?

A Level 2 apprenticeship is equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C or 9-4.

Who are Level 2 apprenticeships suitable for?

Level 2 apprenticeships often require no formal qualifications however you will need to demonstrate to the employer that you have an interest in the industry and that you are highly motivated to learn. This makes Level 2 apprenticeships ideal for school leavers and adults looking to start their careers in a new sector. 

How long do Level 2 apprenticeships last?

Level 2 apprenticeships take 12-18 months to complete provided you work 30-40 hours per week (full-time). If you work part-time, the apprenticeship duration will be extended to reflect this.  

What can Level 2 apprenticeships lead to?

After completing your level 2 apprenticeship, you will have the skills and experience needed for generalist or junior roles (e.g. assistant roles) within your industry.

Level 2 apprenticeships can also give you the knowledge and foundations needed to progress to a Level 3 or 4 apprenticeship to pursue specialist skills in your sector. 

Level 3 Apprenticeships (Advanced Apprenticeships)

Level 3 apprenticeships are some of the most frequently offered by employers since they are designed to train apprentices to take on significant responsibilities but still provide a good entry route for those new to the industry. 

What are Level 3 apprenticeships equivalent to?

Level 3 apprenticeships are equivalent to 2 A-Levels at grades A*-C.

Who are Level 3 apprenticeships suitable for?

Level 3 apprenticeships are suitable for those looking to pursue a career in a new industry. Entry requirements are often 3-5 GCSEs at grades A*-C or 9-4 alongside a demonstrated interest in the industry.

Level 3 apprenticeships may also be suitable for those looking to upskill in their current role by enhancing their knowledge in a particular area such as management or business administration.

How long do Level 3 apprenticeships last?

Level 3 apprenticeships generally take 24 months to complete provided you work 30-40 hours per week (full-time). If you work part-time, the apprenticeship duration will be extended to reflect this.  

What can Level 3 apprenticeships lead to?

A level 3 apprenticeship can lead to a stable career in your chosen field in a range of generalist and specialist roles. Depending on your demonstrated skills and attitude during the apprenticeship, you may even be able to take on management responsibilities. 

Level 4 and 5 Apprenticeships (Higher Apprenticeships)

Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships prepare you to take on specialist roles in your industry by teaching you incredibly advanced skills and techniques. 

What are Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships equivalent to?

Level 4 and Level 5 apprenticeships are equivalent to the early qualifications in Higher Education such as a foundation degree or HND. 

Who are Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships suitable for?

You will often need a Level 3 qualification (such as A-Levels or Level 3 Apprenticeship) in a relevant subject to qualify for a Level 4 or Level 5 apprenticeship in a new industry. However, if you have substantial experience already in your chosen field you may not need any specific qualifications for your new or current employer to enrol you in a higher apprenticeship. 

Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships are often considered one of the most academically challenging forms of apprenticeship due to the advanced nature of the training, therefore they are best suited to those who enjoy an academic learning environment alongside their hands-on vocational training. Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships are most commonly used by those already in the industry looking to upskill by obtaining skills in a specialist area.

How long do Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships last?

More advanced apprenticeships like Level 4 and Level 5 can take between 12 and 60 months to complete depending on the sector and specialist job role.  

What can Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships lead to?

Level 4 and Level 5 apprenticeships will give you the skills and knowledge needed to take on specialist and senior roles in your sector. You may also use a Level 4 or 5 apprenticeships as part of your entry requirements for further study at university or with a higher level apprenticeship. 

Level 6 and 7 Apprenticeships (Degree Apprenticeship)

Level 6 and Level 7 apprenticeships are the most advanced apprenticeships you can complete. They are not offered in as many sectors as Level 3 and 4 apprenticeships but may be worth pursuing if you’d like to become an expert in your field. 

What are Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships equivalent to?

Level 6 and Level 7 apprenticeships are equivalent to a bachelors degree and masters degree respectively. 

Who are Level 6 and Level 7 apprenticeships suitable for?

Degree apprenticeships such as Level 6 and level 7 are best suited for those who are looking to pursue specialist roles in their existing sector or to upskill in their current role by taking on additional responsibilities (such as management). 

Generally, you will need to demonstrate experience and interest in your chosen field alongside qualifications that demonstrate you can study at degree level (such as Level 4/5 apprenticeship or 3 high grades at A-Level)

How long do Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships last?

A Level 6 or 7 apprenticeships will generally last as long as their corresponding degree types i.e. between 3 and 5 years. 

What can Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships lead to?

Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships will enable you to enter roles at the very top of your industry, manage departments and take on highly specialised responsibilities. 

We offer apprenticeships, traineeships and courses in a wide range of career areas and levels. Browse the sectors we currently offer or call our team of advisors on 03333 222 666 who will be happy to answer all your questions about apprenticeships. 

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