What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a real job with real job prospects. It’s a great opportunity for you to earn a recognised qualification as well as valuable workplace experience to enhance your CV and long term career prospects. Apprenticeships can often lead to higher qualifications and will demonstrate to employers how committed and professional you are. You will have a salary and contract of employment, and will work between 30 and 40 hours a week. To start an apprenticeship you will need to be employed in a role which has the range of work relevant to the apprenticeship qualification you wish to undertake. You can find apprenticeship opportunities on the National Apprenticeship Service website or on the Central Bedfordshire College apprenticeship vacancy page.
What types of apprenticeships are there?
A huge variety of apprenticeships are available with Central Bedfordshire College, from practical trades and care industries to commercial pursuits.
What are the levels of apprenticeships?
There are no Level 1 apprenticeships.
Intermediate – Level 2. Most (but not all) apprenticeships start at Level 2 which is equivalent to GCSE grade A - C.
Advanced – Level 3 is equivalent to A Level and usually a progression route from the Level 2, although electrical apprenticeships start at Level 3 but include Level 2 qualifications at the start of the programme.
Higher – Level 4 is equivalent to a Foundation Degree.
How long will the apprenticeship programme take to complete?
Apprenticeships take 12 to 42 months to complete depending on the type and level of apprenticeship chosen.
When will I need to attend college?
Your employer will release you from work to attend college by arrangement. For some apprentices this will mean one day a week at college known as “day release” and for others it may mean “block release” i.e. a week or fortnight in college each half term. When you apply for your apprenticeship the appropriate college attendance for you will be explained so that you and your employer can plan your time in college ahead.
Who can apply?
To apply for an apprenticeship you must be 16 or over and have an employer who has offered to employ you as an apprentice. Your role and responsibilities with the employer must relate to the type of apprenticeship you would like to undertake. Most apprenticeships are either fully or partly funded by the Government therefore applicants must meet finding eligibility criteria.
How do I find an apprenticeship?
Some apprentices find an employer by contacting local companies to let them know they are seeking an apprenticeship. It may also be helpful to speak to friends, family and other contacts about your intention to become an apprentice and ask them if they know of any employers in your chosen industry who may be interested in taking you on.
We recommend that you also register for an apprenticeship on the National Apprenticeship Service website which gives details of all opportunities available and how to apply. In addition we post details of apprenticeship vacancies with employers working with Central Bedfordshire College on our website where you can also view details and apply online.
Once you have secured a role you will need to let us know your employer’s contact details so that we can arrange to carry out a visit to the company to check that proper arrangements have been put in place to support your apprenticeship and that you have access to the required range of work.