Apprenticeships are a great way to learn and gain valuable experience, giving people the opportunity to get the skills they need for their career while earning a wage

Apprenticeships are available in over 170 industry sectors ranging from nuclear to fashion, law, banking and defence, covering over 1,500 different types of jobs.

Many large national and local employers in Leeds City Region recruit apprentices including Nestle, Network Rail, PwC, NHS, Covea, Reliance Engineering and Sulzer Pumps.

Apprenticeships last for at least 12 months and offer high quality training, from intermediate, GCSE-equivalent qualifications to degree level.

As an apprentice, you will be employed and earn a wage throughout your training, and 90% of apprentices stay on with their employer when their apprenticeship comes to an end.

Finding an apprenticeship course

The government apprenticeship website contains the information you need to help you decide whether an apprenticeship is right for you, and guide you through the process if you decide to go ahead.

It will tell you what you need to know about apprenticeships, how to find an apprenticeship and the opportunities available in the Leeds City Region, as well as offering hints and tips to help you through the application and interview process, and beyond.

Not sure what to do as your next step? Don’t worry, we can help you. For career advice or support visit then click on Speak to an advisor.

Apprenticeship myth buster

Myth 1. Apprenticeships are for people who don’t do well at school

Apprenticeships are simply an alternative route into skilled employment. They are a great way to earn while you learn, gain vital work experience and set yourself on a fast-track to a successful career.

Myth 2. Apprenticeships are only available in manual industries

While this might once have been the case, apprenticeships are now available in over 1,500 occupations across 170 industries, ranging from nuclear to fashion, law, banking and defence.

Myth 3. Apprenticeships are low quality

The government launched a new Institute for Apprenticeships in 2018 to ensure all apprenticeships deliver the same high quality training, while employers have come together to design new apprenticeship standards so apprentices can be sure they are learning skills needed in the workplace.

Myth 4. Apprenticeships don’t lead to good qualifications

Apprenticeships offer a ladder of opportunity so learners can progress from traineeships and intermediate (Level 2) apprenticeships right up to higher and Degree apprenticeships. More and more people are now choosing an apprenticeship as an alternative to university while nearly a fifth (19%) of advanced apprentices progress to higher education over time following their apprenticeship.

Myth 5. Apprentices will never earn very much

Apprentices aged over 25 and not in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship are entitled to the national minimum wage, though many employers choose to pay more. In the long-term, apprenticeships boost earnings by between 11 and 16% for individuals completing an advanced apprenticeship, while those completing a higher (degree level) apprenticeship could see their earnings boosted by an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.

Myth 6. Apprentices are only given low-quality work to do

Apprenticeships are full-time paid jobs with training and many high quality, prestigious companies offer them. According to Department for Education research, a quarter of former apprentices (23%) secure a promotion within 12 months of qualifying.

Myth 7. Businesses are not taking on apprentices

In 2019/20, there were 719,000 people participating in an apprenticeship in England, with 322,500 apprenticeship starts and 146,900 apprenticeship achievements. There are over 10,000 apprenticeship vacancies in England available on Find An Apprenticeship.

Myth 8. Apprenticeships are only for school leavers

Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages making them a great option for anyone looking to change career, improve their skills in order to secure a new role, or re-enter the labour market after having taken time out for whatever reason.

Myth 9. Employers don’t value apprenticeships

Research indicates that apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by an average of £214 per week; so more employers are now choosing to grow their business through apprenticeships. Employers also say that former apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications, meaning apprenticeships provide a genuine stepping stone to a brighter future.

Myth 10. An apprenticeship won’t lead to a full time job

In fact, more than 90% of apprentices stay with their employer after their course ends.