Advanced Apprenticeships are the second level of apprenticeship. The programes are a step above Intermediate Apprenticeships, and are designed for more challenging roles and to develop advanced skills at qualification Level 3 – equivalent to two A-level passes. They are a great choice for school leavers, especially for those want good career progression without take A-levels and then go onto university.
As a guide, Advanced Apprenticeships generally last around 24 months, although they can be longer or shorter. On these programmes, apprentices spend most of the time working for an employer and learning on-the-job, but they also spend some time at a training institution or local college, gaining qualifications at Level 3.
These will include a Level 3 competence qualification, a Functional Skills qualification and a relevant knowledge-based qualification. In practice, this might mean apprentices spend two days a week at college and three days in the office or workplace. Alternatively, they might only go to college once a fortnight (or maybe even less). Some employers use a ‘block training’ approach, concentrating the required off-the-job training into weekly or fortnightly slots across the year.
Advanced Apprenticeships are offered in all sorts of industries and job roles, with all types of companies, in everything from animal care and education, to media, retail and law.
You could work and train in roles as varied as civil engineer, journalist, jeweller, silversmith, IT application specialist, even spa therapist. There are, therefore, Advanced Apprenticeship schemes suited to all school leavers, of all different interests and skills sets.
Advanced Apprenticeships are perfect for people who want to move on to the next level – a Higher Apprenticeship. They are a prerequisite for those schemes, but are also useful for young people who want to stay in education and training without doing A-levels, as everyone born on or after 1 September 1997 must now remain in some form of education or training until their 18th birthday.
Usually applicants are required to have five GCSEs (grades A*-C) or equivalent, or to have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship. From an Advanced Apprenticeship, apprentices could go on to do a Higher Apprenticeship as mentioned above, or they could secure a standard full-time job in a relevant industry / in the role they trained in. Advanced apprentices may also use their Level 3 qualification to gain access to some school leaver programmes (in the construction industry, for example) or even courses at further education college, depending on the individual entry requirements for programmes.
Advanced apprentices will also be paid at the absolute least the Apprentice National Minimum Wage, but many employers pay their apprentices more than that. The Apprentice National Minimum Wage applies to all 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship.
After the first year of the apprenticeship, people who are aged 19 and over must be paid the full National Minimum Wage for their age group.
You’ll also gain enviable work-based experience at a relatively early stage, making you super-employable and able to cope well in a workplace environment.