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Make a genius decision and get ahead in your career with an apprenticeship

Whether you're finding your way in the world of work or taking steps towards a career change, an apprenticeship could be for you.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • develop job specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time to study (usually one day a week)
  • boost your earning potential
  • get a full package of support, whatever your needs
  • have the opportunity for clear progression through the apprenticeship levels

Apprenticeships take 1 to 4 years to complete depending on the level.

Find out more by reading our apprenticeship guide for learners.

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships in Wales are available to anyone 16 and over including:

  • young people looking to transition from student life to working life
  • people who are unemployed
  • people who have a job but are looking to switch careers
  • those currently employed who are looking to increase their skill levels

Apprenticeships are available for those who have a disability, health condition or learning difficulty. Almost all apprenticeships can be made accessible and your employer will work with you to ensure you get tailored support to meet your needs so that you can work confidently.

Find out more by reading our apprenticeship guidance for disabled people.

Apprenticeship levels

Not all learning takes place in the classroom so it doesn’t matter if you’ve left school with few qualifications, picked up a load of GCSEs, just finished college or graduated with a degree - there is an apprenticeship level to suit you. 

Apprenticeship level Equivalent educational level
Foundation Apprenticeship – Level 2 5 GCSEs or NVQ Level 2
Apprenticeship – Level 3 2 A-levels or NVQ Level 3
Higher Apprenticeship  - Level 4 / 5 HNC or HND or Foundation degree

Degree Apprenticeship – Level 6*

*Degree Apprenticeships are available in ICT / digital, engineering and advanced manufacturing occupations.

Bachelor’s degree 

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship will allow you to:

  • train in a field you want to work in and grow your career from day one
  • get valuable experience and a nationally recognised qualification
  • earn money and get started in the world of work, helping you to become a more self-reliant person
  • get holiday pay and in some cases study leave
  • learn from experienced colleagues
  • build your confidence and get job specific skills:making you more employable

Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of roles, not just traditional trades like construction and engineering, you can try something you’ve always fancied or something you’d have never thought of before.

Funding for employers

There has never been a better time to become an apprentice as employers can now get extra funding for taking on an apprentice.

As part of the Welsh Government’s £40 million skills and jobs fund up to 6,000 new apprenticeship places will be created; focusing on those hardest hit by COVID-19 and ensuring no one over 16 is left behind.

Apprenticeship incentives, which will run from the 1 August 2020 to the 28 February 2021, will enhance the ability of businesses to employ apprentices and create a skilled workforce.

Incentives are available for any business in Wales, regardless of size or sector:

  • Up to £3,000 for the employment of any new apprentice
  • Up to £2,600 for those businesses who re-employ an apprentice made redundant after the 23 March
  • A £1,500 incentive for employing a disabled apprentice, which can be claimed in addition to the new and redundant apprenticeship incentives

If you would like to find out more, visit the Business Wales Skills Gateway.

Sectors and frameworks

Apprenticeships are available in 23 sectors available at four levels - meaning that there is an apprenticeship to suit every learner.

  • Advanced Manufacture & Materials
  • Agriculture and Environment
  • Automotive, Transport and Logistics
  • Business and Management
  • Catering and Hospitality
  • Childcare Services 
  • Construction and Building Services
  • Creative & Design
  • Digital Technology
  • Education and Information Services
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Food and Drink
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Healthcare Services
  • Health & Social Care Services
  • Legal and Financial Services
  • Life Sciences
  • Property Services
  • Protective Services
  • Public Services
  • Retail
  • Travel, Tourism and Leisure

View all of the frameworks available in Wales.

Welsh language and bilingual apprenticeships 

Individuals can undertake training opportunities in their chosen language. Apprentices can learn new skills and develop their Welsh language in the workplace.

Find an apprenticeship

Use our apprenticeship vacancy service to find an apprenticeship that is right for you.

Read our success stories

Cameron's story
Engineering apprentice has what it takes to work under pressure.
Tiffany Evans
Tiffany's story
How an apprenticeship unlocked door to a career change in engineering.
Ellen Briggs
Ellen's story
Software developer apprentice exceeding ‘traditional’ job role expectations.
Jake Carey
Jake’s story
Apprentice brings breath of fresh air to wind turbine company.
Nikita Williams
Nikita's story
From teacher to student: Primary school teacher decoding life as an apprentice.
Joe Hopkins
Joe's story
21-year-old strikes gold with apprenticeship at Royal Mint.
Josh O’Leary
Josh's story
Josh was worried about his career options until he made the genius decision to choose an apprenticeship.
Safyan Iqbal
Safyan's story
Safyan Iqbal, an apprentice at ITV Cymru Wales is encouraging others to consider apprenticeships as a route into a successful career.
S4C
Gruff's story
Welsh broadcaster, S4C has invested in apprenticeships as part of its commitment to training and developing skills locally protecting the future of the business.
Little Tigers Nursery
Ellie's story
Little Tigers Nursery took on its first ever apprentice, a genius decision that’s been so successful that Ellie has now been promoted to Additional Learning Needs Coordinator.
High Precision Wales
Manmeet's story
Family-run manufacturing company, High Precision Wales, says apprentices allow time for business development and help to tackle a growing skills gap in their industry.
Bryson Recycling
Andrew's story
An Abergele-based recycling company says apprenticeships are vital to ensure a sustainable workforce by developing skills and investing in future talent.

Still not sure if an apprenticeship is right for you? Find out more about your options on Working Wales

Further information

Help with your application

Get help with your application by reading our application advice.

You can also find advice for writing applications, creating a good CV and how to prepare for interviews on the Working Wales website.

Parent to a school leaver?

If your child is leaving school, have you both considered an apprenticeship as the next step?

If you want to know more, read our apprenticeships guidance for parents.

Apprenticeship Awards Cymru

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru celebrates the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and work based learning providers who have contributed to the success of the Apprenticeship Programme in Wales.

Find out more about the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

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