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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?

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. As an apprentice you will gain work experience, learn new skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification while earning a wage.

As an apprentice you'll:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time to study (usually one day a week)

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

What are the benefits?

Get a head start in a field you want to work in
As an apprentice you can train  in a field you want to work in. You won’t be turned down due to a lack of experience; instead you can grow your career from day one.

Gain nationally recognised qualifications
As well as experience you’ll gain qualifications which will match what your employer wants.

Earn a wage
There is a national minimum wage for apprentices. So as well as  gaining skills, experience and qualifications you’ll be earning a wage too.

Become independent
Earning money and starting in the world of work can help you become a more self-reliant person.

Become a valued employee, receive holiday pay and in some cases, study leave. 
From day one you will enjoy many of the perks that come from being employed.

Work with experienced colleagues
Your colleagues will be experienced and successful in their field so you can learn from them as well as from the training you’ll receive.

Try something completely new
Apprenticeships are not only offered in traditional trades like construction and engineering.  With a range of roles available so you can try something you’ve always fancied or something you’d have never thought of before.

Get insights into the world of work
As an apprentice, you’ll experience life as an employee in the workplace, picking up lots of skills along the way.

Get experience for your CV
An apprenticeship will look great on your CV. It shows you have experience, appropriate skills and a willingness to work.

Increase your employability
An apprenticeship will help you build your confidence and you will get job specific skills that will make you more employable.

Who can apply?

Apprenticeships in Wales are available to anyone over the age of 16.

Apprenticeships are a good choice for:

  • young people looking to transition from student life to working life
  • unemployed individuals
  • employed individuals looking to switch careers

Apprenticeship levels

We know that not all learning takes place in the classroom so it doesn’t matter if you 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. 

Foundation Apprenticeship - equivalent to five good GCSE passes.
Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2.

Apprenticeship - equivalent to two A-level passes.
Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 3.

Higher Apprenticeship - equivalent to a HNC/HND or Foundation Degree level and above.
Apprentices will work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ level 4 or above.

Degree Apprenticeship – offers learning at Level 6 and provides the opportunity to gain a full bachelor’s degree combining work with studying part-time at a university or college in Wales. Degree Apprenticeships will initially be offered in ICT / digital, engineering and advanced manufacturing occupations. 

Welsh language and Bilingual Apprenticeships - allows individuals to undertake training opportunities in their chosen language. Apprentices can learn new skills and develop their Welsh language in the workplace.

Types of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are available in a range of industries and roles including:

  • 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.

Apprenticeships for disabled people

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16, including those with 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.

Read Ellie and Ben's stories

For more information visit Working Wales


The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021

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.

There are four Apprenticeship Awards categories for individuals:

  • Foundation Apprentice of the Year
  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Higher Apprentice of the Year
  • Tomorrows Talent

There are two Awards available for those learners on a traineeship:

  • Traineeships Learner of the Year (Engagement)
  • Traineeships Learner of the Year (Level 1)

Applications for the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021 are now open! Apply now.


Not sure whether an apprenticeship is the right option for you? You can find out more about your options at Working Wales

Find an apprenticeship

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

on Careers

Help with your application

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

Read our success stories

Cameron Williams
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.
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.

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