Apprenticeships: A guide for parents

Is your teen thinking about doing an apprenticeship? It’s a great way to get into work – combining working and learning together. Around 130,000 employers currently offer apprenticeships – and there are some great opportunities afterwards too.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is basically working and learning at the same time. Those who are on an apprenticeship will spend some of their time working on the job and also some time learning at college. How much time is spent in each place will depend on the type of apprenticeship.

Someone working on an apprenticeship will be required to work a minimum of 16 hours – but often they are full time. They usually take between 1 and 4 years to complete.

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

Anyone doing an apprenticeship is paid a minimum of £95 per week – but many are paid more than this (the average is £170 per week) .

They’ll also get 20 days paid holiday per year, as well as bank holidays.

But most importantly, apprentices learn valuable skills – some of which will be specific to the job they’re doing, and others which will be transferable to many other careers.

Robert Fowler, 19, from Somerset, completed an apprenticeship with a manufacturing company. Robert said: ‘After my GCSEs I didn’t want to go to college, I wasn’t keen on all the written work and I wanted to earn some money. But I wanted to get something out of it at the end, I didn’t want to be stuck in a dead end job.

‘I am currently the only apprentice at the company and have already been given a lot of responsibility as part of the team. I still enjoy the job and I like working with people and having some responsibility. I hope to stay working here for a while longer.’