Skip to main content

{{ root_page.title }}

Apprenticeships, traineeships, and supported internships

Apprenticeships, traineeships, and supported internships


Apprenticeships are structured programmes that teach you the skills you need to perform well in your job.  They allow you to learn practical skills in your workplace, build up valuable knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and earn money at the same time.

As an employee, you will be based in a workplace the majority of the time, as most of the training takes place on the job.  You will usually attend off-the-job training once a week and you could be working towards a qualification, such as National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), other nationally recognised qualifications or a certificate of achievement.

How much can I earn?

National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage (NAMW) is currently £4.15 per hour but will rise in April 2021 to £4.30.  The National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage applies to those aged 16 to 18, or 19 or above on their first year of the apprenticeship.  For those who are 19 or above, after the first year, the National Minimum Wage will apply.

There is no maximum wage, apprentices can earn as much as the employer is willing to pay.

How long do apprenticeships last?

All apprenticeships must last a minimum of 12 months, but some can take up to four years to complete.

The length of an apprenticeship varies depending on skill level of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and the industry sector of the apprenticeship.

What apprenticeships are available to me?

There are over 200 different types of apprenticeships available in a wide range of sectors:  

  • Business, administration and law
  • Health, public services and social care
  • Education and training
  • Information, communication and technology (ICT)
  • Construction, planning and the built environment
  • Arts, media and publishing
  • Leisure, travel and tourism
  • Hospitality and catering
  • Retail and commercial enterprise
  • Agriculture, horticulture and animal care
  • Engineering and manufacturing technologies

There are endless career opportunities under each sector.

I have an Education Health and Care Plan, what support will I receive during the apprenticeship?

Young people can retain their Education Health and Care plan whilst on an apprenticeship.  Apprenticeships are funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) who are committed to making sure that everyone has the opportunity to do an apprenticeship, including those with learning difficulties or disabilities.  This means making sure the right level of support is available to remove barriers to education and training so that learners can make the most of their potential.  Learning support funding will also provide funding for you to meet the costs of reasonable adjustments to help you do the job. 

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

For young people who want to learn at a higher level Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are available at levels 4 – 7.  These programmes combine work and off-the-job learning which can lead to foundation degree, standard degree or professional qualifications in your chosen career.


The aim of traineeships is to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to go on to an apprenticeship or job as quickly as possible.

Traineeships are available to young people up to age 24 (25 for young people with Education Health and Care Plan) who are not currently in a job and have little work experience, but want to get into work.  Specifically traineeships may be suitable for

  • Those aged 16-18 and qualified below Level 3

  • Those aged 19-24 and have not yet achieved their first full Level 2 qualification (a GCSE or something else at that level)

  • 16 - 24 year olds who have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within six months of starting a traineeship

Traineeships include work preparation training, English and or maths and a high quality work placement.  Traineeships last a minimum of six weeks and maximum of six months.  They must include a work placement which lasts at least six weeks and no more than five months.

Supported internships

Supported internships are aimed at young people who want to move into employment but need extra support to do so. Specifically, they are aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who have a statement of special educational needs, a Learning Disability Assessment, or an Education, Health and Care plan.

Supported internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months – the exact duration of the programme will depend on students’ needs, abilities and ambitions

Students on supported internships will be based mainly at an employer’s premises with some time spent in college or with a training provider.

Find out more: