What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a job that allows you to earn money in your chosen sector, while gaining industry-recognised qualifications that will help you to progress in your career.
What are the advantages of doing an apprenticeship?
- You will earn money while you learn
- You will learn skills that will help you to progress in your chosen sector
- You will have better long-term salary prospects
- You will get support from a mentor while you learn
- You will have the opportunity to network with prospective employers
- You will get paid holiday leave
Who can do an apprenticeship?
Anyone who is a UK resident, aged 16 or over and not in full-time education can apply for an apprenticeship.
If you live in England, and are aged 16-23, your apprenticeship may be fully funded by the National Apprenticeship Service. If you are over 23 years old, your employer will need to pay a contribution towards the cost of the training element of the apprenticeship.
Nacro offers apprenticeships through its college, Totton College. For information about doing an apprenticeship there, see here.
Where can I look for apprenticeship vacancies?
To do an apprenticeship, it is necessary to find an employer willing to take on an apprentice. This can be done in one of two ways. The first way is to search for vacancies on the central apprenticeship websites for England and Wales. The second way is to look for employers willing to take on an apprentice independently. Your local council, nearby colleges and career services may be able to help with finding an employer who is likely to do this.
How much will I get paid?
The current national minimum wage for apprentices is £3.50 an hour (although this may vary for agricultural apprenticeships). This applies to apprentices aged 16-18 and those aged 19 who are in the first half of their first year of the apprenticeship. If you are 19 and have completed your first year, you should be paid the national minimum wage rate for your age.
I have a criminal record. Do I need to declare it when I apply for an apprenticeship?
Most apprenticeships are covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, which means that you will only need to declare unspent convictions if the apprenticeship provider asks you for a criminal record declaration. If you are not asked, you do not need to declare.
Some apprenticeships are exempt from the ROA, which means that your employer may need you to apply for a standard or enhanced DBS certificate. These might include apprenticeship opportunities in the health and social care sector. If you apply for an apprenticeship which will involve working in a role that is exempt from the ROA, you will need to declare both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, final warnings and reprimands that are not protected (i.e. eligible for filtering).
If you are not sure what you need to declare when applying for an apprenticeship, you can contact Nacro’s Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am applying for an apprenticeship and have been asked for a criminal record declaration. Where can I get advice?
We have a guide on disclosing criminal records that you may find useful when disclosing your criminal record.
If you would like further advice about disclosing your criminal record to an employer or training provider, please contact Nacro’s Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 or email@example.com.