Work based learning

For information and advice on education, training and work, visit our guided advice form.


Apprenticeships combine training in a job with study.  Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on the level you want to study to.


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

Apprenticeships are available at different levels, from level 2 to level 7. Apprenticeships become more advanced as the levels get higher. For example a level 2 (intermediate) is equivalent to GCSE level and levels 6 and 7 are equivalent to a degree.

Young people can apply for apprenticeships while they are still in school or when they are in college. To start an apprenticeship you need to be:

  • 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education

Applying for an apprenticeship

Applying for an apprenticeship is a competitive process. Apprenticeships are jobs so employers decide who they are going to employ and what the entry requirements should be. Some employers may ask that a young person has GCSEs including English and maths at certain grades.

The Government has set 'exit requirements' in English and maths for apprenticeships.

If a young person has an  EHC plan or statement, or had one in the past, there may be flexibility around the English and maths qualifications they would need to complete their apprenticeship.

An applicant can request extra support known as 'reasonable adjustments' for help with the application process and for support on the apprenticeships itself (both at work and while studying). Young people should speak to their tutors or careers advisers at school or college if they have SEND reasonable adjustments can be made if applicable.

For more information about apprenticeships in Cheshire East see the Skills and Growth Apprenticeship Directory.


Traineeships are for young people who want to work but who need extra help and support. They last between 6 weeks and 6 months.

The 3 main parts of a traineeship are

  • a work placement
  • work preparation training
  • English and maths where the student is still to achieve GCSEs at grade C or 4, or the Functional Skills equivalent.

You can apply for a traineeships if you are

  • aged between 16 and 24 years old
  • qualified below level 3 (below A level or equivalent)
  • have limited experience of work

Supported internships

A supported internship helps to bridge the gap from education into paid work by providing additional support for both the young person and the employer. The supported internship consists of time with an education provider and time in the work placement (unpaid). Alongside their time with the employer, the young person will complete a personalised study programme which will work towards the four key areas of ‘Preparing for Adulthood’; Health, Community Inclusion, Independent Living and Employability.

The majority of the young person’s time is spent with the employer with the support from a job coach to help them to understand exactly what is expected of them and to help them to feel more confident in their own ability. The job coach will withdraw their support over time and regular reviews will take place between the young person, employer and job coach to ensure that this happens at the right time for everybody. This will help to support the young person to become independent in the work place and to help them gain the necessary skills and confidence to access paid employment in the future. Supported internships are for young people with an EHCP between the age of 16- 24 year olds. The programme lasts between 6-12 months, and should ideally be their final year in education- as the aim of the programme is to help the young person progress into paid employment. Supported Internships can include:

  • travel training
  • job coach support
  • maths and English if appropriate
  • employability skills
  • personal and social development
  • promoting independence
  • other relevant (industry linked) qualifications.

The team coordinate supported internships in the borough. For more details contact the supported employment team.

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