Work based learning


 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.


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

Supported internships are a structured study programme based primarily at an employer. They enable young people aged 16-24 with a statement of SEN, or an Education, Health and Care plan to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace. Supported internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme. Alongside their time at the employer, young people complete a personalised study programme which includes the chance to study for relevant substantial qualifications, if appropriate, and English and maths.

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


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