What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship offers practical training, in a job of your choice, if you are 16 or over

It doesn’t cost you a penny. In fact, you get paid.

University College Birmingham works with a huge range of employers, from bakers and chefs to hairdressers and pre-school nurseries to other universities and housing associations. We’ll ensure you get the best on-the-job training possible and pick up a relevant qualification as you learn new skills.

As an apprentice, you will:

  • Work with experienced staff
  • Earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • Gain valuable job skills
  • Study towards a related qualification (usually for one day a week)

What apprenticeship levels are there?

Apprenticeships are widely respected by employers and are equivalent to education qualifications such as GCSEs and A-levels.

Levels of apprenticeships include:

  • Level 2/Intermediate - equivalent to 5 GCSE passes
  • Level 3/Advanced - equivalent to 2 A-level passes
  • Level 4 and 5 Higher – this can lead to qualifications and/or standards at Level 4 or a foundation degree
  • Level 6 - this can lead to a BA (Hons) degree

Apprenticeship FAQs

Is an apprenticeship suitable for me?

You might have thought about studying at college but you'd like to earn while you learn. Or you might already be in a job and would like to upgrade your skills. Either way, an apprenticeship through UCB could be for you.

Do I need to be working to start an apprenticeship?

Yes, but don't panic if you haven't got a job right now. UCB work with employers to develop apprentice vacancies but you should register on www.gov.uk to explore all possible vacancies.

What qualifications do I need?

You don't need any prior qualifications to start a Level 2 apprenticeship but you do need enthusiasm, be prepared to work hard and have a passion for your chosen type of work. However, if you don't have good GCSE grades in maths and English you will need to take a literacy and numeracy test. UCB will make the necessary arrangements for this.

Is there an age limit?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 16 and over who is resident in England and not doing a full-time course at college/university.

Will it cost me anything?

Currently there is no charge to apprentices regardless of age but your employer may have to contribute to the training cost.

What will I be paid?

You get paid at least the current minimum apprenticeship wage, see www.gov.uk. Many employers pay much higher rates than the national minimum for apprenticeships. Review vacancies carefully to check out the pay rate.

What time of year can I start?

You can apply to UCB at any time of the year. Once we have your application, we will contact you and discuss the next steps.

Will an Apprenticeship give me a good career?

Career progression is excellent for apprentices. Over their careers, workers with an apprenticeship earn, on average, £100,000 more than those without. Some apprenticeships attract UCAS points or allow you to study for a Technical Certificate. Once the apprenticeship is completed, there is the opportunity to carry on working, win promotion or start a college or university course at University College Birmingham.

Where can I get further information?

Please call the UCB Apprenticeships team on 0121 232 4091 (Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-4pm) or fill out our online enquiry form. You can also email: apprenticeships@ucb.ac.uk