What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a combination of training with a real, paid job that allows you to gain relevant qualifications and experience whilst working. 

Throughout an apprenticeship you are supported by your training provider and your employer to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required in your current role and to progress in your chosen industry.

Apprenticeships are available from level 2 to 7 and can last from 1 to 6 years. The length and level of your apprenticeship will depend on the job role you are doing, as well as any previous experience or qualifications you may have.

Who can complete an apprenticeship?

People of all ages (16 and over) and educational backgrounds (including graduates) can be eligible to do an apprenticeship. 

The key point is that the apprenticeship must allow you to gain lots of new knowledge, skills and behaviours that you need for your job. This means that the training provider needs to check that the content of the training is different from any prior qualification or previous apprenticeship that you have completed. For example, if you have an accounting degree, you would not be able to do an accounting apprenticeship, but would be able to do many other types of apprenticeships that do not involve accounting. 

Apprentices must live in England (there are different apprenticeship options for other parts of the UK) and cannot be in full-time education.

In addition to meeting eligibility as set out in government rules, the employer may also set criteria that they want the apprentice to have, such as certain A-Level or GCSE grades. As the level of the apprenticeship goes up, employers will also increasingly expect people to have relevant experience. So if you haven’t had lots of work experience, you will probably be starting out at level 2 or 3.

What does an apprenticeship involve?

You will have a job, usually full-time, with a wage and paid holidays. But as part of your job, you will complete what is called 20% off-the-job training. This means that 20% of your time will be spent on learning new skills, knowledge and behaviours in your job role. This could be time spent with your training provider on workshops and visits, time spent on your own working on your apprenticeship assignments or assessment preparation, and time spent with your employer doing training activities.

In addition to your main apprenticeship qualification, you may also have the opportunity to gain other qualifications such as AAT for accounting and CILEx for law. 

Apprenticeships always take at least a year to complete and have three stages:

  • Teaching and learning - You work with your training provider and your employer to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours;
  • The gateway - The point at which the employer, training provider and the apprentice come together to agree that the apprentice is ready for the external end-point assessment;
  • End-point assessment - You demonstrate your knowledge, skills and behaviours to an external assessor. Your end-point assessment could include a test, interview and/or portfolio presentation.

As part of your apprenticeship, you may need to take functional skills in English and maths.

What types of apprenticeship are there?

There are 593 individual apprenticeships currently approved for delivery, so there is something to fit nearly every job role in every industry.

They fall into the following categories:

  • Agriculture, environmental and animal care
  • Business and administration
  • Care, health and science
  • Catering and hospitality
  • Construction, engineering and manufacturing
  • Creative and design
  • Digital
  • Education and childcare
  • Hair and beauty
  • Protective services
  • Sales and marketing
  • Transport and logistics

How do I get started?

There are plenty of apprenticeship providers available – depending on what type of apprenticeship you are looking for and where you are based.

Damar Training in Stockport specialise in the business and professional sector, offering apprenticeships in administration, customer service, law, management and accounting. This specialism allows them to really understand the requirements of each apprenticeship standard, and the industries and employers that we work with.

You can find out more by visiting their website https://www.damartraining.com/apprenticeships/ or calling 0161 480 8171.

If you’re looking for a different type of apprenticeship, take a look in our Training Directory to find a local provider who can help.


You can search for the very latest jobs in the Stockport area here. We have a wide range of part time, temporary, volunteer and permanent positions in  Administration, Cleaning, Customer Service, Driving, Financial, IT & Tech, Social Care/Healthcare and Warehouse jobs in Stockport.

Please visit our training section, our comprehensive careers advice section and you can also register your CV here.