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A Complete Guide to Apprenticeships for 16 Year Olds

What are apprenticeships for 16 year olds?

Apprenticeships involve both employment and training to get someone ready for a specific, industry standard job. They’re generally aimed at young people aged 16 or over who are considering a different route into employment, rather than going to university. If you opt for an apprenticeship, you can leave school after your GCSEs. This means you would work and study full time in your apprenticeship instead of attending sixth form or college. An apprenticeship, therefore, gives you certified qualifications and job training to help you on your career path. The big bonus? It also pays you for your time working. While apprenticeships are often associated with physical labour and trade industries, nowadays there are a plethora of options when it comes to apprenticeships for 16-year-olds, including law, media, and engineering.

What are the different types of apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships range from levels 2-7 and the apprenticeships for 16-year-olds are usually between levels 2 and 3 depending on your qualifications.

  • Level 2 is an intermediate apprenticeship and can be started at the age of 16. It will usually last from 1 year to 18 months. After this time the qualification is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes.
  • Level 3 is an advanced apprenticeship which can also be started at 16 years old and is usually studied for over 2 years. After completion, an advanced apprenticeship is equivalent to 2 A level passes or a Level 3 Diploma.
  • Levels 4-7 apprenticeships are usually aimed at older people who have passed the previous apprenticeships. These take a minimum of 3 years to complete and are equivalent to a foundation degree, a bachelor degree and a master’s degree. Read more in this Guide to Apprenticeships.

Do apprenticeships require qualifications?

Apprentice jobs for 16-year-olds don’t come with a lot of entry requirements and there will be different requirements for each industry, job role, and apprenticeship level, so do your research for the specific placement you are looking for. However, the average entry requirements for each level are as follows:

  • With an intermediate apprenticeship, which is the lowest tier, an applicant just has to be over 16 years old and prove that they are able to complete the programme.
  • For an advanced apprenticeship, some industries ask for three or more GCSEs. However, many don’t ask for formal qualifications and instead prefer previous experience.

Can you get an apprenticeship without GCSEs?

It’s possible to apply for an apprenticeship without any formal qualifications. For example, an intermediate apprenticeship gives you an equivalent of five GSCEs, so you won’t be expected to already have GCSEs before applying. Even some advanced apprenticeships are possible to obtain without GCSEs and may instead ask you to sit a basic numeracy and literacy test if you don’t have a maths and English qualification. Again, it’s dependent on the industry so do your research for your specific field.

How much can I earn with an apprenticeship?

During an apprenticeship, you’ll spend most of your time on the job and roughly one day a week in a classroom, training centre, or college learning. Because of this, you’ll most likely get paid for your work on an hourly basis. As of April 2018, the national minimum wage for apprentices under 19 years old is £3.70 per hour. However, this is just the legal amount for employers to pay you and most apprentices earn more. The Apprenticeship Pay Survey in 2016 estimated the average hourly pay received by apprentices in the UK was £6.70 for level 2 and 3 apprentices. This is equivalent to nearly £14,000 per year and can help you achieve a competitive salary when you finish training. In terms of subject, the best-paid apprenticeships for 16-year-olds tend to be in the financial sector. With apprenticeships in banking, insurance, and accountancy averaging at above £17,000 a year. After that, IT, consultancy and business shortly follow as the second-highest-paid sectors. See more information on average apprenticeship pay on Rate my Apprenticeship.

How to find an apprenticeship for you

There is a range of apprenticeships available in a variety of industries, including, retail, media, law, agriculture, web development and business administration to name a few. You can narrow down the best apprenticeships for 16-year-olds and find one for you using helpful websites such as Gov.uk, Ucas, and Not Going to Uni. Alternatively, browse for the latest apprenticeships in IT, Digital Media, Business and more.

Stephanie Khan

Stephanie is a former Marketing Apprentice, and now a Content Marketing Executive at AVADO. Since completing her apprenticeship, she has become an advocate for apprentices and the benefit they bring to businesses. She writes about modern apprenticeships, the levy, and the digital skills crisis.

Posted January 31, 2019