Ignite Sport > News and Blogs > Studying an apprenticeship – Ignite Sport UK's 'everything you need to know' guide

Apprenticeships provide a wide range of multi-sector career opportunities for people of all ages.  

In fact, they are far removed from the common misconception that they are only for young people starting out in the construction industry. They serve as a proven pathway to higher education, or direct employment in a vast array of sectors.   

In our ‘everything you need to know’ guide collated by the team at Ignite Sport UK, we provide answers to the most asked questions by people interested in becoming an apprentice.  

Am I eligible, and what apprenticeships are available?  

The first step towards ‘earning and learning’ is understanding if you can apply for an apprenticeship. This process could not be simpler.  

If you are aged 16 or over, live in England and are not in full-time education, you can create an account via the Government’s Find Apprenticeship service now. From here, you will be able to explore and apply for a variety of apprenticeships available in your local area.  

Modern-day apprenticeships cover a wide variety of sectors including agricultural, environment and animal care, business and administration, construction, creative, media and the arts, retail, engineering, finance, hair and beauty, sport and public services.  

The Apprenticeship Guide is a helpful online resource which helps people develop a strong understanding of how a vocational qualification can help people establish job-specific skills while training and earning a wage.  

Apprenticeship levels – what do they mean?  

There are four levels of apprenticeship in England. They are intermediate, advanced, higher and degree.  

Each level leads to a nationally recognised qualification and will involve work-based learning with a minimum of 20% of an apprentice’s contracted hours dedicated to training.  

The level can determine how long an apprenticeship lasts for too. A Level 2 apprenticeship (intermediate), for example, is likely to last one year while a Level 7 apprenticeship (degree) could last five years.  

Each level has equivalent education levels:  

· Level 2 (intermediate) – GCSE. 

· Level 3 (advanced) – A Level. 

· Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 (higher) – Foundation degree and above. 

· Levels 6 and 7 (degree) – Bachelor’s or master’s degree.  

To enrol onto a higher or degree apprenticeship, it is likely you will need either a Level 3 qualification, A Levels or an NVQ Level 3. Keep this information in mind when applying for an apprenticeship that interests you.  

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?  

An apprenticeship is a paid job which includes training, support, a progression pathway and an opportunity to develop role-specific skills that employers want.

Like any other job, you will receive a wage at the end of the month, be assigned your own responsibilities and become part of a team. Importantly, you will be able to develop your skills via training from professional tutors which will lead to a nationally recognised qualification.  

Unlike university, there are no costs associated to your learning – everything is paid for. You will also be entitled to paid holiday and apprenticeships are available to people of all ages.  

READ MORE: The top five reasons why you should hire an apprentice in 2021 

How much will I earn?  

Your salary will depend on two elements – your age and your experience.  

Apprentices aged 16 to 18 and apprentices aged 19 and over studying the first year of their apprenticeship will earn the national minimum wage for apprentices. Currently, this equates to £4.30 per hour - or £161.25 per week for a 37.5 hour per week contract.  

Once you have completed your first year, apprentices aged 19 and over will be paid the national minimum wage for their age. The national minimum wage changes on April 1 every year.  

Currently, if you’re aged 23 or over, you will earn £8.91 per hour, 21 to 22-year-olds are entitled to £8.36 per hour. While 18 to 20-year-olds receive £6.56 and under 18s £4.62.  

Some employers will choose to pay apprentices more than the national minimum wage. This will be made clear when you enrol onto an apprenticeship.   

Does an apprenticeship mean I miss university?  

No. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Apprenticeships are now widely recognised by universities across the UK with many students choosing to complete an apprenticeship before furthering their education.  

An apprenticeship opens several doors which enable people to continue their career development via paid on-the-job learning and training or enrol into full-time education either at college or university.  

Don’t let your desire to experience the university lifestyle put you off from enrolling into an apprenticeship! An apprenticeship can be just the beginning.  

READ MORE: Ignite Sport UK apprentice Ethan Gough accepted onto sports journalism degree. 

What happens when I finish my apprenticeship?  

While most apprenticeships lead to a full-time job, this is not always the case.  

It’s important to understand, though, that should you be in a position where your services are not required at your employer, you would have gained the necessary skills and qualifications to apply for jobs elsewhere or further your learning at university or college.  

A recent Government report confirmed 93% of apprentices who had recently completed their qualification were employed at the time they were surveyed.  

Of those in employment, 76% were working full-time hours, 11% were in part-time work, and 4% were self-employed and 2% had zero-hour contracts. The majority of people surveyed who weren’t employed were in additional education and training.  

In the leisure sector specifically, figures revealed 71% of former apprentices were employed, 16% were in additional education and training while 9% were unemployed.  

How do I learn more?  

At Ignite Sport UK, we deliver full-time sports-based apprenticeships covering sports coaching, teaching, marketing, content production and more.  

We are a leading training provider in the provision of sports-related apprenticeships, NGB awards and vocational qualifications. Our apprenticeships are suitable for people aged 16 and older with a strong interest in sport, leisure and teaching.

If you would like to enquire about becoming an apprentice with Ignite Sport UK, please visit our website or contact us via 0300 303 0890 or info@ignitesportuk.com.   

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