In Scotland, a Modern Apprenticeship is the official title of apprenticeships: “A job + work-based training = a Modern Apprenticeship”.
However, across the rest of the UK the term can apply to all types of apprenticeship available today, which have been designed with modern young people in mind.
Apprenticeships are no longer just for people who want a career in construction or beauty, there’s a wide variety of career paths to choose from: and the creative and media industries, in business and accounting, engineering and IT.
For example, the Civil Service runs a Fast Track Apprenticeship in Digital and Technology. The two-year programme provides intensive training in software development and web operations, as well as a qualification.
Here’s a breakdown of the varieties available:
An Intermediate Apprenticeship is equivalent to five good GCSE passes. Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC.
Advanced apprenticeships work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based certificate such as a BTEC. To start this programme, the applicant should ideally have five GCSEs at grade C or above or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship.
Higher apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation degree. Apprentices can also progress to higher education, including university degrees.
There is a National Minimum Wage for apprentices: £3.90 per hour, but many employers do pay more than this.
The rate applies to all apprentices aged 16-18 and those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their training. All other apprentices are entitled to the national minimum wage for their age.