What is an Advanced Apprenticeship?

  • Last updated 09 Jan 2020


Advanced Apprenticeships are a step above Intermediate Apprenticeships, and are designed for more challenging roles and developing advanced skills at a Level 3 qualification – equivalent to two A-level passes.

It’s a chance to access great training, develop skills and gain qualifications whilst working for an employer. As a guide, Advanced Apprenticeships generally last around 24 months, although they can be longer or shorter. It is the second most popular apprenticeship. In 2014/15, around 181,800 people started an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Advanced Apprenticeships: training 

On these programmes, apprentices spend most of the time working for an employer and learning on-the-job, but they will also spend some time at a training institution or local college gaining qualifications at Level 3. These will include a Level 3 competence qualification, a Functional Skills qualification and a relevant knowledge-based qualification. In practice, this might mean apprentices spend two days a week at college and three days in the office or workplace.

Alternatively, they might only go to college once a fortnight (or maybe even less). Some employers use a ‘block training’ approach, concentrating the required off-the-job training into weekly or fortnightly slots across the year.

Advanced Apprenticeships: industries

Advanced Apprenticeships are offered in all sorts of areas and industries with all types of companies; in everything from animal care and education, to media, retail and law.

Advanced Apprenticeships: entry requirements

Usually applicants are required to have five GCSEs (grades A*-C) or equivalent, or have completed an Intermediate Apprenticeship.

Advanced Apprenticeships:  career progression

From an Advanced Apprenticeship, apprentices can go on to do a Higher Apprenticeship or secure a job in a relevant industry. They may also use the qualification to gain access to some school leaver programmes (for example in the construction industry) and courses at Further Education college, dependent on individual entry requirements.

Advanced Apprenticeships:  pay

The Apprentice National Minimum Wage is £3.90 an hour, but many employers pay their apprentices more than that. The Apprentice National Minimum Wage applies to all 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship, people who are aged 19 and over must get paid the full National Minimum Wage for their age group.


Image courtesy of Francisco Osorlo. 

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