How hard is it to get an Intermediate Apprenticeship?

  • Billy Sexton
  • 17 Apr 2020


Intermediate Apprenticeships are Level 2, which means they are the equivalent of GCSEs and the first level of apprenticeship available in the UK.

Intermediate Apprenticeships combine learning on the job, getting a qualification and being paid. You can do an Intermediate Apprenticeship if you are aged 16 or above, and there are plenty out there for young people looking to enter the world of work.

Due to Intermediate Apprenticeships being the first level available, it is not too difficult to get one if you have the necessary qualifications. There are also plenty out there and they may have less demanding entry requirements than Advanced, Higher, and Degree Apprenticeships too.

Intermediate Apprenticeships: what do the numbers tell us?

The number of Intermediate Apprenticeships available each year is a considerable amount; only Advanced Apprenticeships are more readily available.

Statistics from the UK government reveal that 36.5% of all apprenticeship starts in the 2018/19 academic year were at Level 2, equating to over 143,000 of roughly 395,000 apprenticeships started.

This means that if you have plans to apply for an Intermediate Apprenticeship, there are a lot of opportunities out there for you to research and explore.

What are the typical entry requirements for an Intermediate Apprenticeship?

Intermediate Apprenticeship entry requirements vary by employer but are likely to be reasonably achievable. Generally speaking, employers will want you to have a good set of GCSE results, at grade 4 or above.

Additionally, employers who take on Intermediate Apprentices want their apprentices to stay and grow within the company. They are paying for your learning and course fees, paying you a salary (the National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage stands at £4.15 an hour at the time of writing), and would like to see you continue to work at the organisation for a number of years after you complete your qualification, perhaps deciding to go on to do an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship if these opportunities are available.

From checking out the roles available on AllAboutSchoolLeavers at the time of writing, entry requirements include the following:

  • Business Administration Apprentice at Balfour Beatty - 3 GCSEs or equivalent
  • Highways Maintenance Apprentice at Balfour Beatty – 3 GCSEs or equivalent
  • Apprentice Parts at Volvo Trucks - GCSE grades Grade 3/D or above (or equivalent) or can demonstrate a reasonable level of knowledge in Mathematics, English and Science.

What else will an Intermediate Apprenticeship employer be looking for?

Intermediate Apprenticeship employers recognise that having come straight from school, apprentices will not be the finished article just yet. They will be on the lookout for young people with a lot of potential and will be looking for certain characteristics or behaviours. They will assess these in the application you make, and also through any psychometric testing and assessment days that you are invited to undertake and attend.

Every organisation is different, so it’s best that you check their website and do some research before you make any applications. However, generally speaking, employers are looking for the following:

  • Commitment and passion – you’re going to be doing an Intermediate Apprenticeship for two or three years, so employers want to know that you’re committed to completing the apprenticeship. They’ll also be hoping that you’re passionate about the company and sector of work. Employers want somebody in their firm who will be adaptable and enthused about helping the business reach their goals. 
  • Motivated and willing to learn – On an Intermediate apprenticeship, you will spend 20% of your time learning off the job. You will also have a full-time job, which will be busy and demanding at times so could face a situation where you have coursework due and have deadlines at work. Your employer will support you, but you need to be able to prioritise and be motivated to succeed.
  • Communication, teamwork and people skills – when you do an apprenticeship, you will be interacting with people from all walks of life. Whilst you will make friends in your cohort and team, some people you work with maybe older than you, for example. Additionally, the challenges you face at work will be different from the challenges you face at school, so you will need to use your initiative and intelligence to overcome new challenges.

I’m ready to apply for an Intermediate Apprenticeship!

Not put off by the hurdles and obstacles between you and an Intermediate Apprenticeship? That’s exactly the type of attitude that will bring you success! Head to the jobs section of AllAboutSchoolLeavers to check out the latest opportunities and check out our other advice articles about Intermediate Apprenticeships.

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