School vs. Intermediate Apprenticeships

  • Emma Finamore
  • Last updated 09 Jan 2020

Take a look at the advantages of school compared to those of Intermediate Apprenticeships. 


In England, all young people must remain in some form of education or training until the age of 18. This could be full-time education, for example at a college, an apprenticeship or traineeship, work, or volunteering (for 20 hours or more a week) while in part-time education or training.

For those aged 16, an Intermediate Apprenticeship can be a great alternative to remaining in the traditional classroom setting – although some Intermediate Apprenticeships might require apprentices to already have some GCSEs, some programmes do not require this, making them a viable alternative to school.

Intermediate Apprenticeships: qualifications

Intermediate Apprenticeships offer structured work-based experience alongside training at Level 2 – something that young people will not receive at school. They also provide industry-specific qualifications (for example, Cambridge Technicals Level 2, BTECs or City & Guilds) which will be more useful for young people who know what industry they want to move into than the qualifications available to them at school.

Intermediate Apprenticeships: industries

Intermediate Apprenticeships are available in:

Construction, Planning and the Built Environment
Leisure, Travel and Tourism
Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care
Arts, Media and Publishing
Business, Administration and Law
Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
Retail and Commercial Enterprise
Health, Public Services and Care
Education and Training
Information and Communication Technology

School is (obviously) more academic, which means it’s a great route for those wanting to keep their options open, or for those wanting to take A-levels and go on to university, a school leaver programme, a Higher Apprenticeship or a Degree Apprenticeship.

Intermediate Apprenticeships: pay

One of the other major differences between Intermediate Apprenticeships and school is pay: Intermediate Apprenticeships (like all apprenticeships) are also paid – unlike GCSE students, Intermediate Apprentices are paid the national apprentice minimum wage for their work and time (or the National Minimum Wage, depending on their age), which makes them a great option for young people keen to start earning early on.


Image courtesy of Olu Eletu

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