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What is an Apprenticeship?

What is an apprentice

Apprenticeships in Wales are jobs that include recognised qualifications and job-specific skills. You earn a wage while you work and learn.

 There are three Apprenticeship levels:

  • Foundation Apprenticeship - you would usually gain a Level 2 qualification (equivalent to GCSE level) that is relevant to the job
  • Apprenticeship - you would work toward a Level 3 qualification (equivalent to A Levels) that is relevant to the job
  • Higher Apprenticeship / Degree Apprenticeship - in these you work toward a higher qualification of Level 4 and above. This could be an HNC/HND or a degree

This will depend on what you are doing. Your employer will decide how they want you to be trained to do their work. These are some of the ways apprentices are trained:

  • On the job
  • At college which could be full-time or part-time
  • At a training centre which you could attend once a week or in blocks of a few days or weeks
  • At university if you are doing a higher level or degree Apprenticeship.

What is certain is that you will have training. Where and how you will train will depend on your course and employer.

You will be given information on this when you go through the application or you could ask for details at your interview.

There are a wide range of Apprenticeships on offer, and many different employers who offer them:

Not sure what type of Apprenticeship would suit you?

Take our Job Matching Quiz to get career ideas that match your skills and interests.

Use Job Information Leaflets to find out more detail about what different jobs involve.

You need to be aged 16 or over, there is no upper age limit.

You have to apply for an Apprenticeship like any other job. The employer who advertises the Apprenticeship will state the qualifications, skills and experience they require.

Apprenticeships are such a great opportunity so they can be very competitive. It is very important that you put together a good application or CV.

There is a National Minimum Wage for Apprentices, but employers may often pay more than this. What you are paid depends on the employer.

Search and apply for Apprenticeships on our Apprenticeship Matching Service. Sign up so that you do not miss out on any opportunities. You can look at all the vacancies, just the ones in your area or just at the type of jobs you are interested in.

Employers who offer Apprenticeships lists web links of employers who offer apprenticeships. You can visit their websites to:

  • View and apply for any live vacancies they may have
  • Find out when they are next recruiting if they haven’t got live vacancies now
  • Register your interest or submit your CV if they invite you to

Some employers also advertise on social media and online job sites like Universal Jobmatch and Indeed.

Top tip! If you're interested in an apprenticeship with a specific employer then why not ask them and see what they say?

Contact us on 0800 028 4844 for help and advice.


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Case Studies

Change your life through an apprenticeship

Tracy successfully gained an apprenticeship in Business Administration at Costain after getting help and advice from Careers Wales.

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Earn as you learn

Sion, from Caernarfonshire, works as a mechanical fitter for Dŵr Cymru after excelling on an apprenticeship programme that let him earn as he learned. 

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Myth busting Guide to Apprenticeships


Find out more:


For further support or careers advice call
0800 028 4844