What is an apprenticeship?

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What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job where you learn, gain experience, and get paid. You’re an employee with a contract and time for holiday. You'll gain the skills and knowledge needed for your chosen profession.

Most apprenticeships last between one and four years. It depends on your choice, its level and your experience. The government and your employer fund it together.

You must:

  • be 16 or over
  • not already be in full-time education
  • live in England

How does the programme work?

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How does the programme work?

You can start an apprenticeship at any time. You could be starting your career, fancying a change or upskilling in your current job. You can have qualifications, like a degree, and still start an apprenticeship.

Benefits of doing an apprenticeship with us:

  • You’ll learn and train for a specific job
  • You’ll receive all the training you need, and your programme will be paid for
  • You’ll get paid and receive holiday leave
  • You’ll get hands-on experience in a real job
  • You’ll study for at least 20% of your working hours. This usually takes place at a college, university or with a training provider
  • You’ll do assessments during and at the end of your apprenticeship
  • You’ll be on a career path with a bright future

You may have little or no experience in health and care. For you, other routes could be ideal, such as T Levels, volunteering or a short getting experience placement. Either way, our opportunities across Northamptonshire offer plenty of support.   

Are there different apprenticeship levels?

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Levels of apprenticeships

Yes, there are different levels available in apprenticeships. You can start an apprenticeship at any level depending on your experience and/or qualifications.

Depending on the level, some apprenticeships may:

  • ask for qualifications, such as a English or maths GCSE
  • give extra training in English or maths as needed so you’re at the right level

At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll achieve an equal education level. For example, if you finish a level 3 apprenticeship, you’ll achieve the equivalent of an A level. Levels of apprenticeships include: 

Levels of apprenticeships*
 

Level

Equivalent education level

     

Intermediate

2

GCSE

Advanced

3

A level

Higher

4,5,6 and 7

Foundation degree and above

Degree

6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

*Please note: the information above is from Becoming an apprentice (apprenticeships.gov.uk).

Apprenticeship entry requirements in England

This link will show you apprenticeship entry requirements in England. 

What happens after the programme is complete?

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What happens after the programme is complete?

In most cases, you will be offered a permanent job. Most successful apprentices stay in employment, often with the same employer. It's a good idea to check whether you'll be offered a job. Your manager and assessor will talk about your career opportunities before the end of your programme.

Instead, you may continue your studies with us through a higher-level apprenticeship or gain the qualifications to go to university.

You could also consider joining our temporary workers pool (bank). This means that you can work for us during your studies and offers more experience in different areas.

Contact us for more information

What opportunities are there?

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What opportunities are there?

Across the county, there are many apprenticeship opportunities available. These opportunities change all the time, so please keep checking back!

Our opportunities vary. If you are already a member of staff, you can seek an apprenticeship through your organisation. If you are finishing school, looking for a new job or unemployed, these appear as ‘new talent’ opportunities. They are for brand-new apprentices that want to work with us.

It's important for you to see the range of apprenticeships available. It showcases the development opportunities on offer for brand-new or experienced members of our team.

Madeleine's apprenticeship journey

Read Madeleine's story about being an apprentice with East Midlands Ambulance Service and how this helped her to achieve the career she is in now! 

Read Madeleine's story here

Apprenticeship FAQs

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Apprenticeship FAQs

What apprenticeship might I be good at?

There are lots of factors to consider here. You could start by looking at our  subject tool here. You can also take a quiz to find a career that best suits you.

Why do I want an apprenticeship?

It’s important to consider all your options to make sure an apprenticeship is the right choice. For example, you may think about university, college or a permanent job. It’s also a good idea to check an apprenticeship's development opportunities and whether it is being offered in your area. You can check the jobs board or contact us for more information.

What experience is needed?

Most of our ‘direct entry’ apprenticeships (administrative and health care) don't need any experience. Time spent in a health or care environment is useful, but this is not a barrier to starting. You can get experience with us through getting experience, volunteering, or a T Level, which is 80% study and 20% work. Higher-level apprenticeships need specific work experience, which will be made clear on the job description and personal specification.

What level of English and Maths do I need?

If you wish to do a level 3 apprenticeship, you must achieve a level 2 for English and Maths. You’ll work towards level 2 in English and Maths for level 2 apprenticeships.

Balancing work and study – can I commit?

You’ll need to balance the commitment required for a full-time job and studying towards a qualification. Find out more here.

Who pays for my apprenticeship qualification?

We do. Your employer receives a levy or a levy transfer, covering 100% of your training fees, so you don't have to pay anything. Find out more here.

What will I get paid?

How much you get paid will depend on lots of factors: your age, employer, the qualification, your contract of employment, level of role etc. Find out more here.

Useful links

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Useful links

Local apprenticeship leads

East Midlands Ambulance Service – CareersAcademy@nhft.nhs.uk

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust –  kgh-tr.apprenticeships@nhs.net

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust -  ngh-tr.training.mail@nhs.net

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – Apprenticeships@nhft.nhs.uk

Primary Care – enquiries.nth@nhs.net

St Andrews Healthcare – Apprenticeships@standrews.co.uk

Useful links

Apprenticeship website

Find out more about apprenticeships here. 

Career planning and guidance

This links gives you lots of information on planning for your NHS Career, for career planning and guidance.

Health and care pathways 

There are many different roles in the health sector that you can choose from. Take a look on the link above. 

Thinking of doing an apprenticeship? 

Find out more about apprenticeships in health and care on the link above.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships

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Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship opportunities vary across the county and with different employers. Entry-level apprenticeships, level 2, often appear. There are also opportunities to start level 5 or 6 qualifications after school or college. These are rarer, so it's important to check back often.

Our apprenticeships are advertised like permanent jobs.

Check out apprenticeships available on NHS Jobs.

Check out apprenticeships available in social care.

Apprenticeships for new talent

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Apprenticeships for new talent

Apprenticeship opportunities vary across the county and with different employers. Entry-level apprenticeships, level 2, often appear. There are also opportunities to start level 5 or 6 qualifications after school or college. These are rarer, so it's important to check back often.

Some of the apprenticeship programmes and progressions pathways we have available for new talent are:

Please note, our apprenticeship opportunities are subject to continuous change and will vary depending on the organisation and workforce plans. The above purely provides an example of the types of apprenticeship opportunities available over a 12-month period.

For more information on each role, head to our careers in health and careers in social care pages for helpful guidance on the role, skills, pay and other important factors.

Local careers pathways:

Across Northamptonshire Health and Care Careers Academy we have lots of career pathways available for individuals to develop in their career. All are available on our career pages.

Careers in health

Careers in social care

Apprenticeships for existing staff

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Apprenticeships for existing staff

Northamptonshire health and care organisations offer great opportunities for staff to gain qualifications that develop their skills. Our careers in health and careers in social care pages offers a starting point, if you’re unsure what is available or where your current career can lead. 

Examples of available apprenticeship opportunities and progression pathways for current staff are:

Please note, our apprenticeship opportunities are subject to continuous change and will vary depending on the organisation, workforce plans and manager approval. The above purely provides an example of the types of apprenticeship opportunities available over a 12-month period.

How can an existing employee become an apprentice?

  • ​​​​​​​Identify what skills they need to develop
  • Choose an apprenticeship standard based on content, not level
  • Check if they hvae certificates for Maths and English
  • Follow HR's processes for appointing apprentices
  • Check with finance that funding is available
  • Select a training provider
  • Check who will provide end point assessment
  • Put in place an apprenticeship agreement
  • Check who will act as a mentor 
  • Agree a start date

Reference: Skills for Health.

For further information on apprenticeships and part-time apprenticeships please visit the Skills for Health website. 

This is nursing video

This is nursing video