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What is an apprenticeship

The University offers exciting opportunities for staff to develop their careers and gain a nationally recognised, vocational qualification by undertaking an apprenticeship. Staff of all ages, in many different roles, can benefit from tailored learning to develop their professional skills, whilst helping to meet the current and future needs of the University.

Training may take place in the workplace or through day or block release, depending on the apprenticeship and training provider.  Regardless of the apprenticeship you are working towards, you will spend 20% of your paid, working hours on ‘off the job’ learning activities.  This may include attending training sessions, personal study time, attending tutorials, completing assignments and involvement in project work.

Unlike shorter training courses, your line manager and the training provider will work closely together to support your development during the apprenticeship. Your manager will be responsible for helping you organise the work-based training that will allow you to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship role and to complete your portfolio. 

What types of apprenticeships are available?

Apprenticeships are vocational qualifications and, as such, are aligned to jobs. There are hundreds of different apprenticeships available, lasting from a minimum of one year to up to six years. Your job will need to provide you with the opportunity to use, embed and consolidate the knowledge, skills and behaviours you gain through your apprenticeship training.  

Apprenticeships have different levels which indicate the equivalent educational qualification level on completion:



Equivalent educational level






A level


4, 5, 6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

You can search for different apprenticeships using keywords here:

How much does an apprenticeship cost?

The cost of the training is met from the University’s central, apprenticeship levy fund. However other costs, such as travel or required membership of a professional body, will need to be funded by your department or School. Apprentices are also paid the full salary for their role including the 20% time spend on off the job learning. 

Who is eligible?

Apprenticeships are available for existing staff and new employees recruited directly into apprentice roles. There is no maximum age, although they are mostly intended to support the employment, training and development of people moving forwards with their chosen career.

There are some conditions that are set nationally by the government (e.g. residency requirements, minimum contracted hours, contract duration).

Some apprenticeship courses require you to have a particular level of prior education or knowledge. Please see the relevant apprenticeship standard for specific requirements.  The apprenticeship must also provide you with opportunities to gain significant new skills, so you would not be eligible if you already hold a qualification at a higher level in the same field or have extensive knowledge of the area.

All apprenticeship courses require basic proficiency in Maths and English, which you can demonstrate either through GCSE qualifications at level 4/grade C or above, or by taking separate short courses in Functional Skills. The apprenticeship training provider may ask you to complete brief Maths and English assessments as part of the application process.

Some apprenticeship courses at level 3 and above may require completion of a related apprenticeship at a lower level. It may be possible to gain an exemption from this requirement if you can demonstrate equivalent prior learning or experience. The training provider will discuss which level would be most appropriate for you based on your previous experience and current skills.

If you are already taking another training course or qualification, you should complete this first before starting an apprenticeship. The commitment required to complete an apprenticeship may be compromised if you try to undertake an apprenticeship alongside other studies.

Who provides the training?

Training for apprenticeships is provided by registered training providers. The University works with several different providers including Farnborough College of Technology and the University of West London.