Graduates, Undergraduates and Apprentices
Not sure what advice to give about apprenticeships? We've pulled together all the best information in one place here

  Apprenticeships: What Parents & Guardians need to know

Understanding the apprenticeship options available after finishing school or college can be confusing.

The National Apprenticeship Service found that whilst 87% of parents give their child careers advice, up to 90% of those don’t feel well-informed enough to offer it in the first place. So we've put all the best information in one place to tell you more about apprenticeships, why we love them and why we believe they are an alternative way to tap into some amazing potential.

What actually is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a scheme which offers a paid job, combined with training to achieve industry recognised qualifications. Commonly viewed an alternative education option for young people between the ages of 16-25, however its important to remember there are no upper age limits and at Severn Trent we believe we have apprenticeships suitable for everyone.

By combining on-the-job training with study, apprenticeships are a brilliant way to gain an insight into the world of work, complete an industry training standard, gain qualifications and help take the first steps into a new career.

Apprenticeships have come a long way, no longer confined to vocational trades, at Severn Trent we now have apprentices studying at all levels from Intermediate apprenticeships through to Masters Degrees.

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are open to anyone who is:

  • Aged 16 or over by the end of the school summer holidays
  • Living and eligible to work in the UK
  • Not in full-time education

How do apprenticeships work?

An apprentice spends 80% of their time working for an employer, and the rest of their time working towards industry recognised apprenticeship standards and nationally-certified qualifications.

These qualifications can include:

  • Functional skills: GCSE level qualifications in English, Mathematics and ICT
  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs): from level 2 (equal to five GCSEs) up to level 5 (postgraduate degree level)
  • Technical certificates: BTECs, City and Guild Progression Awards etc.
  • Academic qualifications: Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) foundation degree or the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree.

Our apprentices at Severn Trent study in a variety of ways depending on the schemes level and structure.

Generally, an apprentice on average will spend 20% of their time training, with college or with a training provider, or via remote learning platforms, such as online lectures. With 80% of the time working alongside experienced professionals, developing their industry knowledge and soft skills on the job.

Apprenticeships can last anywhere from one to six years depending on the level the apprentice is studying at.

They have been divided into FOUR tiers to suit different ages and abilities: intermediate, advanced, higher and degree. The level of apprenticeship that students can apply for all
depends on what qualifications and experience they already have.

Confused by what level your child should be applying to? Read on for a breakdown of each level...

What do the different levels mean?

Name Level Equivalent to Age group   Duration
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes 16+   12-18 months
Advanced 3 2 A level passes 16+   18-24 months
Higher 4,5,6&7 Foundation degree and above 18+   3-4 years
Degree 6&7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree 18+   3-6 years

How much do your apprentices get paid?

All of our apprenticeship  programmes start at our base annual  salary of £17,194, we decided we wanted to pay our apprentices much higher than many other employers who choose to pay their apprentices the minimum wage. Salaries are reviewed every 12 months of their apprenticeship and the end of scheme salary will be based on the final role and level of training achieved.

Our Apprentices are also on entitled to the all-employee reward and benefits, available in the specific part of the business they join.

How many hours a week does an apprentice work?

The typical hours for our apprentices are between 37-40 hours per week, which includes any time spent studying at college or in training. The specific hours will be linked to the level and role they apply for.

Is my child guaranteed a job at the end?

We hire apprentices for the future, and offer all of our apprentices a role at the end of their scheme, so long as they have passed their qualification commitment, as well as behaviour and performance reviews.

Do apprentices need to relocate?

We have apprentices based all across the UK and find that the majority of the time, one of the benefits of our apprenticeships are that you are often based at a site near to you home.

However, If your child is worried about missing out on the ‘university experience’, they may want to consider applying to apprenticeships further afield, or for one of our 'residential' apprenticeships which offer accommodation if home is based over 30 miles from the training location. (Only available on our operational or maintenance schemes.)

How to find apprenticeships

Your child interested in applying for an apprenticeship, what next?

Pointthem in the direction of the following so that they can find the right scheme

Extra resources for parents

Parent’s Guide to Apprenticeships – a useful guide to an apprenticeship’s main benefits.

Search for an apprenticeship – a search engine detailing all apprenticeships in England