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What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship offers a unique blend of work experience and academic study. Apprentices are employees with a contract of employment which details the same benefits as any other employee. Apprenticeships are typically delivered on a day release basis, where candidates will work four days a week and be released to study on the fifth. This can vary depending on course and employer/candidate needs.

An apprenticeship is a combination of a standard (which is a list of behaviours, skills and knowledge to be achieved); and formal qualifications. An example of this would be the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Fast-Track apprenticeship, which we underpin with our BA (Hons) Business Management degree programme.

The candidate would work towards both the standard and the BA (Hons) qualification simultaneously. The length of study is variable, but will be a minimum of 372 days. Typically, higher and degree apprenticeships run for three years.

Candidates undertaking an apprenticeship will complete a variety of activities. These could include professional discussions, presentations, essays, exams and practical assessments. These will be delivered through a combination of classroom sessions and practical workshops, depending on the programme.

How do I get started?

There are many options available to those who'd like to undertake an apprenticeship. Candidates will most likely fall into one of three categories:

  • Someone looking to undertake an apprenticeship as part of a new role.
  • Someone who already has a job and would like to progress within their organisation.
  • Someone who already has a job but would like to retrain as part of a career change.

Becoming an apprentice is a great way to start in a new career whilst undertaking study that helps you be more impactful in your role. If this is you, you should take a look at GOV.UK's find an apprenticeship service. This service advertises apprenticeship opportunities from across the country and includes vacancies in all areas, from hairdressing to engineering and everything in between.

Simply apply for a role that interests you, interview with the training provider and then interview with the employer. If successful, your next step will be to sign up to the apprenticeship. You will receive a contract of employment the same as any other employee. Often the contract is fixed term for the length of your apprenticeship.

If you are already working, apprenticeships are a great way to further your career. Work with your employer to choose an apprenticeship standard that relates to your role and then find a training provider to support your learning. The terms and conditions of your employment remain unchanged by taking up an apprenticeship. However, your employer will be required to allow you time away from the workplace to complete your qualification.

Get in touch

The team here at Solent are happy to talk through your current situation and look at how we can work together to address your training needs.

Get in touch with us via email at, or call 023 8201 5066.

Useful links

GOV.UK's apprenticeship homepage

GOV.UK's guide to apprenticeship funding

Step-by-step guide to the apprenticeship service (PDF)

Institute for Apprenticeships

You can also call the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or email them at