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If going to university straight from college wasn’t the best route for you then apprenticeships offer a great alternative, combining academic study with on the job learning. You will earn a wage and learn new skills - perfect for those who want to get stuck straight into the world of work.

What areas are apprenticeships available in?

Higher Apprenticeships are currently available in business and IT; construction; creative practice; media and the arts; customer service and retail; energy; engineering and electrical; finance; health and care; hospitality and travel; manufacturing; processing and logistics; public services; and vehicles and transport.

Solent is currently offering the following course:

We are also in the process of developing courses in construction, digital and healthcare for 2017.

What are the entry requirements?

To start an apprenticeship you need to be:

  • 16 or over
  • Living in England
  • Not in full-time education

Entry requirements may differ across different providers and sectors.

For higher and degree apprenticeships students are likely to be 18 years or over and able to demonstrate level three or higher qualification.

There are several levels of apprenticeship:

TypeLevelEducation level

Intermediate apprenticeships

Level 2

5 GCSEs A*-C or equivalent

Advanced apprenticeships

Level 3

2 A-levels or equivalent

Higher apprenticeships

Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7

Foundation degree and above or equivalent

Degree apprenticeships

Levels 6 and 7

Bachelors or master’s degree

What are the benefits for me?

  • Complete university qualifications whilst you work.
  • Study subjects and assignments that relate directly to your job.
  • Develop both transferable and job specific skills, becoming a professional in your sector.
  • Gain a professional accreditation that is directly related to your choice of career.
  • No student loans to repay.
  • Open up new opportunities for career progression.
  • Benefit from a potential higher wage, additional responsibility and extra recognition within your company.

What will I be expected to do?

As an apprentice you are also an employee and will be expected to follow the usual terms of employment. You will work alongside other employees, learning the skills you need for your role.

You will also need to attend classes at the training provider, completing assignments and work projects just as you would on a traditional degree.

How long will it take?

Apprenticeship time frames can vary depending on what you choose to study and what qualifications are involved.  It is usually a minimum of 12 months, but the average apprenticeship can take 2-5 years to complete. You will normally work at least 30 hours per week alongside study.

What are the costs?

Your employer and the UK government will cover the costs of your apprenticeship so there will be no student loan debts or tuition fees to repay. There may be additional costs for books, travel and equipment but your employer may be able to assist you with these costs. 

What will I earn?

All apprentices must receive a minimum of national minimum apprenticeship wage. However it is up to the employer what you wage will be set as. Completing an apprenticeship – just like any other qualification – makes you more attractive to employers and opens up the door to higher wages.

As an employee it is also likely that you will be able to access employment benefits which may include paid holiday, pension contributions and access to facilities. Some employers will also offer additional support for books, travel and equipment but you should check all this before accepting an opportunity.

How do I apply?

There are 3 steps to applying:

What happens next?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a job. If your application is successful, you will normally be invited for interview and possibly additional tests. If you get the job, the apprenticeship will begin and the employer will liaise with the training provider about starting your course.

Where can I find an apprenticeship?

If you are currently in employment and your employer is already working with a training provider, we would suggest talking with your line manager or human resources representative to see what opportunities are currently available.

If your employer is not currently involved in an apprenticeship scheme they will need to sign up to the apprenticeship scheme and work with a training provider to open up opportunities.

If you are not yet employed and think this is the route for you, there are lots of websites that offer advice and will help you to search for open positions:

The Apprenticeship Guide

Get In Go Far



Get in touch

If you are interested in becoming an apprentice, the team here at Solent is here to help. Please contact

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