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What are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with studying for a related-qualification provided by a national or local college or University.

As an apprentice, students:

  • Work alongside experienced staff and gain job-specific skills, both of which may lead to quicker job progression than for other employees.

  • Earn a wage while they learn and increase their long-term earning prospects ("The average lifetime wage of an apprentice is over £100,000 more than those who go straight into employment" - Source:

  • Study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week).

 Apprenticeships take 1 to 4 years to complete depending on their level, and go from the equivalent of GCSEs up to Degree Level.

 For a good overview of what an apprenticeship is, see Exeter College's FAQ section here:

In Years 10 and 11, students should be considering their options for Post-16 Education.  For those students that do not wish to stay on for 6th Form, a good apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity to develop their skills in a work-place setting.

For Years 12 and 13, an apprenticeship can be a great alternative to University, and can still result in a degree qualification.

Please note: the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not classify apprenticeships as "approved education or training" as it is paid employment.  Therefore, apprentices' parents are ineligible for Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit for the apprentice.  For any questions on this, please contact DWP. 



Apprenticeships are not to be confused with Traineeships.  Traineeships are designed to help young people who want to get an apprenticeship but don’t yet have appropriate skills or experience

A traineeship is basically a work experience placement (where you are not paid, but you may receive expenses to cover travel / meals), plus you will be given additional support from an education provider with English and Maths (if you need it).  Traineeships can last up to 6 months.

To learn more about Traineeships click here:

To search for a Traineeship, click here:


Where to search for an Apprenticeship


To find an apprenticeship, you can search on the National Apprenticeship Database (NAD) by following this link:


National Apprenticeship Database


All the employers advertise their apprenticeships via this database, and it is the most up to date and current place to look.   

Note: sometimes colleges will manage the application process for some employers.  However, if you wish to do an apprenticeship at a college, it is YOUR responsibility to find the apprenticeship (not the college's).  You then provide the employers' details to the college.  It does not happen that you apply to do an apprenticeship at a college, and they find an apprenticeship for you.  

Where we are notified of local apprenticeships, we will flag them below.


Latest News and Events 

08.03.17 Join the RNLI as an apprentice

A number of apprenticeship vacancies have gone live at RNLI this week.  Based either in Poole or on the Isle of Wight.  For post-16, they have vacancies for mechanical, boat building, electronics and electrics.  At post-18, they have Marketing and IT apprenticeships. 

The RNLI is a unique organisation, and these are potentially great opportunities.  See their website for details.


21.02.17 Wales and West Apprenticeships (Post 16)

Application process now open for three apprenticeships:

Build & Repair – As part of our Build & Repair team you’ll maintain existing gas equipment and lay new gas supply pipes to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future. We are looking for Build & Repair apprentices in Bristol, Bath, Exeter, North Devon, Plymouth & Torquay and Wiltshire.  Apply Now.

Electrical & Instrumentation (E&I) – Our E&I Technicians are part of our Network Services team who maintain the control systems of the gas network. You’ll be responsible for maintaining, repairing and, if needed, replacing electrical and instrumentation systems on gas pressure control installations and associated equipment. We are looking for Electrical & Instrumentation apprentices in North Wales, South Wales, Gloucester and Plymouth & Torquay.  Apply Now.

Mechanical engineering – As a Mechanical engineering craftsperson in our Network Services team you’ll be responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of gas pressure control equipment and the maintenance of the high pressure gas supply network. Location of opportunities: North Wales, West Wales, South Wales, Bristol & Bath, and Exeter. Apply Now.

Expected salary upon completion is £26,933. Starting salary is £14,865 subject to a pending pay review. 


21.02.17 BT Apprenticeships 2017 - applications now open (Post 16 & Post 18)

Apprenticeships available in Exeter: Customer Service Operations (Post 16) or Cyber Security (Post 18) (Note, Cyber Security is a huge growth area could lead to a fascinating career…)

Nationally (including Bristol) : everything from vehicle maintenance, to sales, finance, HR, supply chain and more…

These are great opportunities with a company that has a fantastic reputation for training, pay and progression.  BT consistently appears in The Times Top 100 Companies for Graduates.


21.02.17  Exeter College Apprenticeship Expo - Thursday 9th March - 2pm to 7pm

An event to learn more about apprenticeships and what they can offer.  Approximately 50 businesses will be present to talk about the type of apprenticeships that they can offer.  For more information, click here.


09.02.17 Skinner Construction Ltd (of Sidmouth) - recruitment open now for Apprenticeships starting in Summer 2017

Skinner Construction Ltd have the following apprenticeships available for 2017:-

  • Bench Joinery
  • Plumbing and Heating
  • Carpentry – on-site
  • Painting and Decorating

 If you are interested in any of the above apprenticeships, please email your details to:, for the attention of Ann-Marie Hedges (Tel: 01395 516566)

If you would like any assistance with your application, please see Mrs Hogan in the Careers Library.


07.02.17 16 Apprenticeships available within 5 miles of Ottery!

As of today, there are currently 16 Apprenticeships being advertised within 5 miles of Ottery.  These range from gardening, to equestrian, to plumbing, to business administration, and more.  If you are in Year 11 or 13, and are considering an apprenticeship next year, do remember to keep an eye on the type of apprenticeships that come up and contact those that you might be interested in.  Even if the closing date is before your exams, it may be worth speaking to them and asking if you can defer your start date until after exams. 

Still within commuting distance, there are 72 apprenticeships within 10 miles, and 149 within 15 miles!  You need to pick carefully, and do your research.  Come into the Careers Library if you want to chat about any of these.


07.02.17 Broadclyst Primary School - Finance Apprenticeship (Post 16)

Broadclyst Primary School are advertising for a Finance Apprentice.  You will need a minimum of 4 GCSEs (including Maths and English) at Grades A* to C.  The working day is 9am to 5pm, with one hour for lunch.  You will spend one day per week at Exeter College, and work towards the Level 2 Certificate in Accounting.  The role is term time only, and there is the possibility of progression at the end of the apprenticeship.  See their entry on the database.


30.01.17 A School Leaver's Guide to Career Options 2017 from Rate My Apprenticeship

Copies of this fantastic guide to apprenticeships are now available in the 6th Form Centre and Careers Library.  It is clear, concise and full of fantastic advice, and is highly recommended reading.  We only have a few copies, so they are Reference Only.  However, go online and see: for the online version.

This is one of the clearest guides that I have come across, and I would really encourage you to take a look.


26.01.17 Hays Travel Apprenticeships - open now for applications

Hays Travel have opened the application process for "Retail Travel Services" apprenticeships, working out of their local branches (Tiverton, Exeter, Sidmouth, Paignton and Teignmouth).  Over two years you will work towards an NVQ Level 3 in Travel Services.  You need to be a good communicator with excellent organisational skills, and be passionate about the travel industry.  See their entries on the database

Note - because of the volume of apprentices that they take on, they have developed their own in-house accredited training centre.


18.01.17 Rolls Royce - Higher and Degree Apprenticeships - open for applications now!

There are 19 apprenticeship vacancies open now at Rolls Royce - including four based at Bristol.  If you are interested in science, technology and engineering, and would like to consider an alternative route to University, consider applying for these.  Closing dates vary, but typically end of February and end of March.  If you can see yourself as a Manufacturing Engineer, Project Manager, Non-Destructive Test Engineer or a Materials Laboratory Assistant, then get online and learn more. 

Rolls Royce is a historic company, with fantastic career opportunities.   Click here for more information.


17.01.17 Intermediate Apprenticeship at Chunk of Devon

Chunk of Devon are advertising for a Business Support Apprentice, to start in February 2017.  Unfortunately the start date obviously doesn't work for our current Year 11s - but if you are interested, go online and have a look at the advert.  It may be worth talking to Chunk about future opportunities, if this is a company that you would be passionate about working for...Chunk - Business Support Apprentice


14.12.16 Higher Apprenticeships at IBM - Applications Open in January 2017

IBM currently offers two types of Apprenticeship – see the details below. Each apprenticeship lasts 3 years, although you will receive your qualifications in the first 18-24 months, and spend the rest of the time further developing your skills.


  1. Technical apprenticeship

“If you’re the sort of person who knows what cloud computing is – and we mean, really know – then this could be the apprenticeship for you. It’s all about learning to build and fix the IT systems used by IBM’s customers all over the country.”

Qualification: OCR Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship for IT, Software, Telecoms and Web Professionals. This is made up of:

  • Diploma of professional competence for IT and telecoms professionals; and,
  • OCR Level 4 Cambridge Technical Diploma.


  1. Business Apprenticeship

“The curiosity to learn and the conscientiousness to create a better future for IBM business and its customers – above all, these are the qualities IBM is looking for in their business apprentices…If you want to know how a business works and how to make it better in the future, you’ve probably got what it takes.”

Qualification: OCR Level 4 Diploma and NVQ in Business and Administration


The details:

Salary: £18,000 a year, plus benefits.

Minimum Requirements:

2017 UCAS points and GCSE grades:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 5-9, including maths and English.
  • 64 UCAS points from A-level or equivalent.




17.10.16 Kennedy's Law - Paralegal Apprenticeship - Sept 2017 (Taunton, London and other)

Kennedy's Law have been in touch to confirm that they will be offering Paralegal Apprenticeships to start in September 2017.   This is a fantastic opportunity to work, learn and earn at one of the top apprenticeship providers in the country. 

Kennedy's have offered Legal Apprenticeships since 2012, and have created a video featuring current and previous legal apprentices’ experiences here:

For more information, you can view their website or come and see me in the Careers Library.  The starting salary is £18,500 per annum in London, and £15,750 per annum in the regions.  All training and qualification costs will be paid for.  You need to have at least 8 GCSEs (Grades A*-B) and to be expecting at least 3 A Levels (A*-B) in Summer 2016.

The closing date to apply is 29 February 2017.


10.10.17 Sports Apprenticeship Opportunity

South West Athletics Academy are advertising for an Apprentice Assistant Athletics Coach.  The qualifications are Level 2 NVQs, and they are looking for someone who is interested in athletics and coaching young people.  The role is 30 hours per week, and will involve evening and weekend work.  See their advert on the National Apprenticeship Database for more information.


10.10.17 Article from the BBC looking at Degree Level Apprenticeships as an alternative to University 

BBC Link










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