Become an Apprentice

Apprenticeships give you hands-on, real-life work experience as well as the opportunity to gain qualifications, all whilst earning a salary!

They will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to get that all-important first full-time job. Apprenticeships are a hugely popular option for both school leavers and adults, with over 2 million people completing an apprenticeship in the last 5 years.

We offer apprenticeships from Level 2 right through to Level 6+. You will be supported by experienced course tutors, assessors, an Apprenticeship Coordinator and line manager at work. You will be visited regularly by the college in the workplace.

Whilst working and earning a salary you will study towards a qualification (ranging from level 2 - 6+). You’ll be required to spend 20% of the duration of your course/contract completing ‘off-the-job’ training. This may be classroom learning, online/self-study or general learning activities in the workplace. In most cases, an apprentice will be given a day release each week to attend college or self-study, but this will all depend on your employer or your course requirements.

At New College you will have access to industry-standard facilities to support your training in the workplace.

What will I be paid?

The minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.81 per hour. If you are over 19, you can only be paid this in your first year. In your second year, you must be paid the minimum wage for your age. Many apprentices are paid much more than the minimum wage though, with salaries of £18k a year or more, depending on industry type and level.

Apprentices are paid for both their time at work, and their time at the College. They also get 20 days paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays.

How many hours per week will I work?

An apprentice will need to work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Level 2 = 12-15 months
Level 3/4 = 18-24 months
Level 5 = 24+ months

When will I attend College?

This will depend on the subject you study; usually it’s once per week for a half or full day. Some however, are once a fortnight.

These College sessions are included in your working week of 30+ hours.

What are the entry requirements?

You will be required to work towards Level 2 English and Maths Functional Skills if you do not already hold a minimum grade 4/C in these areas. Employers may also specify their own entry requirements for their apprenticeship vacancies.

How do apprenticeships compare with other qualifications such as A Levels or a degree?

A Levels and degrees are no longer the only option for further study and successful career progression. Apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative and are highly valued due to their focus on the real-world skills and qualifications needed for a particular profession or industry sector. Apprenticeship standards and frameworks are designed in partnership with a range of employers in each sector.

Intermediate Apprenticeship:

  • Level 2 (equivalent to five GCSEs at grades A* to C or 9-4)

Advanced Apprenticeship:

  • Level 3 (equivalent to two A levels at grades A to E)

Higher Apprenticeship:

  • Level 4 (equivalent to a Higher National Certificate)
  • Level 5 (equivalent to a Foundation Degree)
  • Level 6 (equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree)
  • Level 7 (equivalent to a Master’s Degree)
​How do I find an employer?

You can register your interest for apprenticeship programmes with or without an Apprenticeship employer by completing a New College Swindon application form. However, in order to enrol and start the apprenticeship programme you must secure employment. We can help you through this process. You can search and apply for vacancies that are available on the National Apprenticeships Website:

Alternatively, you can contact local companies by sending your CV with a covering letter.

How to apply?

If you have an Employer

If you have an employer who has agreed to support you in undertaking an Apprenticeship, then please complete an application form. We will then be in contact with both you and your employer/prospective employer.

If you do not have an employer

If you are interested in a specific Apprenticeship and you currently do not have an employer, please complete an application form and we will contact you to support you in finding an employer or when suitable vacancies become available.

Contact local employers to see if they are interested in taking on an apprentice, many of them may not be aware that there are incentive payments for apprentices. ,

Current employer vacancies

Current employer vacancies are updated frequently - please see our list of current Apprenticeship vacancies

Current employer vacancies

Current employer vacancies are updated frequently – please see our list of current Apprenticeship vacancies

Are there grants available?

Wiltshire Community Foundation is an independent charity which offers grants of up to £1,000 to support the costs of an apprenticeship or vocational training for young people in Wiltshire and Swindon.

Young people can apply for a vocational grant if they are:

  • under 25 at the age of application
  • will be studying at school, college or sixth form or undertaking an apprenticeship
  • have lived in Wiltshire or Swindon for at least two years
  • their parents/guardians or themselves are receive a means-tested benefit Grants can be used as:
  • resources or equipment to support courses or training
  • course related study or field trips
  • IT equipment

Further details and a link to the application form is available from our website here: Vocational Grants or by contacting the Grants Team on 01380 738985 email:

If you have any questions please contact to find out more

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