What are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are designed by employers to reflect the current market and industry needs.  They offer a structured programme which provides your Apprentice with the skills needed to do the job well. They will work towards their Apprenticeship qualification by studying technical skills and carrying out practical assessments.

As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Off the job, usually on a day-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications.  Anyone over 16 and not in full-time education can apply.

Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level, the Apprentices’ ability and the industry sector.  Apprentices are paid minimum wage however many apprentices earn significantly more.

Click below to see our Apprenticeships Course Guide.

Apprenticeships Course Guide

Why choose Cheshire College?

The College has over 1,000 Apprentices, works with over 500 local, national and international employers and delivers Apprenticeships across 14 sector subject areas including, Health, Public Services & Care, Engineering & Manufacturing, Construction & Building Services, Information & Communications Technology, Retail & Commercial Enterprise, Leisure, Travel & Tourism Arts, Media & Publishing, Education & Training and Business, Administration & Law.

Key benefits

  • Earn a salary whilst you learn
  • Get paid holidays
  • Receive training
  • Gain qualifications
  • Learn job-specific skills
  • Excellent progression opportunities
  • Make new friends
  • NEW – £1000 Apprenticeship Bursary  – This new bursary will be for 16-18 year old Apprentices who have previously been in care. For more information please click the link to the article in FE Week and contact our Apprenticeship Team on 01244 656455

Talent Pool

Our expert team are here to help you to get an Apprenticeship and start your new career.

Our goal is to match you with an Apprenticeship and employer that suits you. Whether you are ready to apply straight away or need support with interview skills, CV writing or confidence building we are here to help.

You will have a dedicated Apprenticeship Co-ordinator at the College who will get to know you and support you on your journey to finding the right Apprenticeship for you.

How we support you:

  • Career Advice
  • CV writing / Application writing
  • Interview preparation
  • Personalised support
  • Be first to access new vacancies

Join our Talent Pool

SP Energy Engineering Pre-apprenticeship Programme

Click here to find out more about the Scottish Power Pre-apprenticeship programme starting in September 2021.

Apprenticeship FAQs

How does an apprenticeship work?

You will be employed and typically work four days a week and attend College one day a week. You will be expected to work the normal working hours for your industry, which includes your College attendance.

You will develop job specific skills and knowledge whilst in the workplace and be assigned to a College Assessor to support you in gaining qualifications at the same time. Your wage will be paid by your employer.

We can help you find an employer…

The College works with over 500 local, national and international employers, so new Apprenticeships are advertised regularly.

How much can you earn?

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) for Apprentices is £4.15 per hour (as of April 2020). But many employers pay more.

Once you reach 19 years and you have completed the first year of your Apprenticeship, your employer must pay the full NMW rate.

What are the entry requirements?

Typically 4 GCSEs at Grade C/GCSE Level 4 or above, including English and maths, or a NVQ in a related subject, but each framework has different entry requirements so check our course sheets.

Don’t worry if you do not meet the entry requirements, there are a number of routes you can follow to help you get the required skills to do an Apprenticeship. Please get in touch with the College to explore your options.

What is the difference between an Apprenticeship Standard and Apprenticeship Framework?


Apprenticeships delivered as a Framework are made up of a number of elements including:

  • Personal Learning and Thinking Skills
  • Employment Rights and Responsibilities
  • Technical Knowledge Qualification (Diploma)
  • Employment Training
  • Function Skills

Assessment for Frameworks take place across the course of your studies and at the end you will be awarded a NVQ qualification.


Standards have been recently introduced by the Government to meet the needs of employers.  They contain a list of the skills, knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to have learned by the end of their apprenticeship.

The apprentice is assessed at the end of the apprenticeship and will need to prove that they can carry out all aspects of their job.

How long does it take to complete an Apprenticeship?

The duration of an apprenticeship depends on your current skill levels and the industry of the apprenticeship. Generally, apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete.