A Guide for Parents and Guardians

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Deciding on the Future

You want your child to get the best possible start in their career. There are many options available to young people after they leave school, and here we outline information and benefits about apprenticeships and traineeships as a key route into a successful career.

The benefits of apprenticeships and traineeships

Boosts confidence, self-belief and independence through learning and applying skills

Earn while learning with an apprenticeship or a training allowance and travel costs for a traineeship

Gain skills employers value such as communication, teamwork and time management

Improve maths and English

Learning results in increased wages in the future

Ongoing advice, guidance and support from the day you contact us

0 %

of apprentices agreed their learning will result in increased wages in the future

Source: Learners and Apprentices Survey 2018

0 %

of apprentices who had never worked before starting their apprenticeship moved into paid employment

Source: Learners and Apprentices Survey 2018

0 %

of apprenticeships agreed their chance of progression to higher level training increased

Source: Learners and Apprentices Survey 2018


Apprenticeships are a popular choice for many young people as they combine practical training with off-the-job-training, and are a great alternative to university. Our apprenticeships cover a wide range of careers, including digital media and marketing, IT, construction and education – at different levels.

Apprenticeships are for anyone aged 16 or over, whether they excelled at school or didn’t quite get the grades they had hoped for.

Key benefits include:

  • obtaining nationally-recognised qualifications
  • acquiring skills that employers value such as teamwork, time management
  • Building confidence, self-esteem and independence

And as an apprenticeship is a real job for young people they also get a contract, get paid and are entitled to annual leave and sick pay.

Alternatively, if your child isn’t ready to start an apprenticeship, we also provide traineeships to help bridge the gap between leaving formal education and a job.

View our current apprenticeship vacancies.

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

An apprentice will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.

Levels of apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

  • Level 2: Intermediate, equivalent to GCSEs
  • Level 3: Advanced, equivalent to A Levels
  • Level 4,5,6 & 7: Higher, equivalent to foundation debree and above
  • Level 6 & 7: Degree, bachelor’s or master’s degree

Some apprenticeships may also give additional qualifications, such as a diploma.

If you feel you’re child might not ready for an apprenticeship, a traineeship is a course designed to prepare them for one.

The qualification achieved will depend on the career and level chosen, and will lead to a nationally-recognised qualification. They follow a ‘framework’ developed by Sector Skills Councils. Most include:

  • national vocational qualification (NVQ) — e.g. Level 2 for intermediate level apprenticeships, Level 3 for advanced level apprenticeships 
  • knowledge-based qualification — such as a higher national certificate (HNC), higher national diploma (HND), or foundation degree 
  • functional skills qualifications — e.g. in maths, English, or ICT 
  • technical certificate — such as a BTEC or City & Guilds progression award

Following an apprenticeship, learners can move onto a higher level apprenticeship or full-time employment – many apprentices progress with their current employer.

Research carried out by the Government in 2018 reflected favourable results for progression in apprenticeships, with 85%  of apprentices staying in employment following completion and 64% of these stayed with the same employer

It also stated that 32% of former apprentices were promoted within a year of completing their apprenticeship, with 75% being given more responsbility.

Pay and conditions

You’ll be paid during your apprenticeship.

You’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £4.15 per hour.

This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

You must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age if you’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed your first year.

Check you’re being paid the minimum wage with the national minimum wage calculator.

Hours apprentices are paid for

You must be paid for:

  • your normal working hours
  • training that’s part of your apprenticeship (usually one day per week)

We provide comprehensive information, advice and guidance prior to your child starting their apprenticeship journey which includes deciding which apprenticeship to choose, career pathways, wages and job searches.

It’s personal!

Our initial assessments identiy areas where your child needs help in English, maths and ICT and individualised tasks will be allocated supporting areas of development, as well as identify any barriers to learning so these can be overcome.

Following an induction with us and their employer, your child will have regular progress reviews and visits.

There are 3 steps to applying for an apprenticeship.

  1. Search for an apprenticeship.
  2. Sign in or create an account.
  3. Complete and submit your application.

The National Careers Service has advice on writing applications and what to do at interviews, and we also provide support with this through our experienced staff, including investigating different career pathway options.

We recruit for apprenticeship vacancies with some great employers, visit our current opportunities page to find out more

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:

  • 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education

If your child leaves full-time education to start an apprenticeship, they are no longer considered your dependent. As such, families of apprentices are currently not entitled to financial support.

This includes any child maintenance you may be receiving through the statutory system, and may also impact your working tax credits, housing benefit and/or council tax reduction.

You will need to inform the Tax Credit Office and the Child Benefit Office about any changes to your circumstances. If you do not, you may be overpaid and have to pay the money back.

The matter of whether or not apprentices should receive the same assistance as college and university students has been has been debated in parliament, and could be subject to change. Make sure you stay in the loop by checking GOV.UK’s website for updates.

Putting the care into careers

Whether you choose a traineeship or apprenticeship, you’ll be supported all the way by our highly-qualified and experienced tutors.

We don’t care what your background is, or if you have a barrier to learning or employment – we want to ensure every young person gets an equal chance to start their career.

It starts from the day you contact us – we will explore  your career options with you, and our support will continue until you’ve successfully  progressed from your traineeship or apprenticeship.

We’ll also get your English and maths to the level it needs to be.

"The course was not what I expected, but better as I wasn't treated like I was at school and like an adult - and the work was more what I understood and what I needed to move into work or progress. I have grown more confident in speaking to people, I have enjoyed doing the work about behaviour at work I have got more skills in communication and more work skills. Naz has really helped."
"I can now move forward, and look for a career I can progress in. This will help with an extra qualification under my belt along with being in the work place for over a year."
"Kim the tutor was extremely knowledgeable and made the entire group feel individually special. She has been a fantastic supporter as well as training everyone and encouraging them to do their very best. Kim also promoted a friendly and welcoming environment where each individual felt safe and secure."
"We got treated like we were at work, not at college. I learnt a lot of skills while learning with Ixion. Health and safety, plastering, they helped me through interview techniques, how to build a CV – there wasn’t much Ixion didn’t help me with."


Traineeships are the perfect choice for young people aged 16-24 who:

  • are struggling to progress into work due to lack of skills, experience and qualifications
  • need skills development and qualifications within an environment more suited to them

 Traineeships bridge the gap between finishing formal education and moving into employment or an apprenticeship.

Key benefits include:

  • Acquiring skills that employers value such as teamwork and time management
  • Giving CVs a boost with a work experience placement to make your child stand out from the crowd
  • Building confidence, self-esteem and independence

A traineeship is a great stepping stone to employment for your child.

We will provide:

  • training to prepare them for work including CV writing and what to expect in the workplace
  • support to improve your English and maths if you need it
  • provide skills relevant to their chosen career

From the employer your child will get:

  • a high-quality work placement of at least 100 hours
  • an interview for an apprenticeship or job if available, or an exit interview with written feedback

We will also provide your child with a training allowance and reimbursed travel costs to and from their placement – see their independence and confidence grow!

During their traineeship your child will complete:

  • Level 1 in Work Skills
  • Support to improve maths and English if required
  • Plus a Level 1 qualification relating to your career of choice.

They will also complete units in areas such as safeguarding, managing your money and more.

We support our trainees to progress into an apprenticeship or employment.

Plus, during their apprenticeship they will be provided with help and guidance writing their CV, interview skills and apprenticeship and job applications.

A traineeship isn’t a job and employers are not required to pay your child for the work placement.

As a training provider we offer:

  • A weekly training allowance
  • Reimbursement of travel to and from your placement

Depending on your placement, your employer may also offer you meals.

We provide comprehensive information, advice and guidance prior to your child starting their traineeship.

We put the care into developing careers and this will start from the first day you contact us, with ongoing support and advice throughout the traineeship.

Our traineeships don’t have a set start date, your child can apply all year round as we continually have new opportunities opening up in a variety of sectors and in a variety of roles.

Traineeship eligibility criteria:

  • Must be eligible to work in England
  • Unemployed and have little or no work experience but motivated to work
  • Have a prior attainment level of below level 3
  • Been assessed as having the potential to be ready for employment or an apprenticeship within 6 months
  • Start a traineeship programme on or after 1 August of the academic year in which you have your 16th birthday

Completing a traineeship will not affect any benefits you or your child might be claiming.

10 reasons to start a traineeship
Find out the benefits to a traineeship programme
Find out more
Supporting young people to progress
Find out why Game On invest time and effort in supporting young people with traineeships
Find out more
A Parent's Perspective
Find out why mum Alison supports traineeships
Find out more
post-16 education data

Routes through post-16 Education

Technical and vocational courses such as apprenticeships have always been a popular choice for young people.

The benefits of earning while you learn, gaining valuable work skills and learning from experienced mentors puts young people a step ahead with practical, on-the-job skills and training.

Source: Department for Education: User insight research into post-16 choices, December 2017


We’re committed to protecting the welfare and wellbeing of all of our learners, and we have a dedicated safeguarding team to protect your child.

Get work ready!

We’ve put together some tips for young people before they start their apprenticeship or traineeship.

Bank Account

Starting an apprenticeship means you will get paid a wage, and if you start a traineeship you will receive a training allowance and travel reimbursement - these will be paid into your bank account so if you don't have one already now's the time to set one up.

Email Address

It's a good idea to have a professional email address to put on your CV together with your new skills, qualifications and work experience. sexybum@gmail.com might not be appropriate for your future employer.


We want to see you progress from your traineeship or apprenticeship and therefore will support you with CV writing and interview techniques and help you with applications when the time comes.


It's great to start getting into a routine before you start your placement or appretniceship - of getting up and going to bed at decent times (no more late nights recording TikTok videos or playing Minecraft).

Social Media

How private are your accounts? Are there images, videos and comments you might not want people outside your friendship circle to see? When you start getting interviews your future employer might search for you on social!

Professional Networks

If you know the sector you want to work in, whether it's construction, marketing or IT, it might be a good idea to join some relevant professional networks to not only get the latest vacancies, but network and be knowledgeable about your sector for interviews.

Contact us:

01245 254 875

Please fill out the form below and one of our engagement team will get in touch with you to discuss further.

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