England

Intermediate Level Apprenticeships:

Students can apply for intermediate apprenticeships in their final year of GCSEs, when they would usually apply for college. Intermediate apprenticeships are aimed at students who do not achieve the 5 GCSEs required to do an advanced apprenticeship. Some employers will require 2 passes at GCSE whereas others will not require any previous qualifications.

Intermediate apprenticeships will be composed of some of the following qualifications:

  • NVQ level 2- Equivalent to 5 A*-C grade GCSEs.
  • BTEC First - Equivalent to between 1 and 4 A*-C grade GCSEs.
  • Cambridge National Certificate- Equivalent to 1 A*-C grade GCSE.
  • Maths or English GCSE (where the apprentice does not have a C grade or higher in these subjects).
  • Functional Skills level 2- Equivalent to ½ an A*-C grade GCSE.

Almost every intermediate apprenticeship will include the NVQ level 2 and wherever the apprentice does not have a C grade or higher in their Maths or English GCSE, their apprenticeship will also include these qualifications. The other qualifications listed may be included on top of this. This means that, at the very least, intermediate apprentices will gain 7 good GCSEs upon completion of the programme. Following this, they could go on to an advanced apprenticeship or a college course.

 

Advanced Level Apprenticeships:

Students can apply for advanced apprenticeships in the last year of school, when they would usually apply for college. The entry requirements for most advanced apprenticeships are 5 “good” GCSEs (A*-C grade).

Advanced apprenticeships will be composed of some of the following qualifications:

  • NVQ level 3- Equivalent to 2 A Levels.
  • BTEC National- Equivalent to between 1 and 3 A Levels.
  • Cambridge Technical Certificate- Equivalent to between 1 and 3 A Levels.
  • EPQ- Equivalent to ½ an A Level.
  • An A Level in a related subject.

Almost all advanced apprenticeships will include a level 3 NVQ and many will also offer candidates the chance to complete one or more of the other qualifications listed above. This means that advanced apprentices will have at least 2 A Levels on completion of their programme. Following this they could go on to a higher apprenticeship, a vocational degree course or to work full-time.

 

Higher Apprenticeships:

Higher apprenticeships are available on levels 4 to 7, meaning they are equivalent to anything from a foundation degree to a master’s degree. This means that students should apply for them after college, an advanced apprenticeship or university. Entry requirements differ hugely but most will require 2 A Levels or equivalent.  

Higher apprenticeships will be composed of some of the following qualifications:

  • NVQ level 4 or 5.
  • BTEC Professional.
  • Foundation or Bachelor’s Degree.

Because higher apprenticeships are available over so many levels, the qualifications they offer do not have any tangible equivalents. Also, they may offer more than one NVQ or BTEC at different levels. Furthermore, higher apprenticeships may be designed as degrees in partnership with universities.  However, all higher apprentices will have the equivalent of a degree upon completion of their programme.