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Make a genius decision and get ahead in your career with an apprenticeship

Whether you're finding your way in the world of work or taking steps towards a career change, an apprenticeship could be for you.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you will:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • develop job specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time to study (usually one day a week)
  • boost your earning potential
  • get a full package of support, whatever your needs
  • have the opportunity for clear progression through the apprenticeship levels

Apprenticeships take 1 to 4 years to complete depending on the level.

Find out more by reading our apprenticeship guide for learners.

Who can apply for an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships in Wales are available to anyone 16 and over including:

  • young people looking to transition from student life to working life
  • people who are unemployed
  • people who have a job but are looking to switch careers
  • those currently employed who are looking to increase their skill levels

Apprenticeships are available for those who have a disability, health condition or learning difficulty. Almost all apprenticeships can be made accessible and your employer will work with you to ensure you get tailored support to meet your needs so that you can work confidently.

Find out more by reading our apprenticeship guidance for disabled people.

Apprenticeship levels

Not all learning takes place in the classroom so it doesn’t matter if you’ve left school with few qualifications, picked up a load of GCSEs, just finished college or graduated with a degree - there is an apprenticeship level to suit you. 

Apprenticeship levelEquivalent educational level
Foundation Apprenticeship – Level 25 GCSEs or NVQ Level 2
Apprenticeship – Level 32 A-levels or NVQ Level 3
Higher Apprenticeship  - Level 4 / 5HNC or HND or Foundation degree

Degree Apprenticeship – Level 6*

*Degree Apprenticeships are available in ICT / digital, engineering and advanced manufacturing occupations.

Bachelor’s degree 

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship will allow you to:

  • train in a field you want to work in and grow your career from day one
  • get valuable experience and a nationally recognised qualification
  • earn money and get started in the world of work, helping you to become a more self-reliant person
  • get holiday pay and in some cases study leave
  • learn from experienced colleagues
  • build your confidence and get job specific skills:making you more employable

Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of roles, not just traditional trades like construction and engineering, you can try something you’ve always fancied or something you’d have never thought of before.

Sectors and frameworks

Apprenticeships are available in 23 sectors available at 4 levels - meaning that there is an apprenticeship to suit every learner.

  • Advanced Manufacture & Materials
  • Agriculture and Environment
  • Automotive, Transport and Logistics
  • Business and Management
  • Catering and Hospitality
  • Childcare Services 
  • Construction and Building Services
  • Creative & Design
  • Digital Technology
  • Education and Information Services
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Food and Drink
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Healthcare Services
  • Health & Social Care Services
  • Legal and Financial Services
  • Life Sciences
  • Property Services
  • Protective Services
  • Public Services
  • Retail
  • Travel, Tourism and Leisure

View all of the frameworks available in Wales.

Degree level apprenticeships

Who can apply?

Anyone in Wales who meets the university entry requirements for the degree apprenticeship. This is usually someone with qualifications at Level 3 - equivalent to NVQ Level 3 or 2 A-level passes - on the credit and qualifications framework (CQFW), and/or relevant industry experience. The employer and university or college offering the degree apprenticeship might set specific subjects and grades.

To start an apprenticeship in Wales, you need to be:

  • aged 16 or over – there is no upper age limit
  • working in Wales for 51% or more of your time
  • recruited to or in a job role appropriate to the apprenticeship

Working together with your employer and a university in Wales, you will plan the degree apprenticeship, be that in Welsh or English, allowing a tailor-made approach to equip you with the skills you need now and in the future, for your job.

Your employer and university will agree with you the qualification, assessment and programme processes.

What are the costs?

There are 2 costs associated with a degree apprenticeship – your wage and the tuition fee costs of higher education study. Your employer will pay the first cost. You don’t pay the second.

The Welsh Government fully funds the cost of tuition fees.

Benefits of a degree apprenticeship

Developing your higher-level skills with industry-led degree apprenticeships can support you to succeed and innovate in your role.

Your degree apprenticeship can:

  • Help you earn while you learn, as you will be employed and paid a salary throughout the course duration.
  • Lead to a degree level qualification that can also include professional qualifications relevant to industry.
  • Enable you to benefit from ongoing and personalised support from work colleagues and teaching staff experienced in their field.
  • Provide the opportunity to apply learning directly to real world live projects.
  • Support you to acquire the expertise, knowledge and skills that you need to succeed in your work.
  • Offer an attractive ladder of opportunity to support your career progression.
  • Make you more employable to future companies who will value your knowledge and experience.
  • Be designed flexibly around your needs.

Help and support

If you are new to apprenticeships, you can access further help and support by speaking directly to your local university.

Read a complete list of universities and degree apprenticeships on the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales website.

Search for a degree apprenticeship vacancy

Your local university will be able to provide you with information about current vacancies. In some cases, depending on the type of position, you can also apply directly to the employer, or search for an apprenticeship on Welsh Government’s apprenticeship vacancy service.

Unlike most university courses, there is no specific time when applicants are accepted on to a degree apprenticeship, so make sure you keep up the search as vacancies can become available at any time.

Welsh language and bilingual apprenticeships 

Individuals can undertake training opportunities in their chosen language. Apprentices can learn new skills and develop their Welsh language in the workplace.

Find an apprenticeship

Use our apprenticeship vacancy service to find an apprenticeship that is right for you.

Read our success stories

Gwynfor’s story
A teenager who dreams of taking his award-winning environmental conservation skills around the world on a journey of continuous learning.
Mathew's story
“My apprenticeship gave me a new focus after shielding during the pandemic”.
Megan's story
The “kid constantly in the craft section” now repairs aircraft for a living.
Chloe's story
Welsh apprentices help tackle staff shortages in the social care industry.
Nooh’s story
WRU apprentice wants to get more diverse communities playing rugby.
Tiffany's story
How an apprenticeship unlocked door to a career change in engineering.
Ellen's story
Software developer apprentice exceeding ‘traditional’ job role expectations.
Jake’s story
Apprentice brings breath of fresh air to wind turbine company.
Nikita's story
From teacher to student: Primary school teacher decoding life as an apprentice.
Safyan’s story
Safyan Iqbal, an apprentice at ITV Cymru Wales is encouraging others to consider apprenticeships as a route into a successful career.
Gruff's story
Gruff dreamed of working in the media, but wasn’t sure how he could break into the industry.
Manmeet’s story
Manmeet, an award winning apprentice, is engineering career success with High Precision Wales.

Further information

Help with your application

Get help with your application by reading our application advice.

You can also find advice for writing applications, creating a good CV and how to prepare for interviews on the Working Wales website.

Parent to a school leaver?

If your child is leaving school, have you both considered an apprenticeship as the next step?

If you want to know more, read our apprenticeships guidance for parents.

Apprenticeship Awards Cymru

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru celebrates the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and work based learning providers who have contributed to the success of the Apprenticeship Programme in Wales.

Find out more about the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

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