What’s the deal with apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships have been around for a while but there's lots that you may not know about these qualifications. Whether you're thinking about how best to start your career, you want to gain extra qualifications and training to progress your career, or take a new career path, we hope the information here will give you a more accurate reflection of what apprenticeships are, and in addition, what they are not!
If you can’t find the answer to your question below, please do get in touch. Our team LOVES talking apprenticeships so will be happy to help if they can.
Who can do an apprenticeship?
In honesty, there is probably an apprenticeship for everyone. There are no upper age limits on apprenticeships, and you can complete one if you already have qualifications in a different area. This means they’re a great tool for making a career change, or for finding your way into the NHS workforce. Have a look at some of our apprentice stories to see the range of options and the different reasons people decided that apprenticeships were the right choice for them and their careers.
What are the entry requirements?
There are very few entry requirements. In order to be eligible for an apprenticeship with NCH&C you must:
- Be over 16 years old and no longer in full time education
- have a minimum of four GCSEs at Grade D (3 or above in the new GCSEs) including English and Maths
- not hold a Level 4 or equivalent qualification or above in your chosen field (this includes degrees, Higher Professional Diplomas and BTECs)
- live in England
If you need to discuss any of the entry requirements, do get in touch.
I am still at school and thinking about my options, can I apply?
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school but you’ll need to be 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays to start the apprenticeship.
What are the different levels of apprenticeships?
There are a few levels of apprenticeships, which is what makes them so accessible for a variety of people.
- Intermediate (level 2), which is the equivalent to GCSE level
- Advanced (level 3), which is the equivalent to A level
- Higher (levels 4,5,6,7), which is the equivalent to a foundation degree and above
- Degree (levels 6 and 7), which is the equivalent to a Batchelor’s or Masters’ degree
Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.
Are apprenticeships just for school leavers?
Absolutely not! And this is probably the biggest myth about them. Rob completed his apprenticeship just this year, hear from him about why apprenticeships are for everyone.
Do you get paid to do an NHS apprenticeships?
Yes! It’s a great way to learn and earn. You also get time for training or study as part of your apprenticeship and holiday pay and other benefits of being an NHS employee (that starts at 27 days annual leave plus bank hols rising to 29 days plus bank hols after 5 years service). You’re also entitled to unsocial hours payments if you’re required to work a night (depending on your apprenticeship), weekend shift or on a bank holiday.
There are different rates of pay for apprentices depending on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you’re in.
How much training time is involved in an apprenticeship?
At least 20% of your normal working hours must be spent on training. Apprenticeships allow you to combine work and study by mixing new training with classroom/tutor learning.
This training might take place weekly or monthly or it could happen in a separate block of time. Training may take place where you work, online, or at a college or training provider. This really depends on the type of apprenticeship you do and at what level.
You will be give all the information you need about when and where your training will be.
What support do you get as an apprentice at NCH&C?
Each of our apprentices is assigned an assessor/apprentice advisor to support them though the apprenticeship units. Your manage will give you feedback and guidance on a day-to-day basis, and will give you the support you require as a part of their team. They will also ensure you’re given the opportunity and time to complete your coursework and undertake protected learning time.
The NCH&C Talent for Care team provides wellbeing support, carry out regular pastoral care reviews, support with next steps and potential roles. They can help with mock interviews, job application advice, and support with value-based interview techniques.
What’s it like being an apprentice?
We have spoken to loads of our apprentices about what it’s like. Click here to hear from some of them about their experiences.
Why do an apprenticeship at NCH&C?
NCH&C understands that apprenticeships are a valuable way of developing individuals at the start of their career and is committed to having a vibrant and varied apprenticeship programme and supporting our apprentices because they will become the workforce of the future. We’re an NHS trust that prides itself on our culture of being supportive, open and inclusive. If you click here you can find out about the ways we show our appreciation and support for our staff.
We’re committed to our apprenticeship programme – it’s a crucial to ensuring we have a workforce of the future. Click here to read more about our Growing our own workforce programme and to hear from some of our apprentices about why they have enjoyed being an apprentice at NHC&C.
We have a dedicated team who provide one-to-one support and advice throughout your apprenticeship, to help ensure you gain a permanent role at the end of it. Click here to find out more about some of NCH&C’s clinical apprenticeships.
Working in community NHS is very special. You can find out more about that here.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Hear from some past and present apprentices about why working for NCH&C is outstanding.
How do I apply for an apprenticeship?
NCH&C runs two main clinical apprenticeship cohorts every year, in March and September:
- Healthcare Assistant Apprenticeships
- Trainee Nurse Associate Apprenticeships
However, we run a wide-range of apprenticeships in all areas of the trust, including Allied Health Professions (Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Dietetics, Occupational Health, etc), Human Resources, Admin, IT, Finance, and more. These are advertised more frequently, so keep an eye out for what’s on offer.
If we don’t have the right apprenticeship for you right now, we might in the future. Complete our online form to register your interest in an NCH&C apprenticeship, and we’ll get in touch when something suitable comes up.
What happens after an apprenticeship
You may be offered a permanent job after your apprenticeship. Most successful apprentices stay in employment, often with NCH&C or within the NHS.
You could continue your studies through an apprenticeship at higher level or you may have the qualifications you need to go to university.
As your apprenticeship nears its end, NCH&C will support you with application and interview skills to help you gain secure employment. That can be within NCH&C or outside of our organisation.
The following apprenticeships are guaranteed a role at NCH&C once successfully completed:
- Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker
- Level 5 Trainee Nursing Associate
- Level 6 Nursing Degree