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The Basics

What are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers. The Sector Skills Council (the Apprenticeship lead body) ensures that employer needs are reflected in the Apprenticeship qualification frameworks by involving relevant business representatives during the development process.


Bolton College can help employers to source suitable apprentices whilst also training and accrediting the skills of hundreds of apprentices in the workplace. Funding is available for employers to train new as well as existing employees.

Levels of Apprenticeship

Typically apprentices are employed for at least 30 hours per week ‘on the job’ - at your premises - and take one to two years to complete their framework. Most apprentices start on a level 2 course and have options to progress onto a level 3 (or a higher level in some instances). Anyone living in England, over 16 years-old and not in full-time education can apply.

Apprenticeships are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for work-based training.


They are available at Intermediate Level 2, Advanced Level 3 and Higher Level 4. Apprentices start at a level that is right for them and can progress to achieve their full potential (subject to any funding or time constraints that apply).


All Apprentices must complete competency and technical knowledge qualifications (e.g. an NVQ or Certificate that relates to the trade or occupation) and Key Skills (e.g. working in teams, problem-solving, communication and using new technology) or Functional Skills (e.g. Maths and English) qualification.