Advanced Apprenticeships (Level 3)


Advanced apprenticeships are also known as level 3 apprenticeships or A Level apprenticeships. They are a viable alternative to full-time education and many school and college leavers choose this as a route to gaining qualifications and work experience.


What is an advanced apprenticeship?

An advanced apprenticeship gives the learner an excellent opportunity to be in full-time employment while also studying towards a nationally recognised qualification, with a training provider or at a college. You might be expected to go to the college or a trainer might come to your place of work. Sometimes training is also done virtually, this is becoming even more popular due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you’re considering higher education, they are also an excellent stepping stone for if you’d like to study a degree. In fact, you can even do a degree or higher apprenticeship which will enable you to gain invaluable work experience and gain insights into the industry while also becoming qualified.


What is a level 3 apprenticeship?

A level 3 apprenticeship and an advanced level apprenticeship are exactly the same. You’ll receive a level 3 apprenticeship qualification (advanced) while also gaining a clear understanding of the sector you’re working in. As a level 3 apprentice, you’ll combine on the job training with academic study. You might even have the opportunity to gain a chartered status as some apprenticeships are accredited by institutes, for example, you can take the first steps to becoming a chartered accountant with the ICAEW apprenticeship.

Level 3 apprenticeships on average last around 24 months, sometimes they may last longer or shorter depending on how quick of a learner you are. The minimum amount of time an apprenticeship can take to complete is 12 months.


What is a level 3 apprenticeship equivalent to?

If you’re wondering what is a level 3 apprenticeship equivalent to then you’re not the only one, we are frequently asked this question from young people. A level 3 apprenticeship is equivalent to 2 A Level passes and is often chosen by young people as an alternative to going to college. However, it’s worth noting you can be any age to do an apprenticeship. An advanced apprenticeship follows on from an intermediate level 2 apprenticeship.

Undertaking an advanced apprenticeship will enable you to gain a qualification, such as a BTEC Diploma and Certificate and an NVQ Level 3. Depending on your employer you might gain other qualifications too, such as if you’re working in hospitality they may ask you to complete a food hygiene course etc. If you don’t already have GCSE Maths and English, then an apprenticeship will give you the chance to gain functional skills, usually at level 2 or 3.


Can I do a level 3 apprenticeship if I have a degree?

In short, yes you can do a level 3 apprenticeship if you have a degree, however, the apprenticeship will need to be different to the qualification you’ve gained at degree level. For example, if you’ve got a business degree, you won’t be able to do an advanced level business apprenticeship but you will be able to do an engineering level apprenticeship.

This makes it a great option for if you’re looking to retrain in a different industry to your degree.


A Level apprenticeships

Some young people also refer to an advanced apprenticeship as an ‘A Level apprenticeship’ as they lead to the equivalent of 2 A Level passes. To do advanced apprenticeships, you’ll usually need 5 or more GCSEs A* – C or 9 – 4 under the new grading system, normally including Maths and English. Another entry route into a level 3 apprenticeship is to have completed an intermediate level apprenticeship (level 2). Some employers may ask for specific subjects too so always check the job description to see what the entry requirements are.


What will I do during a level 3 apprenticeship?

From the start of your apprenticeship, you’ll be given plenty of opportunities and as you get further into it your responsibilities will grow. If you’re struggling you will have your mentors and colleagues on hand to support you and offer further training on the more challenging areas to ensure you develop employability skills and an understanding of the field you work within.

During your apprenticeship, you will spend 20% of your time learning and studying towards a nationally recognised qualification and the other 80% of your time will be spent learning on the job, with the support of your colleagues and mentor. The structure of your academic study will vary depending on the employer. You might spend one day a week training or be expected to take a block of days at a college or training provider on release from your employer.


What type of apprenticeships can I do at level 3?

If you think apprenticeships are just for trades then you might want to rethink! You might be surprised to learn that there are in fact, 192 apprenticeships at advanced level alone! To name a few, these include:

There are lots more too! For the full list visit the Institute for Apprenticeships.


How much do advanced apprenticeships pay?

During your level 3 apprenticeship, you will earn a wage. The minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.15 per hour, this applies to you if you are under 19 or over 19 years old and in the first year of your apprenticeship. If you’re in the second year of your apprenticeship and are aged 19 or over then you must be paid the minimum wage for your age group.


How to apply for an advanced apprenticeship?

Advanced apprenticeships really are a great route if you’re keen to get out into the world of work and employers recognise you won’t have bags of experience but will instead look for passion for your chosen industry and commitment. To apply for an apprenticeship, you can head to the job search and land your dream career.


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