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You can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship after you finish year 11.

Applying for an apprenticeship is similar to applying for a job. If you're not ready for an apprenticeship you can apply for a traineeship instead.


Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. As an apprentice you'll:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week).

You can apply for an apprenticeship if you're:

  • aged 16 or over
  • eligible to work in England
  • not in full-time education.

Apprenticeships take one to four years to complete.

There are different levels of apprenticeships: intermediate, advanced and higher. Each apprenticeship has an equivalent education level:

  • intermediate apprenticeship is equivalent to five GCSE passes
  • advanced apprenticeship is equivalent to two A-level passes
  • higher apprenticeship can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree.

You can find vocational courses at local skills centres. For advice about apprenticeships contact Greenwich Local Labour and Business (GLLaB)

Find an apprenticeship on GOV.UK


A traineeship can provide the skills and work experience that employers are looking for.

Your traineeship will include all of the following:

  • preparation for work
  • English and maths, if you don't already have GCSE English and maths grades 9 to 4
  • a work experience placement.

You can apply for a traineeship if you:

  • are aged 16 to 18
  • are unemployed (or you work less than 16 hours per week)
  • have been unsuccessfully applying for apprenticeships.

You can find vocational courses at local skills centres.Your traineeship will last between six weeks and six months.

Find a traineeship on GOV.UK