For those that didn’t know, apprenticeships are split into different levels, all with added responsibilities and tasks. As you progress from level 2 onwards, you will gain a deeper insight into your chosen career, and how you can impact the higher objectives of a business.
Here’s a breakdown of the different apprenticeship levels, and what you can expect when you take on each one:
With level 1 being the pre-apprenticeship or traineeship level (for those who need that extra boost of experience – learn more here), then level 2 is suitable for those who are taking their first into the workplace. Lasting up to 12 months, this intermediate apprenticeship is equivalent to five good GCSE passes, and gives you a valuable foundation of skills and knowledge to continue working your way up.
Your level 2 qualification will supply you with transferable or ‘soft’ skills that you need in any workplace, such as communicating in a business environment, managing your personal performance, and developing your IT skills to adapt to the company’s software.
During this level, you will also be able to complete your Functional Skills qualifications if needed. These ensure that your maths, ICT, and English skills are up to a standard you need to work successfully.
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The next step is your level 3 apprenticeship, which compared to higher education is equivalent to 2 A levels. However, with a year in the industry already under your belt, the advanced apprenticeship ensures that you understand your role very well and have a strong understanding of the industry.
This understanding will be strengthened by the additional tasks and responsibilities you will take on, as well as the level 3 qualification you will complete. You will have a variety of optional units to take in your qualification, which will give you a deeper understanding of your chosen industry to complement the practical skills you will gain on the apprenticeship.
The higher apprenticeships will ensure you gain a deep understanding of the industry, and often last between 12 and 18 months. With two years already in the industry, and backed with a wealth of knowledge and experience, you may be able to step up to a position as a supervisor, team leader, or manager.
This means that some of the topics you will cover in your qualification includes chairing meetings, managing the performance of a team, and learning how to encourage innovation within the business. You will work towards a level 4 qualification (equivalent to a certificate of higher education) to go with the impressive experience you will gain.
From there, you can continue to step up to a level 5 qualification, (equivalent to a Foundation degree), and a level 6 qualification (equivalent to a Bachelors degree). At this point, you will want to take your career to the next level, and with years of experience you will be able to move onto courses in leadership and management – which reach up to level 8, the equivalent of a Doctorate. This shows that it really is possible to achieve degree level qualifications while also earning money, and gaining tons of experience which will enable you to develop your career.