Since 2015, the law states that school leavers aged 16 must still stay in full time education until they reach the age of 18. That means you can go to college or sixth form, but it also means you can do an apprenticeship or traineeship.
So yes, apprenticeships do count as full time education when you finish school. However, don’t confuse full time education with full time classroom learning – with an apprenticeship you will gain the benefits of both classroom learning, and also practical learning. In other words – you will be learning on the job.
Here are some more details on the structure of apprenticeship learning:
During your apprenticeship, you will complete your NVQ qualification in a classroom – but not full time. Your classroom learning will be run by a training provider such as ourselves at Babington, and this off-the-job training will be one day a week (day release), or over a number of days in a short period (block-release).
Your studies will cover everything you need to thrive in the industry you choose. They will give you an overview of what happens behind the scenes in a business, while also improving the skills you need to be successful. When tackling difficult situations at work, you may think back to what you learned throughout your qualification to guide you.
Each apprenticeship level lasts at least 12 months, in which you will also receive paid holidays and a weekly wage. You will even have optional units in the qualification available to you, so you can have full control over the path you wish to take in your apprenticeship studies.
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On the job learning
The most obvious benefit of an apprenticeship is the practical experience you will gain. In a career, there is a growing importance in showing you are able to do something, rather than just knowing about it, so these first steps in the workplace are huge for your professional development.
As an apprentice, you are treated the same as a full-time member of staff (other than the classroom learning day release as mentioned before), with guidance from your more experienced team members to assist you.
At the end of each apprenticeship level you will be fully prepared to take on your exams with a wealth of experience and knowledge. However, end of course exams may not apply to some apprenticeships. Check out our blog post here to find out which apprenticeships have exams, or get in touch with us here to find out.
Even when you reach 18 and no longer need to stay in full time education, you may see the benefits of progressing through your apprenticeship levels, and gaining advanced experience and qualifications within the industry.