How do apprenticeships work?

The 80:20 model

You work for an employer in a paid job, but spend 20% of your time in off-the-job training.

How many hours per week will I have to work?

You will be expected to work for a minimum of 30 hours per week, which includes the time you spend at College. You will spend most of your time in your workplace and the rest of your training will be provided by the College - normally on a one-day-per-week basis.

  • Why be an apprentice?
    • You can earn while you learn

    • Many employers hold apprenticeships in high regard because they offer real industry experience

    • A successful apprenticeship provides you with a qualification and the skills you need for your job

    • Apprenticeships are now offering routes to degree-level qualifications and they have become an increasingly preferred career option

    • Apprentices are often offered a permanent, full-time position by their employer once training is completed

    • Certain business sectors offer excellent career potential and the opportunity to earn very competitive salaries

    • You will increase your confidence and independence
  • What is ‘off-the-job training’?

    Off-the-job training is training delivered outside an apprentice’s normal working duties. It is a requirement that all new standard apprenticeships include 20% off-the-job training - the equivalent of one day at work per week.

    Off-the-job refers to learning outside a regular day-to-day work environment, but within working hours. This includes:

    1. Practical activities, such as shadowing a more skilled member of staff - or ‘off-site’ visits, for example to meet customers or attend a trade show
    2. Theoretical activities such as online courses, attending seminars, and role playing
    3. Learning by writing reports and work-specific documents

    It is up to an employer how they choose to deliver an apprentice’s 20% training. For example, it could be one day per week, or one week out of five.

    Functional skills: Please note that time studying for English and maths cannot be counted as part of the 20% training.

  • How much will I get paid?

    You won’t have to pay anything to undertake an apprenticeship. Your employer pays your salary.

    The minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.81 per hour. This rate applies to those under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year of an apprenticeship. Apprentices aged 19 or over, and those who have completed their first year, must be paid at least the minimum wage for their age.

    You will agree the terms of your contract and your salary with your employer.

  • How long does an apprenticeship take?

    Generally, apprenticeships take between 12 and 24 months to complete. The duration of an apprenticeship depends on:

    1. Your experience
    2. Your knowledge
    3. Your skill levels
    4. The business sector
    5. The qualification
  • Am I eligible for an apprenticeship?

    Applicants need to be at least 16 years of age, living in England and not taking part in full-time education. There is no upper age limit but you need to be at least 16. However, if you are aged 19 or over, your employer will need to contribute financially to the cost of your training.

    The entry requirements and skills needed will depend on the role you apply for and any previous experience you have.

  • What are the levels of apprenticeships?

    Apprenticeships are available at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher levels – which means you can even achieve a degree through an apprenticeship.

    Intermediate (Level 2)
    If you start an apprenticeship at Intermediate level, the role will be comparatively junior. You can expect to be taught the basic skills and knowledge needed to further progress in your chosen career. 

    Advanced (Level 3)
    You may be able to start a first apprenticeship at Advanced level, depending on your skills. It may suit you if you have acquired the requisite skills and knowledge from a current or previous job, or if you have already completed an intermediate apprenticeship. An Advanced level apprenticeship will focus on you developing more specialised and industry-specific skills and knowledge. This level is equivalent to A Levels.

    Higher (Level 4, 5, 6 and 7)
    Higher apprenticeships are ideal if you are already working in a senior role for a business and are looking to further develop your professional skills and knowledge. A Higher apprenticeship is a viable alternative to a foundation degree or above (i.e. university-level).

    Click here to find out more about the different levels of apprenticeships.

  • What can I expect from being an apprentice?
    • Excellent vocational training
    • A salary and on-going support from your employer and GB MET
    • In-depth experience, insight and understanding of the business sector you are working in
    • A clear career path
    • The opportunity to achieve industry-standard qualifications and even a degree
  • What support will I get from the College during my apprenticeship?

    You will have your own Assessor who will liaise with your employer. Your Assessor is always on hand to support and guide you through the apprenticeship process - from enrolment, induction, your training plan and your qualification schedule - to checking workplace compliance with government legislation.

    An Assessor will monitor your progress and visit you at work at least every 12 weeks.

    Assessment of work-based learning
    GB MET’s Assessors deliver assessments in the workplace and are always on hand to support and guide both apprentice and employer. Curriculums do vary but assessments in the workplace will always be scheduled at a time that suits the employer hosting the session.

  • How do I become an Apprentice?

    Please contact our apprenticeship team for advice on applying for an apprenticeship.

    When you get in touch, we will:

    • Find out exactly what you are looking for from an apprenticeship
    • Advise you of vacancies you might be interested in
    • Help you apply - for example, by helping you write a CV and cover letter – so that you can start contacting prospective employers
    • Recommend courses and workshops that will enhance your CV and improve your job prospects
    • Provide you with general and job-specific advice and support

    Option 1
    The best option is to find an employer yourself who wants to employ you as an apprentice. Once you have done this, simply provide us with the details. We will then contact your employer and handle all the administration, so that you can begin your apprenticeship at the earliest opportunity.

    Option 2
    The GB MET apprenticeship recruitment team will try to find you an employer. The team will invite you for an interview to fully assess your skills and aptitude for your preferred apprenticeship roles. They will do everything possible to find an employer with a current vacancy, or one looking for an apprentice that fits the role you are looking for.

    Whichever option applies, our team is here to guide you through every stage of the process.

    Please check GB MET’s website for apprenticeship vacancies (link) or search online at

    Visit our How to Apply page

  • What time of year can I start an apprenticeship?

    You can apply at any time of the year.

    The start of your work-based training is dependent on your employer.

  • Can I undertake an apprenticeship with my current employer?

    Yes. Discuss it with your employer and, if they agree and subject to conditions, you can become an apprentice where you now work.

  • How do I attend College if I don’t have transport?

    For more information on transport, please contact our apprenticeship team on

Contact our apprenticeships team

Brighton MET and Northbrook College