Here at Employing an Apprentice, we fully understand that sometimes, things in life things may not turn out to be what you expected. This goes for apprenticeships too.

Whether you are facing personal problems, feel the course isn’t as it was advertised or do not feel comfortable within your job role, we have compiled some information to provide some guidance relating to leaving an apprenticeship.

Are you allowed to leave your apprenticeship?

First and foremost, you are free to leave an apprenticeship at whatever stage if you feel the need to do so. Essentially it is the same as if you were in a regular job; your contract will state the period of notice you must give your employer if you want to leave.

However, it is important to acknowledge that if you leave your apprenticeship before completion, you will not gain a qualification despite possibly completing a substantial amount of work. This is something you should consider when making your decision.

Why do some people decide to leave?

There may be many reasons why apprentices decide to terminate their apprenticeship before completion. This will be utterly dependent on the individual, but may relate to:

  • Personal aspects such as family, health or financial challenges
  • Dissatisfaction with the content of the apprenticeship
  • Displeased with the quality of the teaching
  • Feeling like the workload is too much
  • Unhappy in the job role or workplace

Do you have to pay back any money?

No. Unlike university, you will not have to pay back any money for dropping out of the apprenticeship before completion. In new funding rules, employers are no longer able to ask apprentices to pay back any costs for training, exams or other activities.

Options moving forward

Depending on your reason for wanting to leave your apprenticeship, there are many options to consider moving forward. These include:

Changing jobs

If it is the job itself that you are unhappy with, whether this relates to the workplace, the duties or the business culture, it is possible to change jobs and continue with your apprenticeship course.

To do this, you will have to speak to your training provider. It will be their duty to decide whether this is a possibility for you and must approve that new employer’s suitability.

Changing the subject

If you want to leave your apprenticeship to do a different subject altogether, you will have to reapply for another course. You can look at other courses before you decide to leave your current one but bear in mind that employers will question why you left your previous apprenticeship.

Quitting apprenticeship but keeping your job

If you are unhappy with the apprenticeship course itself, including the content and quality of teaching, the employer may allow you to transfer into a job role within the company. If your employer agrees to this, they will have to pay you the national minimum wage for a non-apprentice.

Before making your decision, consider talking to either your employer or training provider about any worries, concerns or complaints you may have. If you make them aware, they may be able to implement the specific changes you are looking for or provide some extra support and guidance if necessary.

It is essential to acknowledge that making changes isn’t always possible in every situation. So, remember to explore your options going forward if you believe leaving your apprenticeship is the best thing for you.

Furthermore, during this challenging time, it may be employers who find themselves in the difficult position of having to make apprentices redundant. If you would like some more advice and guidance on this subject, visit our redundancy assistance page.