Intermediate apprenticeships are the first of the four levels of apprenticeships: Intermediate, Advanced, Higher, and Degree. Intermediate apprenticeships are a very popular option, especially for 16-year-olds leaving school.

In 2018/2019, 36% of apprenticeships started were at an intermediate level, although they are open to everybody at all different ages. There are lots of reasons to become an apprentice, but intermediate apprenticeships are especially useful for those without extensive qualifications or any work experience.

If you are unsure about the prospect of taking that first step into the world outside of full-time education, intermediate apprenticeships are the perfect steppingstone. In the apprenticeship, you are provided with constant support, whilst having only a little pressure to perform in a job role. This responsibility will only grow alongside your emerging skills and capabilities – and not before!

An intermediate apprenticeship is the equivalent of 5 GCSE passes, at grades C-A*. During the programme, you work towards a qualification like an NVQ level 2 or a BTEC. This makes an intermediate apprenticeship a very desirable option to those who want to leave school at 16 but remain in a training and educational environment whilst, like all apprenticeships, you earn a wage.

Although you might question why you would gain a qualification equivalent to GCSE’s, you are also gaining invaluable work experience, something that very few people of your age will have the opportunity to do. Intermediate apprenticeships commonly take between just 12 to 18 months to complete. Think – you could set yourself up for a career and employment for life, in only one year!

The qualifications needed to do an intermediate apprenticeship vary depending on the training provider, and some don’t require formal qualifications at all. This is most common with Intermediate Apprenticeships, although you must complete your Level 2 English, maths and digital qualifications before you can complete your course. By law, an employer can’t take on an apprentice unless they provide these qualifications because they are so integral to your career.

As intermediate apprenticeships are the first level of apprenticeship offered, they cover a huge variety of sectors from construction, business, engineering and tourism, to journalism, arts and media. It’s a great way to get into a company or industry that you are interested in but don’t necessarily have any experience or training in it.

Here are some examples of Intermediate Apprenticeships in different industries:

Beauty Therapist – Hair and Beauty

A beauty therapist apprenticeship is typically 15 months long, you gain a Level 2 Diploma, and you learn a range of beauty therapy techniques, such as waxing services, nail treatment and make-up application.

Junior Estate Agent – Sales, Marketing and Procurement

This apprenticeship takes a minimum of 12 months, learning different professional knowledge, skills and behaviours, including property valuation, market research and time management. Completion of the course may allow you to apply for the NAEA Propertymark.

HM Forces Serviceperson – Protective Services

Being an HM Forces Serviceperson includes full-time employment in a team working on a range of tasks and organisations. It is common to be offered progression on the higher levels of apprenticeships within the HM Forces upon completion of this apprenticeship.

Given that you can leave the apprenticeship at any time, at no cost to yourself, there is no risk involved in trying it out. If this sounds good to you, you should read our guidance on how to apply for an apprenticeship. If you would like to find out where any apprenticeship could take you, see our page about potential career paths.

At Employing an Apprenticeship, we are committed to ensuring everyone has access to equal opportunities. You can explore hundreds of roles available on our Apprenticeship Standards Search Tool.

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