Apprenticeships in Emerging Fields: Exploring Future-Focused Careers in the UK

Written by Nicola Wylie

The UK is at the forefront of several emerging fields which have a greater focus on a sustainable and green future. From renewable energy to green construction, these sectors present a wealth of opportunities for individuals looking to start or change their career paths. 

But how can you break into these dynamic, future-focused industries? One effective route is through apprenticeships.

In this article, we explore some of the most exciting green sectors, their career paths, and the apprenticeships that can lead you there.


Benefits of Apprenticeships in Emerging Fields

Apprenticeships are especially beneficial for those interested in emerging fields, as they offer a hands-on approach to learning and provide a direct pathway into the industry. Whether it is solar energy technology or sustainable construction, apprenticeships serve as a crucial stepping stone into these industries. They provide apprentices with a comprehensive understanding of their chosen field, coupled with the practical skills required for a successful career. 

Other benefits of apprenticeships include:

  • Earning While Learning: An apprenticeship is a paid position. Apprentices earn a wage while they learn, making it a financially viable option for many who might not be able to afford traditional education. 
  • Professional Networking: Apprenticeships provide access to industry professionals and networking opportunities. Building professional relationships can open doors to future job prospects. 
  • Qualification: Upon completion of the apprenticeship, individuals often receive a nationally recognised qualification. This qualification can increase employment opportunities. 
  • Lower Student Debt: As apprentices earn while they learn, they can often avoid the significant student debt associated with traditional university degrees. 
  • Direct Entry Into Career: Apprenticeships are job-specific and offer a direct pathway into the chosen career. This can accelerate career progression and lead to earlier success. 
  • Development of Soft Skills: Apprentices learn more than just job-specific skills. They also develop soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving, which can be beneficial in any career.

So what are these emerging fields that are paving the way to a greener future? And what apprenticeships are available in these sectors? 


Exploring Emerging Green Fields 

We are currently witnessing the rise of numerous emerging fields that are focused on promoting a greener and more sustainable world. These sectors, whilst nascent, are rapidly gaining traction, offering an abundance of opportunities for those who are eager to make a difference. 

Let’s delve into a few of these exciting areas and the apprenticeships that go with them. 


Renewable Energy 

At the forefront of the green revolution is the renewable energy sector. This emerging field is centred on harnessing power from sustainable resources such as wind, solar, and hydro. With the UK government’s commitment to achieving ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the demand for skilled workers in this sector is expected to rise sharply. 

For those keen to launch a career in this field, there are numerous apprenticeships available in the UK. They provide a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience while contributing to the country’s green goals. 

Wind Turbine Technician Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship route: Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician

Description: This apprenticeship involves the maintenance and repair of wind turbines, inspection and testing of turbine components, adherence to health and safety regulations, and diagnosis and fault-finding on wind energy systems.

Duration: Between 3 and 4 years

Level: Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

Solar Panel Installation Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship route: Installation and Maintenance Electrician

Description: Learners will gain a comprehensive insight into the core concepts of solar panel technology, including installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair.

Duration: 4 years (approx.)

Level: Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship


Green Construction 

In response to the urgent need for more sustainable buildings, the green construction sector is on the rise. This field focuses on constructing buildings that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout their life cycle. 

The following apprenticeships enable individuals to learn about the principles of sustainable construction such as energy-efficient design, renewable materials, and waste reduction. 

Sustainable Building Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship route: Construction Design and Build Technician

Description: Apprentices will learn to manage essential building tasks in a sustainable way such as planning, designing and project management.

Duration: 3 years

Level: Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship

Energy Efficiency Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship route: Community Energy Specialist

Description: Apprentices will help communities work together to reduce energy use and costs including the promotion of energy-efficient heating.

Duration: 2 years

Level: Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship


Electric Vehicle (EV) Industry 

With the UK committed to banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, the electric vehicle industry is set to boom. This emerging field is fuelling a demand for a new set of skills and expertise to develop, manufacture, and maintain electric vehicles. 

There are several apprenticeships available in this sector, offering a platform to learn about the latest technologies in this rapidly evolving industry.

Electric Vehicle Technician

Apprenticeship route: Motor Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician 

Description: Servicing light vehicles such as cars and vans by working on and maintaining their internal systems. You will work towards achieving a qualification in Electric Vehicle and then progress onto further Electric Vehicle Training.

Duration: 3 years

Level: Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship


These emerging fields are not only vital for a greener future but also offer exciting new career opportunities. By investing in apprenticeships, we are equipping the next generation of workers with the skills needed to create a more sustainable future for us all.

Applying for Apprenticeships in Emerging Fields

Now that you have a better idea of the types of future-focused apprenticeships that exist, it’s time to do your own research and decide on the one that best suits your interests and strengths. Try our Apprenticeship Standards search tool for the UK’s most up-to-date apprenticeship standard register to find out what approved apprenticeships are on offer.

The Employing an Apprentice jobs board has all the latest opportunities in your area. Need help with the application process? Check out our dedicated page on How to Apply for an Apprenticeship.

Want to ask us a question? Feel free to contact our team and we will get back to you. And finally, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter below for all the latest news and opportunities from Employing an Apprentice.

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Last Updated: Tuesday April 30 2024
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