Are There Any Army Apprenticeships?

Written by Calvin Bowers

If you are looking for an army apprenticeship, you should bear in mind that despite all the glossy posters and dramatic, cinematic adverts for joining the army, it isn’t all how it is made to look. Being a military serviceperson is an extremely physically and mentally demanding career choice and it is important to go into it with your eyes open about the possibility of dying in battle or being seriously wounded. 

It is important to take your time and look behind the glossy images to the actual statistics and these show that there were 71 UK armed forces deaths in the year 2020/21. This isn’t as bad as in some years but it was one of the worst in the last decade. 

You may be saying to yourself that it is a relatively safe time to take on an army apprenticeship as we aren’t in Afghanistan or Iraq any more, but there is also the very real prospect of the UK, USA and other NATO allies joining a European land war against Russia on the side of Ukraine. It seems to be the direction of travel as more and more NATO countries send advanced weapons and modern tanks to the war.

Army Apprenticeships

There are two army apprenticeship standards that are available in the UK at the moment.As with all UK apprenticeship standards, you will be paid the apprentice minimum wage or more for these apprenticeships and you will be expected to do 80% on-the-job training and 20% off-the-job training, for which you will be paid equally.

The off-the-job training relates to the things that will be theory-based and therefore  non-practical, so sitting and learning information about safety in the job role, or the rules of engagement, or some other aspect of the study that is needed to qualify for the academic component of the apprenticeship. 

Each apprenticeship allows an apprentice to gain a qualification and the level of the apprenticeship depends on the level of the award. Someone completing a Level 2 Apprenticeship would receive the equivalent of an NVQ or BTEC Level 2 qualification and someone completing a Level 3 apprenticeship would receive an NVQ or BTEC Level 3 qualification. This depends on the End Point Assessment being successfully completed.     

We have included more detail about the armed forces apprenticeships below.

HM Forces Serviceperson (Public Services)– Level 2

This apprenticeship is a Level 2 intermediate apprenticeship which means it is open to those with very few academic qualifications so school leavers should be able to apply and be accepted at the age of 16. 

Because many of those who will be signing up for this apprenticeship will be below the age of 18, this apprenticeship will restrict the apprentices to roles in the general welfare and humanitarian sphere rather than in active combat situations. 

Weapons training will be provided as an integral part of the apprenticeship but battlefield drills, ceremonial duties and the administering of first aid to wounded people will also play a large part in the apprenticeship. 

By the time that you take your End Point Assessment that is necessary to complete the 12 month apprenticeship, you will be expected to be able to show an understanding of the rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict. You should be able to prioritise your safety, those of your squad and that of any civilians in the vicinity. 

It is imperative that you are punctual and reliable and have a strong work ethic. A career in the armed forces isn’t for someone who lacks these very basic skills and they are very decisive when it comes to cutting out dead wood. For anyone looking for an easy ride, this most definitely isn’t it. 

You will also be expected to be very physically fit and strong with excellent endurance, and to be able to prove this in a number of different ways including running and drilling practices.  

Military Engineering Construction Technician – Level 3

This apprenticeship is a Level 3 Advanced apprenticeship and it is within the construction route. The job role that it relates to is within the military where you will be known as a Royal Engineer. This is the section of the military that is responsible for the construction and repair of any facilities at home and abroad. 

The tasks involved in the apprenticeship will be wide-ranging in nature and will include erecting and repairing all manner of masonry structures as well as laying concrete flooring and installing and maintaining any fixtures and fittings required. All of this requires a number of different construction skills and disciplines and you will learn many skills from the entire spectrum of construction skills.  

In addition to the usual construction skills that you will be expected to learn, you should have advanced combat skills before you start the apprenticeship. You will be expected to go on patrol and to work in a hostile environment. You will know about cover and the best team tactics to use in order to keep your team safe. You will be required to have excellent physical strength and stamina as this is an extremely demanding job with heavy lifting and running required. 

This may mean that completing the other apprenticeship for HM Serviceperson in advance would stand you in good stead for success in this apprenticeship as you would have already learned the combat skills that you will need in order to excel as a Royal Engineer. 

The Military Engineering Construction Apprenticeship should take 18 months, not including the End Point Assessment and after this you should be well-placed for a continuing job role as a Royal Engineer.  

Find an Apprenticeship Today

If you have read through the reasons to start an apprenticeship and who can start an apprenticeship already, you should use our dedicated apprenticeship jobs board to find an apprenticeship opportunity in your area. There are many to choose from and you are sure to find something that relates to your area of interest that you can proceed to apply for.    

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Last Updated: Wednesday February 8 2023
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