How to Leave an Apprenticeship

Written by Luke Kitchen

Leaving an apprenticeship can be a challenging decision, but it’s important to prioritise your own well-being and career goals. In this blog, we’ll provide practical tips and advice for navigating the process of leaving an apprenticeship in the UK.


Deciding Whether to Leave an Apprenticeship

Before you decide to leave an apprenticeship, it is important to consider all of your options. There may be a way to fix the problems you are having with your apprenticeship, or you may be able to find another apprenticeship that is a better fit for you. If you decide that quitting is the best option, then the following steps should help inform you about the process.


Quitting an Apprenticeship

If you have decided to leave an apprenticeship, the first step is to speak to your employer. They may be able to help you find a new job or apprenticeship, or they may give you a reference.

The next step depends on your age:

If you are under 16 years old

If you are under 16 years old, your parents will need to sign a form called a ‘Notice of Intention to Leave’. This form tells your employer that you are leaving, and they must give you a written statement explaining why they are ending your apprenticeship.

If you are 16 or 17 years old

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you will need to write a letter telling your employer that you are quitting. This letter should include the reasons why you are leaving, and it must be signed by both you and your parent/guardian.

If you are 18 years old or over

If you are 18 years old or over, then you can leave your apprenticeship without getting permission from your parents or employer. However, it would still be a good idea to speak to them about your decision and explain why you are leaving.


Giving Notice

Once you have spoken to your employer, the next step is to give them formal notice that you are quitting. This means writing a letter or email telling them that you are leaving and when your last day will be.

The amount of notice you need to give depends on how long you have been working for your employer.

Prior to consulting this list, always look at your apprenticeship contract for the notice you’re required to give (as this can vary from company to company). However, the table below provides you with an idea of the notice you’ll be expected to give:

Amount of Time Working Amount of Notice
Less than one month No notice
Between one and three months One week’s notice
Between three and six months Two weeks’ notice
Between six and nine months Four weeks’ notice
Between nine and twelve months Six weeks’ notice
More than twelve months Eight weeks’ notice


Leave an Apprenticeship Without Giving Notice

If you decide to leave without giving notice and have worked for your employer for more than one month, your employer may be able to take legal action against you. This could include making you pay the money you owe them or taking away any qualifications you have gained. It is always best to speak to your employer before leaving, even if you plan to leave without giving notice.

This brings us to our next section…


Maintain Professionalism

Maintaining professionalism when leaving an apprenticeship is crucial to ensure that you maintain a positive reputation and leave on good terms with your employer. Here are some tips to help you maintain professionalism throughout the leaving process:

Be honest and clear

When discussing your decision to leave with your supervisor or employer, it’s important to be honest and clear about your reasons for leaving. Avoid being overly critical or negative and focus on presenting your decision as a positive step for your career growth.

Be respectful

Regardless of your reasons for leaving, it’s important to be respectful of your supervisor, colleagues, and the organisation as a whole. Avoid venting your frustrations or being overly critical during your exit.

Offer to help with the transition

Consider offering to help with the transition by training a replacement or helping to document your work processes. This can help demonstrate your commitment to the company and your willingness to leave on good terms.

Stay positive

Remember to stay positive throughout the process, even if it feels challenging. Focus on the opportunities that lie ahead and the lessons learned from your apprenticeship experience.


Key Takeaways

It’s important to prioritise your own well-being and career goals when making important decisions about your apprenticeship. So, if you have decided that quitting your apprenticeship is the best option for you, then following these steps should help make the process easier.

For more information on apprenticeships, take a look at the various guides we have compiled for apprentices, including the different types of apprenticeships and how to apply for them. To look for alternative apprenticeship opportunities, take a look at our live jobs board!

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries. And finally, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated with all of the latest news and information from Employing an Apprentice.

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Last Updated: Thursday March 2 2023
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