Apprenticeship Information for Parents

Helping you guide your child down the right career path

Understanding all the facts regarding the various career options for your child is key to enabling you as a parent to provide the right support. In this article, we will provide you with all the important facts regarding apprenticeships to ensure that you really understand how your child can enrol onto an apprenticeship programme and how they will benefit from being on the apprenticeship route.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships offer the opportunity for learners to gain a nationally, and ever more increasingly internationally recognised level of training. The training that an apprentice receives will be practical, employment related, and include on and off the job aspects.

Apprentices work alongside experienced staff whilst at the same time earning a salary.

Are apprentices entitled to holiday pay?

Yes. Apprentices are entitled to the same conditions as other employees that are not on an apprenticeship. Apprentices are entitled to not only holiday pay, but they are also entitled to sickness pay and any specific benefits that their employer offers to their workforce in general. These benefits vary according to the employer.

How many hours a week does an apprentice work?

A full-time apprenticeship involves on average a 35-hour working week depending on the particular employer. Many special protections from the government regulations for young workers under 18 will apply to apprentices, for example

  • Apprentices are not allowed to work more than 40 hours per week
  • Must not exceed 8 hours a day
  • Must give you at least 12 hours off between shifts
  • At least 24 hours clear from working each week

Evening work hours

Workers under 18 are not usually allowed to work at night, however, exceptions can apply in some circumstances.

Younger workers may work during the night if they are employed in a hospital or similar places of work, or in areas such as, advertising, sporting or cultural activities.

Younger workers may work between 10 pm or 11 pm to midnight and between 4 am to 6/7am if they are employed in:

  • Agriculture
  • Retail trading
  • Postal or newspaper deliveries
  • A catering business, hotel, public house, restaurant etc
  • A bakery

They may work when the work is necessary to, maintain continuity of service or production, or respond to demand for services or products.

How many apprenticeship levels are there and what are they equal to?

There are numerous levels of apprenticeships available to apply for depending on current qualifications & skills. All apprenticeship levels have an equivalent educational level:

Name Level Equivalent education level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE Passes
Advanced 3 2 A Level Passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 & 7 Foundation Degree & Above
Degree 6 & 7 Bachelo’s or Master’s Degree

Helping you find an apprenticeship

To deliver training, all providers and employers looking to deliver their own training need to be on the Register of Approved Training Providers (ROATP) and be subject to ‘Education & Skills Funding Agency’ (ESFA) quality arrangements and Ofsted inspections. You can find Paragon Skills on this register as an approved provider and we have been awarded a Grade 2 from Ofsted – Good.

Who will provide the training?

Employers select their training providers from the Register of Approved Training Providers list which is part of the .GOV website. The purpose of this list is to ensure that all companies like Paragon Skills are offering new learners the best support system and training on available, whilst ensuring that they meet the standards required to receive a good grade from Ofsted.

Do apprentices pay tax?

Yes, if an apprentice’s salary is above the tax threshold, their employer will deduct this as part of their employers PAYE process along with a national insurance contribution. However, if they are under 25 they are not required to make a Class 1 secondary national insurance contribution.

Is there an eligibility criteria?

There are a number of entry requirements to consider when applying for an apprenticeship:

  • A learner can only start their apprenticeship after the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they have their 16th birthday.
  • They are not enrolled on another apprenticeship, or another DfE funded FE/HE programme, at the same time as any new apprenticeship they start.
  • An apprentice must not use a student loan to pay for their apprenticeship (where an individual transfers to an apprenticeship from a full-time further education or higher education course, and this course has been funded through a student loan, this loan must be terminated).
  • Spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of the apprenticeship.
  • Have the right to work in England.
  • A citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) (including other countries determined within the EEA or those with bilateral agreements), or have the right of abode in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the EEA (including other countries determined within the EEA or those with bilateral agreements), for at least the previous three years on the first day of learning.

Employers may ask for two or more GCSE grades (A*-C) or equivalent. For some intermediate apprenticeships, however, no formal qualifications are required. If you don’t have GCSEs in English and Maths you’ll usually be required to take a basic numeracy and literacy test.

How to apply for an apprenticeship with Paragon Skills?

Paragon Skills offer apprenticeship vacancies across multiple sectors, search on our own apprenticeship Vacancies page by adding your postcode & selecting the maximum distance you would be prepared to travel. Secondly, select your qualification level (level 2 or level 3) then choose your preferred sector. Or, if you are searching for a specific vacancy you can input either the employer’s name or a reference number. Then press search and view everything available according to your search criteria.

If you are having trouble searching for a vacancy, please view the video which will give you a step by step guide.

If you cannot find a suitable vacancy on our website, visit where you can search by keyword (job role, occupation type or apprenticeship level) and by location.

If you know the sector and area in which you would like to undertake an apprenticeship, but you cannot find a suitable apprenticeship vacancy, then you can always approach employers directly and ask them if they would be interested in taking on an apprentice. If the employer is happy to take on an apprentice, they would in turn need to contact us, or their chosen training provider to start the apprenticeship programme.

We welcome any further questions that you may have, so please feel free to email us at or call to speak to our customer service helpdesk on 0800 783 2545.

About Paragon Skills

  • Established in 1998, Paragon Skills is the sixth largest training provider in England, with over 4,000 learners currently engaged in learning programmes.
  • They are a national provider of work-based training and have positioned themselves as the SME local private training provider of choice.
  • Offering intermediate and advanced apprenticeships and the additional ability to offer bespoke training, which is relevant to individual companies.
  • All training programmes are delivered by qualified and experienced industry professionals, with programmes that are role-relevant and industry endorsed.
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