Skip navigation
  • Florence English
    LABORATORY ASSISTANT APPRENTICE, WEST MALLING, KENT

    Really easy to apply

    Definitely look into apprenticeships. Really easy to apply – just all online.

What is an apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is an opportunity to gain skills and a qualification whilst earning a real salary. Rather than pay for training you get to work alongside experienced staff whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification – all whilst being paid.

What’s changing?

From 1 April 2017 several improvements are being introduced which you can benefit from:

  • Anyone over 16 can become an apprentice
  • New standards geared to give you relevant training will be available
  • New higher and degree-level apprenticeships are being introduced

‘Made in Kent’ is a new campaign that you will also see online and out and about. Kent County Council is keen for people in Kent to learn about all the new advantages being introduced for apprentices. If you want more information you can contact our advice line on 03000 415 005 or email us at kep@kent.gov.uk.

Who can do an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are for anyone who is over 16. Apprenticeships are for people who want to learn and progress in a working environment. 

Funding rules have changed so apprenticeships are open to all!

Why should I be an apprentice?

There are loads of reasons why an apprenticeship is the perfect career option!

  • Get paid for training - there very few other opportunities to develop your skills and abilities, by gaining a recognised qualification and be paid for it at the same time. Training is delivered in the workplace, in a classroom, or workshop.
  • Don't start in debt - Going to university can leave you with daunting debts, the training for apprenticeships is fully funded.
  • Gain relevant experience - All employers are looking for staff with experience, becoming an apprentice gives you the opportunity to gain that experience and begin building your CV.
  • Gain a recognised qualification - At the end of your apprenticeship, you will have a qualification that employers will recognise and understand.

How does an apprenticeship work?

An apprenticeship is the opportunity to continue learning, whilst earning money doing a real job. It is a real job with a real employer, working towards earning a nationally recognised qualification. You will work for a minimum of 30 hours a week and be paid a salary. You will have a contract of employment and be treated like a normal member of staff. That means you will be expected to behave like a member of staff. See our list of apprentice responsibilities for more information.

An apprenticeship can be completed either by day release once a week or a monthly tutor visit, this depends on your training provider. You will work towards your qualification by completing the work your tutor sets you, which will be related to your day to day job.

What will I be paid?

The Apprenticeship minimum wage is currently £3.50 per hour, although many employers choose to pay above and beyond that. Many employers also offer performance related pay rises throughout the apprenticeship, as they would with any other employees. If you are 19 years old when you complete your first year as an apprentice, then your wage will increase to the national minimum for your age category.

An apprenticeship can open up opportunities where previously it would be very difficult to find work. Don't forget an employer will also pay you for your study time and most employers will regularly review your salary. One year of some small financial pain could lead to a career of financial gain.

If doing an apprenticeship would be financially difficult for you, you may be able to receive some support through the Kevin Lynes Apprenticeship Scheme.  

How does the training work?

At the end of your apprenticeship, you will have a qualification that employers will recognise and understand. There are three types of apprenticeships available:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeships - Level 2 framework - This is equivalent to 5 GCSEs A* - C grade. (typical duration 12 - 18 months)
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeships - Level 3 framework - This is equivalent to two A Levels at A - C grade. (18 - 24 months)

Higher Level Apprenticeships - Level 4-6 framework - These apprenticeships are a lot more demanding, but can provide you with a degree level qualification. (24 months +)

Training will either be delivered through a tutor in the work place or day release to college. Your employer will select the option that best suits the course and business needs.

What’s expected of me?

As an apprentice you will be responsible for:

  • Turning up to work on time and ready for the day
  • Dressing appropriately for your job role
  • Being proactive and looking for learning opportunities
  • Ensuring that you complete all work set by both your manager and tutor
  • Working to the best of your ability
  • Talking to your manager and tutor regularly about your progress.

What can I do an apprenticeship in?

You can do an apprenticeship in many different industries; it isn’t confined to just one. Here is a list of the kind of industries you can expect to find an apprenticeship in. 

  • Agriculture, horticulture and animal culture apprenticeships
  • Arts, media and publishing apprenticeships
  • Business, administration and law apprenticeships
  • Construction, planning and the built environment apprenticeships
  • Education and training apprenticeships
  • Engineering and manufacturing technologies apprenticeships
  • Health, public services and care apprenticeships
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) apprenticeships
  • Leisure, travel and tourism apprenticeships