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  • 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 for you to gain skills and a qualification, whilst earning a real salary. Rather than paying for training, you get to work alongside experienced staff and gain 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 has the opportunity to 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 campaign that aims to increase apprenticeship opportunities for young people. Kent County Council is keen for people in Kent to learn about the many 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 available to anyone who is aged 16+ and designed for those who wish 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 are very few other opportunities that allow you to develop your skills, gain 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, whereas the training for apprenticeships is fully funded.
  • Gain relevant experience - All employers are looking for staff with experience, so 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 an opportunity to continue learning whilst earning money in the process. It is a real job with a real employer, in which you work 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.


What will I be paid?

The apprenticeship minimum wage is currently £3.50 per hour (£3.70 per hour from April 1st 2018), 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 in industries 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 enrolling in an apprenticeship would be financially difficult for you, you may be entitled to support through the Kevin Lynes Apprenticeship Scheme.  


Kent Wheels 2 Work scheme provides an invaluable opportunity for people struggling to reach places of work, education or training. They provide low cost loans of mopeds and bicycles. This help goes hand in hand with practical support in planning their journey, taking care of their vehicle and safety training. It can be a lifeline to people living/ working in rural areas with little public transport or working Sundays or late shifts when alternatives aren’t available.


How does the training work?

At the end of your apprenticeship, you will have earnt 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 +)
  • Off the job training:

    All apprenticeships are required to offer 20% off the job training. This includes:

    • The teaching of theory (for example: lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training),

    • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions.

    • Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments.

    It does not include:

    • English and maths (up to level 2) which is funded separately.

    • Progress reviews or on-programme assessment needed for an apprenticeship framework or standard.

    • Training which takes place outside the apprentice’s paid working hours.

    How it is delivered:

    • It can take place at the employer’s location or off site.

    • Over the course of an apprenticeship not an academic year.

    • Off-the-job training must teach new knowledge, skills and/or behaviors that will contribute to the successful achievement of an apprenticeship. Therefore, a progress review wouldn’t contribute to this.

    • Being taught how to operate a new machine or undertaking e-learning at your desk is a contribution towards the 20%.

    More information can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/621565/OTJ_training_guidance.pdf

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?

Apprenticeships cover an ever-growing range of different industries, so there is plenty for you to choose from! 

Here is a list of the kind of industries you can expect to find an apprenticeship in: 

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