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Apprenticeships Which Include A Qualification

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Not all apprenticeships involve you studying for a qualification so we decided to look at those apprenticeships which include a qualification.

They vary greatly and some have no qualifications attached at all, others require you to gain a professional or industry recognised qualification and some require that you study for a nationally recognised vocational or academic qualification.

Is it important to get a qualification?

Not everyone agrees that getting a qualification is important. Some people argue that as long as you can do the job then you don’t need a slip of paper which states officially that you have evidenced those skills and the relevant knowledge. Others argue that having that piece of paper is important if you want to prove to another employer in the future that you have the skills and knowledge necessary for a job role.

What is important is that you do your research and find out whether the apprenticeship that you want to do has a recognised qualification attached to it, because if it is a qualification that you are after, or if you have been told that if you do an apprenticeship then you will earn money and get a qualification then you need to understand that this rule does not apply to all apprenticeships.  The new apprenticeship standards, some of which are ready for delivery and some of which are still being developed have no mandatory requirement to include a qualification as part of the programme – it is up to the employer whether or not this is included.

What’s the difference between the qualifications I can get where they are part of the apprenticeship?

Nationally recognised academic qualifications – such as a degree form part of some apprenticeship programmes.

Nationally recognised vocational qualifications – include national diplomas, awards and certificates.

Professional and industry recognised qualifications – are vocational qualifications that are linked to a particular profession or industry such as the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification. Some careers require you to have these before you can practice.

Arguably, if you have already gained a qualification at level 3, such as A levels or a national diploma – then you might consider that the most important thing to do is to gain some experience and also a professional or industry recognised qualification that will allow you to progress in your chosen career.

What if I only have GCSEs?

If you have only gained level 2 qualifications however, such as GSCEs then you will have greater earning potential if you gain a qualification at level 3 at least, therefore you might want to think carefully about going for an apprenticeship based on having heard people say how you’ll earn more than university graduates and you’ll get a nationally recognised qualification because this may not be the case. Make sure that you find out whether your apprenticeship offer the opportunity to study for a qualification above level 2 and what that qualification is – we found a few standards that didn’t specifically name the qualification.

Apprenticeships which include a qualification

Below are links to those new apprenticeship standards that very clearly include qualifications as part of the apprenticeship to help you begin your research. These have not all been produced in the same format unfortunately making them difficult to navigate sometimes – some are much more clearly written than others and some are so long that you may need a coffee to get through them… Also, read carefully – some say that at the end you will be eligible to apply for membership to professional bodies – this doesn’t mean that you automatically become a member – just that you can apply (and probably pay to become) a member.

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There are of course more apprenticeship standards in development and eventually these will take the place of the old frameworks which all included the requirement to complete a qualification – so make sure that you do your research to make sure that a) you get the opportunity that you think you are getting and b) you choose the right apprenticeship for you.

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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