Support for Apprentices during COVID-19

If you are an apprentice, or are planning on becoming an apprentice, your role may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the government advice for apprentices for information about furlough, working as an essential worker, end-point assessment, redundancy, changes to your apprenticeship, working from home, taking time off sick because of coronavirus and caring for someone: Government Advice for Apprentices

The Apprenticeship Helpline is available 8am-10pm 7 days a week

Apprenticeships in Southampton

Apprenticeships help you earn while you learn and acquire all the training and skills you need to pursue your career.

  • The government website advertises apprenticeships available across the UK. Search by occupation and postcode
  • ALPHI lists the apprenticeship training providers locally

Who are apprenticeships for?

You can start an Apprenticeship from the age of 16 and there is no upper age limit. If you’re looking for your first job, already in a job and want to gain professional qualifications, thinking about re-training into a different career, or returning to work, an apprenticeship can help you to develop important skills while gaining valuable work experience.

What types of apprenticeship are there?

  • Intermediate (Level 2) – this is equivalent to 5 GCSEs
  • Advanced (Level 3) – this is equivalent to 2 A Levels
  • Higher (Level 4 or 5) – this is equivalent to a BTEC, HND or Foundation Degree
  • Degree (Level 6 or 7) – this is equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s

Find out more at

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships provide an opportunity to gain a full bachelor’s degree (Level 6) or master’s degree (Level 7) but without tuition fees.

Designed in partnership with employers, part-time study takes place at a university or college, with the rest of your time being with your employer.

Degree Apprenticeships take between three and six years to complete depending on what level apprenticeship you are doing.

Degree apprenticeships are still quite a new scheme, so there are a limited number of vacancies. However, it is expected that the number of vacancies will increase over the next few years.

What are the benefits of degree apprenticeships?

  • Degree Apprentices are employed and paid a wage throughout the course.
  • Degree Apprentices gain a full degree — bachelor’s or master’s — without needing to pay student fees.
  • Degree Apprentices will have relevant work experience in their chosen career.
  • Training costs are co-funded by the government and the employer.

How are Degree Apprenticeships different to sandwich degrees and work placements?

Degree apprenticeships are similar to sandwich degrees (spending a year in industry) and work placements but there are some important differences:

  • Degree Apprentices are employed throughout their apprenticeship and do paid work from the moment they start.
  • Degree Apprentices are more likely to stay with their employer after completing their apprenticeship (Retention rates for apprentices can exceed 80%).
  • Employers are involved in developing new degrees so will have more influence over their apprentice’s degree and training programme.

How do I start a Degree Apprenticeship?

Many Degree Apprenticeships are advertised on the National Apprenticeship website: Find a Degree Apprenticeship

You can also find details of Degree Apprenticeships on the UCAS Career Finder website

Current Apprenticeship Vacancies in Southampton

Vacancies from the National Apprenticeships Service website


Solent Apprenticeship Hub

The Solent Apprenticeship Hub is an ESF funded partnership supported by Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council, Isle of Wight Council, Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, Portsmouth University, Solent University.

The Solent Apprenticeship Hub is the essential resource for employers wishing to find out how apprenticeships can benefit their organisation and where to find advice and guidance. The Solent Apprenticeship Hub offers independent and impartial advice around apprenticeships and how they can support your business needs and goals. We will learn about your business and try to recommend ways to save money and improve your bottom line.

For more information, please visit the Solent Apprenticeship Hub website

Employers looking for Apprentices

Employing apprentices can help fill your skills gap, deliver real returns to your bottom line, increase the proportion of trained workers in industry and boost productivity.

To find out more about the benefits apprenticeships can bring to your organisation, about the apprenticeship levy and how to take on an Apprentice, please visit:

The Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy is a compulsory ‘tax’ which was introduced in 2017 and aims to fund the development and delivery of three million new apprenticeships by 2020.

All employers in the UK with a wage bill of more than £3 million must pay 0.5% of their payroll into a central levy ‘pot’, which can then be used to fund apprenticeships. Employers have an allowance of £15,000 per year to offset against their levy payment.

The levy is paid monthly on a rolling basis to HMRC and will be collected through the PAYE system alongside income tax and National Insurance. Employers can access their levy contribution in an online digital account, which can be used to pay for training your existing staff or new staff apprenticeship training and assessment.

For further guidance, please visit: Apprenticeship funding: how it works

Useful links

Southampton City Council Apprentice Case Studies

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