Apprenticeships and technical education

Welcome to your guide to Apprenticeships, T-Levels, Higher Technical Qualifications and Institutes of Technology, written in partnership with Amazing Apprenticeships.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with a real employer where you will work, earn a salary and gain valuable and practical experience whilst studying.  

As an apprentice, you will: 

  • be employed.  
  • work alongside experienced colleagues. spend roughly 6 hours per week undertaking off-the-job learning. complete assessments during and at the end of your apprenticeship. 

You probably have a lot of questions around starting an apprenticeship and whether it's the right choice for you, don't worry, we've got you covered. 

Your apprenticeship questions answered

There are almost 700 different apprenticeships across a range of levels and sectors, from engineering to digital, IT, health, creative, design, science, education, sport and& fitness, business, hospitality and many more. 

Apprenticeships are available from Level 2 (which is equivalent to GCSEs) right up to Level 7 (which is equivalent to a Masters degree), so you can achieve a degree through an apprenticeship! Which level you should do will depend on the role and sector.

Anyone over the age of 16 who is living in England and not already in education. There is no upper age limit for an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are a minimum of 1 year. They can take anywhere between 1-6 years to complete, depending on the level. 


No, apprentices do not pay towards their training, all costs are covered by the employer and/or the Government.

Your off-the-job learning is facilitated by a training provider, which could be a college, independent training provider or university. They ensure that you do all the necessary learning to complete your apprenticeship, which could be done in person or online. There are lots of different ways the learning is provided; sometimes one day a week, sometimes as less frequent longer blocks. This will be decided by your employer and provider.

If you are keen to start working and earning your own money, but also want to gain qualifications and experience at the same time, an apprenticeship is a great choice. You learn from your colleagues in a real workplace whilst earning a salary and being paid to learn.

Apprenticeships will be advertised in different places, depending on the systems and platforms that the employer chooses to use. The most typical places that you will find apprenticeship job vacancies are: 

Find an apprenticeship is the government website where thousands of apprenticeships are advertised. It is free to set up an account and you can use the system to search and apply for apprenticeships. It only shows live jobs, so you can also set up alerts to be notified when new vacancies are added.  

Some employers will use their own website to advertise their vacancies and will often have a dedicated page set up for their apprenticeship programmes. You may be required to set up an account through their website to manage your application, but others may provide instructions on how to submit the application. It's important you do your research.  

FutureGoals Jobs aims to help people in West Yorkshire easily find job vacancies, apprenticeships, and other training opportunities in their area. 

Because apprenticeships are real jobs, the application process is similar to applying for any other job. Different employers will have their own application and interview processes so it's important you do your research.

Some employers may start recruiting as early as a year before they want the apprentice to start, others will have a shorter recruitment window, so give yourself plenty of time to apply, set up alerts, and keep on top of deadlines.  

Read Amazing Apprenticeships guide to applying for an apprenticeship to help you prepare.

Read our blog for top tips on how to help your child explore apprenticeships and technical education options. 

What are T Levels?

T Levels are a two-year qualification that you can do as an alternative to A-levels or other post-16 courses once you have finished GCSEs. 
As a T Level student, you will:

  • study one subject.
  • spend 80% of your time in a learning environment (e.g. a classroom) and 20% in an industry placement with an employer.  

Got more questions about T-Levels? We can give you the answers.

Your T-Level questions answered

T Levels are available in more than 20 subjects, ranging from construction, legal services, healthcare science, engineering and more. Find out more about different subjects.

T Levels are for 16-19 year olds who have completed their GCSEs. Schools and colleges set their own entry requirements and students who haven't achieved grade 4 maths and English at GCSE will work towards them alongside their T Level.

If you aren't ready to do a T Level yet, the one-year T Level Transition Programme can help support you to prepare.

T Levels were designed with leading businesses, so they give you all the workplace skills you need to succeed, plus the industry placement gives you real experience and knowledge of the industry you want to work in.


Visit the T Levels website to find your nearest school or college who are delivering T Levels.

Read our blog for top tips on how to help your child explore apprenticeships and technical education options. 

What are Higher Technical Qualifications?

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are level 4 and 5 qualifications (equivalent to the first/second year of a university degree) that are an alternative to apprenticeships and degrees. They are aimed at students over 18 who want to study a subject to prepare them for skilled jobs.   

As a HTQ student, you will:  

  • study at a college, university, independent training provider or Institute of Technology for 1 to-2 years.  
  • study full or part-time with practical workshops and elements built into the course to help you develop practical skills for the workplace. 

Your Higher Technical Qualifications questions answered

HTQs have been designed with employers to ensure students develop the knowledge and skills that employers want, through the courses and practical workshops.

Tuition fees vary depending on the course, but HTQs are likely to cost from around £7,000 - £9,250 a year for a 1 or 2 year course. You may be eligible for support through student finance or a scholarship, grant or bursary.  

HTQs are a new qualification and are available across the below subjects: 

  • Digital  
  • Construction and the built environment  
  • Health and science 

More will be available in September 2024 and September 2025. 

What are Institutes of Technology?

Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are collaborations between further education providers (such as colleges), universities and employers. They specialise in delivering higher technical education courses (mainly at levels 4 & 5) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.   

They offer a wide range of technical courses across sectors such as digital, manufacturing, engineering and construction. 

The local Institute of Technology is the Yorkshire & Humber IoT.  

Find out more about Institutes of Technology and find one near you.

Hear from apprentices working and studying in West Yorkshire

Watch the videos below to find out if an apprenticeship could be the right next step for you.

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