Young people are expected to stay in some form of education or training until they're 18. This doesn't have to be in school. Apprenticeships and traineeships are a great way to do this as you can study, earn money and gain work experience.


An apprenticeship is a job with training so you can earn while you learn and get qualifications. You can work alongside experienced people who are willing to pass on their skills and knowledge. You must be 16 or over to start an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship training can last from 1 to 4 years, depending on the level and industry you choose.

There are 3 levels you can study at:

  • apprenticeship (level 2)
  • advanced apprenticeship (level 3)
  • higher apprenticeship (level 4 and above)

As an apprentice under 19 years, or in your first year, you'll be paid at least £3.90 per hour. Some apprenticeships may pay more.

Find out more about apprenticeships on GOV.UK.

Find information about events, opportunities and places that can help you on our Family Information Directory.

If you need help finding an apprenticeship:

Where to find an apprenticeship

To find an apprenticeship:

Some employers who don't already have apprenticeship placements may be willing to set one up for you.

See Amazing Apprenticeships for more information about the experience, skills and qualifications you can gain through apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships with Dorset Council

As Dorset Council we recruit apprentice rangers across Dorset each summer. Find out about apprentice ranger positions with Dorset Council. 

Watch videos of Dorset Council apprentices talk about their experiences.

Find out about Darryl Burns, 25, and his experience of an apprenticeship in highway maintenance at Dorset Council

Apprenticeships if you're a young person with an EHC plan

Find out more about how to find an apprenticeship if you have an EHC plan.


Traineeships are for 16 for 24 year olds who want to work but need extra help to gain an apprenticeship or job.

Traineeships are unpaid, but you'll have the chance to develop skills and get workplace experience that employers ask for.

Read more about traineeships on the GOV.UK website.