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Apprenticeships and traineeships

Students 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 £3.50 per hour. Some apprenticeships may pay more.

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

Types of apprenticeships

There are apprenticeships for lots of different job areas, such as:

  • IT
  • construction
  • engineering
  • health and care
  • retail

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.

Further advice and guidance on apprenticeships

See our localised factsheets to find out more about opportunities in your area. These include information about:

  • local employment sectors
  • recent apprenticeship vacancies in towns in Dorset

Watch videos of Dorset Council apprentices talk about their experiences.

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

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.

Apprentices at Dorset Council

Meet business administration apprentices Chelsey, Owen and Bruce who joined Purbeck District Council in September 2017.

purbeck district council apprentices
Chelsey, Owen and Bruce pictured with Steve MacKenzie, Chief Executive of Purbeck District Council.

All 3 apprentices, who are from the local area, spend 4 days a week at Dorset County Council and one day a week studying at Bournemouth and Poole College. They'll work in all council departments, gaining valuable experience which will help them choose a future profession where they may want to specialise. 


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.

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