Level 2,3 And 4 Apprenticeships … What’s The Difference?

Apprenticeship Levels

Knowing what level apprenticeships you can or should be applying for can be confusing. The level of apprenticeship you can apply for depends on what qualifications you have, and there are plenty of options for progression once you have completed your chosen apprenticeship. Below is a breakdown of each level, and a little bit about what apprenticeships entail.


All Apprenticeships 

All apprenticeships are focused around work based learning, with formal and theoretical learning taking place through college or a private training company. They can take between 1-4 years to complete. The majority of your time will be spent working with the employer, and some at college or with a training provider. To start an apprenticeship, you must be age 15 or older and no longer in full time education. You must also not already have a qualification at level 4 or above.

On completing an apprenticeship, you will gain:

  • A technical certificate that demonstrates achievement of skills and knowledge related to the wider industry.
  • An NVQ or competency qualification showing they can perform well in their profession.
  • A range of transferable skills including English, maths, ICT, teamwork and problem solving.
  • Employer rights and responsibilities (ERR) demonstrating knowledge of employment related legislation and health and safety.




Intermediate Apprenticeships (Level 2) 

Level 2 apprenticeships are equivalent to 5 GCSE passes. To be accepted for an intermediate apprenticeship you need to be enthusiastic, keen to learn and have a reasonable standard of education.

After completing an intermediate apprenticeship, your options include:

  • Moving into full time employment in the company you completed your apprenticeship with.
  • Applying for jobs related to your intermediate apprenticeship qualification.
  • Or progressing onto an advanced apprenticeship with a new or existing employer.




Advanced Apprenticeships (Level 3) 

Advanced apprenticeships are equivalent to 2 A-level passes. To be accepted you should have 5 GCSEs or more, or have completed an intermediate (level 2) apprenticeship.

After completing an advanced apprenticeship your options include:

  • Moving into full time work with your existing employer.
  • Applying for jobs related to your level 3 qualification.
  • Gaining a degree level qualification.
  • Or progressing onto a higher apprenticeship with a new or existing employer.

If you are interested in completing a level 3 apprenticeship, you can take a look at current vacancies here.




Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4/5) 

Level 4 apprenticeships are equivalent to a foundation degree. To be accepted you should have a level 3 qualification, such as A-levels, or have completed an advanced apprenticeship.

After completing a higher apprenticeship your options include:

  • Studying for a degree at university.
  • Progressing onto a degree level apprenticeship (only for qualifications such as aerospace engineering and product design and development).
  • Moving into full time work with your existing employer.
  • Finding a new job related to your qualification.
  • Working freelance or self employed in your chosen career path.


What Now?

Now you have an idea of what level apprenticeship you will be working at, you can decide on what area you would like to specialise in. You can take a look at the different kinds of creative apprenticeships, or see if there are any vacancies you would like to apply for with Creative Alliance.