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Information for aspiring apprentices

Earn while you learn and build a highly successful career in the
financial services industry.

Two women talking
Apprenticeships are open to everyone. Become an apprentice in the financial services sector and you’ll be employed in a real job, receiving a salary whilst you study a recognised industry qualification at no cost to you.

Sound appealing?  If so, an apprenticeship could be the perfect route for you.

As an apprentice, your employer will provide a structured programme to help you develop your skills in the workplace alongside other employees. You’ll also spend time away from your daily job, undertaking the more formal ‘training’ part of your apprenticeship. This may mean attending classes once a week, in blocks or even studying online. It will be up to your employer to decide which approach works best.

Think you’d like to be an apprentice in the banking and finance sector? Since apprenticeships are real jobs, you’ll need to, first, find an opportunity and, second, submit an application, just as you would for any other role.  For tips on the best way to go about searching for an apprenticeship opportunity, take a look at our FAQs below. 

Apprenticeships facts

  • A real paid job
  • Relevant skills and training
  • Professional experience
  • Recognised industry qualifications
  • No tuition fees or student debt
  • Open to new recruits or existing employees

How do I become an apprentice?

Find an opportunity

Apprenticeships are real jobs which mean that, first and foremost, you’ll need to find an opportunity. If you’re not already employed by an organisation that is prepared to sponsor you through an apprenticeship, you will have to identify one. You can do this by approaching an employer directly or by looking on the websites of different financial services organisations. 

You can search for vacancies at www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship, allaboutcareers.com and careerfinder.ucas.com, or visit notgoingtouni.co.uk.

Alternatively, if you are already employed there may be apprenticeship opportunities available within your own organisation. Try speaking with your line manager or the HR Department.

Apply for the role

You’ll need to go through a recruitment process with the employer – in exactly the same way as you would for any other job application.  This will most likely vary depending on the size of the organisation; a larger bank may hold an assessment day, for instance, whereas a smaller company might follow a more informal or personal process.

Take a look at our Careers blog for tips on presenting yourself for job interviews and maximising your impact.

How much will I get paid during my apprenticeship?

For the latest apprenticeship minimum wage rate visit www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide/pay-and-conditions, but, many employers pay much more than this, particularly for higher and degree-level apprentices. Don’t forget that your employer and the Government will be paying your tuition fees and you’ll receive all the normal benefits that you’d expect as a full-time employee, such as paid holidays.

Can I do an apprenticeship while I’m still at school?

No. You cannot be in full-time education and undertake an apprenticeship.

What previous qualifications do I need to undertake an apprenticeship?

Entry requirements vary and you will need to check the role vacancy to see what the employer is looking for.

Can I apply for university courses as well as apprenticeship roles?

If you can’t decide which route is best for you, you can apply for both apprenticeship roles and full-time university courses at the same time. But remember, you must have an offer of employment, or already be employed, to undertake an apprenticeship.

When can I start applying and begin an apprenticeship?

Unlike university applications, there is no fixed national deadline to apply for an apprenticeship. The closing date is set by each individual employer and you can apply while you are still at school.

Can I become an apprentice if I live overseas?

You must be eligible to live and work in England and be employed here for 50 per cent of the time in order to undertake an apprenticeship programme.

Apprenticeship types and levels

As you can see above, apprenticeships are at different educational levels.  Below is a summary outlining what these levels mean.

Apprenticeships are split into the following levels:

  Higher or degree apprenticeship (Level 7)  

  … is equivalent to…   

  Masters degree

  Higher or degree apprenticeship (Level 6)

  … is equivalent to…

  Bachelor degree

  Higher apprenticeship (Level 5)

  … is equivalent to…

  Foundation degree

  Higher apprenticeship (Level 4)

  … is equivalent to…

  Certificate of Higher Education  

  Advanced apprenticeship (Level 3)

  … is equivalent to…

  2 ‘A’ levels

  Intermediate apprenticeship (Level 2)

  … is equivalent to…

  5 GCSEs, grades 9 to 4  (A* to C)

So, for example, if you were to take a Level 3 apprenticeship, you will have achieved the equivalent to ‘A’ level study upon completion.