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Information for aspiring apprentices

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

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About Apprenticeships

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

Read our Head of Apprenticeships, Karen Taylor’s, blog series bringing you up-to-date guidance, along with the latest goings-on and discussions in the world of apprenticeships.

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 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

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 find apprenticeship vacancies on the gov.uk apprenticeship search tool and, if you create a gov.uk account, you’ll be able to receive alerts about new apprenticeships.  You can also look for apprenticeship opportunities on the not going to uni website.

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.

From 1 April 2017, the National Minimum Wage for apprentices increased to £3.50 an hour, rising to £3.70 in April 2018. This rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over in their first year.  However, in practice many apprentices get much higher. Your salary should also increase as you gain more experience. You will be entitled to holidays and all other benefits enjoyed by an organisation’s employees.

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

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

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.

You can apply at any time of the year. The start date of your apprenticeship depends upon the availability of a position at an employer.

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.

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