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Apprenticeships are in! These are the new vocational courses and are roles where you can gain a qualification and the best part, get paid at the same time. They can either be an entry route into the health and care sector or you can start at a higher level depending on your existing qualifications.

As well as direct care roles there are operational roles which you will be able to access an apprenticeship in, which are in either health or care settings. There are various levels and not all will be relevant or applicable to everyone.

Apprenticeships are jobs – and need a vacancy to apply. Some will be advertised externally, others for internal recruitment only as part of career development.

About apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are open to everyone who are 16+, live in England and are not in full time education.

They are an alternative to full time study and allow you to gain a nationally recognised qualification through part time learning (minimum of 20% of your working hours) and on the job training whilst getting paid.

As an apprentice, you’ll work alongside experienced staff gaining invaluable work experience and be able to practice what you are learning in a supported environment.

Apprenticeships can take up to 4 years to complete but are usually between 12-24 months.  Additionally there is an End point assessment period (EPA) of 3 months, where you will be assessed by an external assessor before gaining your qualification and/or apprenticeship certificate.

You could achieve the following qualification, with the equivalent education level:

Apprenticeship           Level                   Equivalent education level 

Intermediate                    2                         GCSE

Advanced                          3                         A Level

Higher                               4, 5, 6, 7             Foundation degree and above

Degree                              6, 7                     Batchelor’s or master’s degree

To find out more about how apprenticeships work, what you’ll get and how to find the right opportunity for you, click on:

Become an apprentice

A guide to apprenticeships

To find out more about apprenticeships in health and care, click on:

Thinking of doing an apprenticeship (Skills for Care)

Step into the NHS apprenticeships

NHS apprenticeships

If you are not ready to start an apprenticeship, you may want to consider a traineeship.

Find an apprenticeship

Apprenticeships can be a route into health and social care at the start of your career, or an opportunity to change or progress in your career – even if you have previous qualifications like a degree!

Find out about the wide range of apprenticeship roles in health and social care, from Level 2 to Level 7 with our Career Matcher:



Apprenticeships are jobs and you need a job vacancy to apply.

Some vacancies are advertised for external recruitment. These are usually at entry level (such as Level 2: Adult care worker and Level 2: Healthcare support worker) and offer a good route into the workplace where you can learn about a first job, demonstrate your value and your potential to continue to learn. Once in the workplace, you can then apply for a higher level apprenticeship (such as Level 3: Lead adult care worker and Level 3: Senior healthcare support worker) as vacancies arise to help you progress your career.

A lot of vacancies are advertised for internal recruitment only, as employers increasingly use apprenticeships to develop their existing staff (such as team leader skills) or to grow their workforce (such as Registered nurse, Occupational therapist, Social worker).

You may also be able to apply for a relevant apprenticeship in your current role as part of an apprenticeship learning pathway – talk to your manager or apprenticeship lead to see what opportunities are available within your workplace.

If you meet the eligibility criteria to apply for an apprenticeship job role, please note that individual courses may have particular entry requirements.  These will normally be incorporated within the apprenticeship recruitment process.


Hear from apprentices

Find out how local NHS primary care and hospital based staff have developed their skills through an apprenticeship programme and how this has helped them and their teams:

Hear from people working in health about being an apprentice:


Click here to watch the video of apprentices in adult social care.

Find an apprenticeship vacancy

Visit Find an apprenticeship to search and apply for current apprenticeship opportunities in your local area.   You can also sign up for the latest job alerts from local health and social care employers on our Vacancies page.

If you are a student or currently looking for work, speak to your careers advisor or employment coach for support.  If you are already working in health and social care, ask your current employer about apprenticeship opportunities.

Click on Help you prepare to apply for an apprenticeship for a range of supporting resources, including help to complete application forms and prepare for interview.

Resources for employers

Apprenticeships – Information for Employers (Gov.UK)

Apprenticeships (Health Education England)

Click on Education and Skills Funding Agency Guidance for information about funding for training and assessing apprentices in England.

For social care employers, click on Apprenticeships (Skills for Care) for information about how to run apprenticeship programmes and available funding.