Working for the NHS as an apprentice

What’s in it for me?

  • Earn a real wage.
  • Be trained in the skills employers want.
  • You will set yourself up for the future.
  • Apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training.
  • Those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime.

What levels are there?

All apprenticeships include elements of on the job and off the job training, leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships also require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice’s ability and competence in their job role.

NameLevelEquivalent educational level
Intermediate25 GCSE passes at grade A*-C

OR 9-4

Advanced32 A level passes/level 3 diploma

International baccalaureate

Higher4,5,6 & 7Foundation degree and above
Degree6&7Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Entry Requirements

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England. The National Apprenticeship service is committed to ensuring that high quality apprenticeships are a prestigious option, accessible to all people from all backgrounds. All vacancies on Find an apprenticeship will clearly state what the entry requirements are for the job role being advertised. There will be different entry requirements depending on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level. Recent changes to the minimum English and maths requirements now mean that people with a learning difficulty or disability can now access a level 2 intermediate

apprenticeship as long as they can achieve an entry level 3 qualification during their apprenticeship. A Disability Confident employer will generally offer an interview to any applicant that declares they have a disability and meets the minimum criteria as defined by the employer. For more details, search Disability Confident on GOV.UK.

How many hours per week should I be working?

The minimum duration of each apprenticeship is based on the apprentice working 30 hours a week or more, including any off-the-job training you undertake. However, this does not apply in every circumstance. For example, people with caring responsibilities or people with a disability may work reduced weekly hours. Where this is the case, the duration of the apprenticeship will extended to take account of this. The time spent on off-the-job training should be at least 20% and should be included as part of your hours. Your employer must allow you time to complete your apprenticeship within your working hours. If you need support with English and maths this should also be within your working hours.

What can I earn?

What is the role of my training provider?

Your training provider has a key role to play in providing off-the-job training, assessing your progress towards achieving your qualifications and supporting you generally during your apprenticeship. They work very closely with your employer to ensure that you receive

  • An induction programme on starting.
  • A detailed training plan (including on-the-job training).
  • Regular progress reviews.
  • Opportunities to put into practice off-the-job learning so that you can achieve your qualifications/requirements of the apprenticeship.
  • Mentoring and general support throughout the apprenticeship.

This will all be documented in a commitment statement that is part of the apprenticeship agreement. This is an individual learning plan  that your provider, your employer and you will all sign up to. You can find out more about learner satisfaction with training organisations and colleges by accessing the learner satisfaction survey results on the FE choices pages of GOV.UK

Useful links

Follow National Apprenticeship Service on twitter: @apprenticeships


Search for apprenticeships on GOV.UK or call 08000150400

In this video we talk about the apprenticeship programmes we offer in the NHS and the potential to develop on your career path. Earn whilst learn.

Apprenticeships LIVE with Northern Devon NHS Trust from Learn Live on Vimeo.

Last updated: March 1, 2019