Apprenticeships are government-funded work-based training programmes for people who are aged 16 and over and not in full-time education. They combine on-the-job training with nationally recognised qualifications and are a fantastic way to develop a highly skilled and trained workforce.

Apprenticeships are excellent pathways into real-world working and teach valuable skills, which include practical learning; developmental opportunities; character building; employability skills and a vast range of training delivered to exact standards.

The Black Country NHS Apprenticeship Academy combines practical (on-the-job) learning with formal, theoretical and knowledge-based learning that is delivered directly by NHS experts.

What you’ll need

Choosing the right apprenticeship is a big decision to make, as it could be the stepping stone into the career that takes you far in life. If an apprenticeship is the right route for you, you may be wondering what qualifications you need to start, or how the qualifications that you have already obtained affect your chances of being recruited. Before applying for any apprenticeship, you’ll need to have a basic level of English and Maths; a genuine interest in the role that you are looking to apply for; and even possess some of the skills required for that role. Each apprenticeship has different criteria to meet and some higher level apprenticeships expect a little more than others from their candidates.


Everybody has different learning styles. We, as an organisation, realise that not everyone performs well in exams, and some people succeed with a more ‘hands on’ approach.  However, we still need good, quality candidates applying for our jobs. Therefore, if you have at least 5 GCSEs graded A*-C or equivalent qualifications including English Language and Maths, you’ve got a very good chance in the application process.

A Levels

Not everyone knows that you can start an apprenticeship following GCSEs. However, if you’ve completed your A Levels, or even if you have only achieved your AS year, you can still apply for a role successfully. With the extra knowledge that you have gained from this level of study, you are likely to start your apprenticeship at Level 2 or 3, possibly even Level 4 in some circumstances.

University Education – a Degree

Unfortunately, if you have been to university and graduated from your course, or received any form of qualification from your time in university education, you will not be able to apply for an apprenticeship, as you will not be eligible for the Government funding required to pay for the course. Exceptions are made, however, if you decide to leave university before you qualify. You can then go on to apply for apprenticeship positions using the qualifications that you gained prior to university. Overall, the only qualification that will stop you from achieving a role as an apprentice is a degree. Up to this level, you are likely to gain a role as an apprentice, regardless of the qualification level, or grade earned.

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