Guidance for parents

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A Parents Guide to Apprenticeships

As a parent/guardian, you want your child to get the best possible start in their career and with so many options available to young people after they leave school, it can be daunting when offering advice.

As someone providing parental guidance, you will want your child to get the best possible start in their career and with so many options available to young people after they leave school, it can be daunting when offering advice. So here are some frequently asked questions to help you support your child in making the right decision for them.

Apprenticeships – guidance for parents


Apprenticeships are a valuable pathway for young individuals to gain practical skills, industry experience, and qualifications while earning a wage. As a parent, you play a crucial role in supporting and guiding your child through their apprenticeship journey. This guidance aims to provide you with essential advice and information to help your child make informed decisions and make the most of their apprenticeship experience.

Can you apply for an apprenticeship if you also want to apply to university?

Yes! Your child can apply for both and make their final decision after they’ve had time to consider their options.

When do apprenticeships start?

There is no specific start date for apprenticeships so make sure your child has signed up for job alerts in order to be the first to know when roles go live.

Understanding apprenticeships

  • Familiarize yourself with the concept of apprenticeships, including the different levels, types, and frameworks available. Research the industries and occupations that offer apprenticeship opportunities aligned with your child's interests.
  • Learn about the benefits of apprenticeships, such as the combination of on-the-job training, theoretical learning, and earning a wage. Understand the potential career progression and future opportunities that apprenticeships can provide.

Research and exploration

  • Encourage your child to explore different apprenticeship options and research companies, training providers, and apprenticeship vacancies in their desired field. Websites like the National Apprenticeship Service and industry-specific organizations can provide valuable information.
  • Help your child understand the entry requirements, application process, and deadlines for apprenticeships. Support them in preparing their application, including writing a strong CV and cover letter.

Supporting decision-making

  • Engage in open and supportive conversations with your child about their career aspirations and interests. Help them assess their strengths, skills, and areas of passion that align with apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Encourage your child to consider the long-term prospects of the chosen apprenticeship, such as the potential for professional growth, further education, and transferable skills.
  • Discuss the financial aspects of apprenticeships, including wages, benefits, and any associated costs. Help your child evaluate the feasibility of their choices and plan their budget accordingly.

Engaging with training providers and employers

  • Encourage your child to actively engage with training providers and employers during the application and interview process. Help them prepare for interviews, develop good communication skills, and create a positive impression.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions about the training program, support provided, and potential career progression. Ensure they have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of their apprenticeship, including working hours, holidays, and any additional requirements.

Balance work and learning

  • Recognise that apprenticeships require a balance between work and learning commitments. Support your child in managing their time effectively, meeting work deadlines, and fulfilling their training requirements.
  • Encourage your child to develop good work habits, such as punctuality, reliability, and professionalism. Help them understand the importance of taking responsibility for their learning and seeking support when needed.

Personal development and well-being

  • Promote the importance of personal development alongside professional growth. Encourage your child to develop transferable skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability.
  • Support your child's well-being by fostering a positive work-life balance. Encourage them to maintain a healthy routine, manage stress effectively, and seek support if they encounter challenges.

Progression and future opportunities

  • Discuss potential progression routes after completing the apprenticeship, such as higher-level apprenticeships, further education, or direct employment. Help your child explore the possibilities for career advancement within their chosen industry.
  • Encourage your child to continue learning and upskilling beyond the apprenticeship through continuous professional development opportunities and further qualifications.


As a parent, your guidance and support are vital in helping your child navigate the world of apprenticeships. By understanding the apprenticeship landscape, providing support throughout the decision-making process, and promoting personal and professional development, you can empower your child to make the most of their apprenticeship experience and set the foundation for a successful career.

What qualifications are apprenticeships equivalent to?

Apprenticeship levels work slightly differently to typical academic levels. In school, you will take GCSEs, A levels or bachelor’s degrees but apprenticeships are ranked in terms of:

  • Intermediate (Level 2)
  • Advanced (Level 3)
  • Higher/degree (Level 4-7)


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