What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes; they can provide routes into a variety of careers within Health and Care. They are an excellent opportunity to earn, gain work experience and achieve a nationally recognised apprenticeship. They enable individuals to gain experience, skills and knowledge in an apprenticeship relevant to the occupational area of work and to become fully competent in the chosen job role/career.

Apprenticeships provide paid routes into a variety of Health and Care careers through a blended approach of classroom and on-the-job training.

Health and Care apprenticeships are not just clinical, there are non-clinical opportunities available across organisations in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

NHS apprenticeships are available at four levels that have different entry requirements:

  • Intermediate (Level 2) apprenticeships (equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4 or A*-C)There are no set entry requirements for an intermediate apprenticeship, but employers may set their own. Completing an intermediate level apprenticeship provides the skills you need for certain roles or allows entry to an advanced level apprenticeship.
  • Advanced (Level 3) apprenticeships (equivalent to 2 A-levels)To start an advanced level apprenticeship you should have 5 GCSEs (at grades 9-4 or A*-C) or have completed an intermediate level apprenticeship.
  • Higher (Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7) apprenticeships (equivalent to a foundation degree and above)To start a higher level apprenticeship you should have 2 A-Levels (or equivalent) or have completed an advanced level apprenticeship.
  • Degree (Levels 6 and 7) apprenticeships (equivalent to a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree)To start a degree level apprenticeship you should have 2 A-Levels (or equivalent) or have completed an advanced level or higher level apprenticeship.

Looking for an apprenticeship:

In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, there are many apprenticeships which you can do after leaving school. To find out more about these, you can look at organisations websites. There is also the government portal and NHS jobs.


Top tip:

If you are unsure of what apprenticeships are on offer, contact the organizations directly for advice.

Entry Requirements:

Entry requirements for apprenticeships vary, depending on the employer and level of the apprenticeship; it is possible you may need certain previous qualifications such as GCSEs and A-Levels.

In addition, functional skills will be required if you have not achieved grades 9 – 4 (A*- C) in GCSE Maths and English. For some programmes information communication technology (ICT) may be required. It is always best to check on apprenticeship adverts or job descriptions. Remember – If you are unsure, contact the organisation’s apprenticeship team directly.

For more information on support for English and Maths functional skills, see Skills for Health and Basic and Key Skill Builder (BKSB).

If you need additional support in looking for functional skills courses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, please email us at:

In general, to be an apprentice:

  • You must be aged 16 or over.
  • You must not be in full-time education.
  • You must live in England, though opportunities do exist in other countries within the UK. Note: for non-UK citizens who have permission in the reside in the UK you have to have been a resident in the UK for three years (from day one of starting an apprenticeship).

Other benefits of an apprenticeship:

  • You are entitled to holiday leave as in a ‘normal’ job.
  • Earn a wage whilst you are learning (from employer).
  • Gain skills relevant to your aspired role.
  • You will have support from your colleagues (team).
  • Work includes a combination of on- and off-the-job training, with 20% of your time spent in study.

Hover over the pictures below to see what 20% off the job training may include:

University or college
Classroom taught sessions
Team days
Independent study

After completing an apprenticeship:

  •  You may be offered a permanent job in the place you are working, most successful apprentices stay in employment often with the same employer.
  • You will gain a nationally recognised certificate, qualification or professional accreditation.
  • You will have experience in the area of work you are in.
  • You could continue studying by moving onto higher level apprenticeships.

Healthcare Assistance Practitioner


Apprentice Pharmacy Assistant


Apprentice Electrician


Administration Apprentice


Laboratory Technician Apprentice


Exercise and Fitness Apprentice