Not sure about what apprenticeships are, how long they take, or what they involve?  

Don't worry, here are answers to some of the questions you may have about marine apprenticeships.

What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships offer genuine, paid employment, training and development in a skilled occupation over a specified period of time. 

Who can become an apprentice?

Marine sector apprenticeships are available to any person aged over 16 who is not in full time education and who is eligible to work in the UK.

Some apprenticeships also have certain entry requirements, which are detailed on the specific apprenticeship frameworks or standards.

What are the benefits in undertaking an apprenticeship?

  • Apprentices earn whilst they learn in a real job.
  • Apprenticeships provide a choice for those aged 16 and over on how they continue in education or training.
  • Apprenticeships provide opportunities for people to change occupations and gain structured development in the new role. 
  • Apprenticeships are open to new staff and also those already employed.
  • Apprenticeships provide practical and theoretical learning gained both on and off the job.
  • Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to put learning and skills into practice in a supportive real work environment.
  • Apprenticeships provide the opportunity for people to gain recognition for the competence gained in the chosen job and industry.

Why undertake an apprenticeship?

The quotes below from actual apprentices highlight why decide on an apprenticeship

“Always a practical person and I wanted a trade”

“Get paid to learn”

“Paid to learn and get first hand experience”

“I decided on an apprenticeship because I had a taste for work when I worked weekends. I preferred going into full time work rather than going to school and doing engineering/mechanically. I also thought that it would be great to be able to get qualifications and earn  money at the same time”

“To learn marine engineering trade hands on”

“Ability to learn new skill sin the job”

“Get training on the job whilst being paid”

Are there different types of apprenticeship schemes?

Yes, there are different types of apprenticeship schemes which cover a range of occupations.  There are Apprenticeship Framework Pathways and newer Apprenticeship Standards.

Apprenticeship Framework Pathways are being phased out as part of Government reforms and are being replaced with the new Apprenticeship Standards. 

Irrespective of the type of apprenticeship scheme undertaken, you will get support and on the job and off the job training and development.    

Are all marine sector apprenticeships the same level?

No, each approved apprenticeship is assigned a level that links to an equivalent academic level.

  • Level 2 intermediate - equivalent to 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C (or 4 to 9 numeric equivalent)
  • Level 3 Advanced - equivalent to 2 A level passes
  • Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 - equivalent to foundation degree and above

Do the different marine sector apprenticeships have specific entry requirements?

Apprenticeships can have entry requirements, which will vary depending on the focus and job role of the apprenticeship. 

Apprenticeship schemes that have a marine focus can be demanding, and many companies may expect you to have at least 4 GCSEs at Grade C (or numeric grade 4) or above . These tend to be related to English and STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).  The entry requirements will however vary between employers. 

Employers also look for certain attitudes and interest in the industry as part of the entry requirements and an ability to communicate well with others.

Companies will detail any entry requirements in the apprenticeship advert or other documentation.

How long is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships take between 1 and 5 years to complete depending on the type of apprenticeship and the apprenticeship level.

What apprenticeships are available in the marine industry?

Where can I find out specific information about the different marine apprenticeships?

Employers and training providers can advertise their apprenticeship programmes in different ways. 

They can be advertised on GOV.UK.  The website can be used to search for and apply for apprenticeships in England. Click here to access the ‘find an apprenticeship tool’.

Employers may also advertise their apprenticeships in the local press, at careers fairs and by giving information to careers advisors at schools.  Employers may also use local colleges to promote the apprenticeships that they have. 

The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) website is also worth looking at, as it provides some useful information and links for anyone considering undertaking an apprenticeship.  

The British Marine Job Vacancies web page is also used by employers to advertise job vacancies including apprenticeships.

Are there different ways to apply for an apprenticeship?

There are various ways you can apply for an apprenticeship; for example, you can apply via the GOV.UK ‘Apply for an Apprenticeship’ webpage, or you can contact specific employers and they will direct you to their preferred apprenticeship application method.

Also worth a look is the Get In Go Far website as this provides step by step guidance on how to apply for an apprenticeship. 

Are there ways to make an apprenticeship application stand out?

A useful document on the GOV.UK website ‘Don’t dream it, do it’, provides useful guidance, hints and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship and ways that you can help your apprenticeship application to stand out.  Also see the Applying for an Apprentice – Hints and Tips page for information.

How much are apprentices paid?

One of the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship is that you get paid to learn. There is a minimum apprenticeship wage rate but employers may elect to pay more than this.  Details about the apprenticeship pay and conditions (for example hours worked and holidays apprentices are entitled to) can be accessed here.

What is the difference between an apprenticeship framework and an apprenticeship standard?

Apprenticeship Frameworks have a number of Pathways linked to them.  The apprenticeship reforms that are taking place mean that these are over time being phased out and will be replaced with new Apprenticeship Standards. Successful completion of an Apprenticeship Framework Pathway is dependent on passing a range of qualifications (technical certificates and vocational qualifications) throughout the duration of the apprenticeship.

You will see more and more of the new apprenticeship standards over time.  The new Apprenticeship Standards will in time replace the older Apprenticeship Frameworks. These new standards are designed by employer groups and clearly detail what apprentices need to know and understand and the skills and behaviours required by them, for specific occupations.  Apprenticeship standards tend to provide more flexibility for employers and their apprentices on the development and training programmes undertaken for the apprentice to acquire the necessary occupational competence. To successfully complete an Apprenticeship Standard apprentices need to pass an end point assessment - the type of end point assessment will vary from apprenticeship to apprenticeship.