The Army has the largest apprenticeship programme in the country, with about 95% of new soldiers taking part and over 8,000 completing their apprenticeship training each year.
Army apprenticeships are part of a nationally recognised scheme, giving soldiers the chance to work for an employer at the same time as studying for a relevant, work-based qualification.
Each apprenticeship fits in with military training and is closely related to a soldier's Army role, so as well as becoming a better soldier, they are working towards a qualification that will be valued by civilian employers. Apprenticeships in the Army are delivered on full pay.
There are two apprenticeship levels:
Apprenticeship Level 2 (equivalent to five good GCSE passes)
Military trade training forms the core of this level. A range of key skills qualifications (including literacy and numeracy) are completed, and a technical certificate is gained. By the end of the apprenticeship, soldiers ar skilled Army tradesman, and are rewarded with an NVQ Level 2.
Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3 (equivalent to two A-level passes)
These apprenticeships apply to the Army's technical trades. Advanced Apprentices gain the relevant technical certificates through their trade training as well as an NVQ Level 3 and Key Skills. To qualify for an Advanced Apprenticeship five GCSEs at grade C or above ar required. Alternatively a Level 2 Army Apprenticeship is acceptable.
An Army apprenticeship is only the start. Every job in the Army offers the opportunity to progress to gain professional skills leading to higher qualifications, including full Batchelors and Masters degrees.
The aim of apprenticeships is to provide training that is closely linked to a job, so the apprenticeships offered reflect whatever Army role is choosen.
The Army offers apprenticeships in many careers, including: engineering, information and communications technologies, construction, driving and animal care. New programmes to fit with Army training are being developed all the time.
Apprenticeships are generally started while doing Army training. If a soldier's literacy and numeracy skills still need some work the Army will help them reach the right standard. All they have to do is meet the entry requirements set by their chosen Regiment or Corps.