Apprenticeships with West Suffolk College
As part of the Eastern Education Group, we are committed to providing students with an exceptional educational experience, offering a diverse range of pathways to success.
Whether you are a current student looking to progress, or you’re looking for an alternative pathway to A Levels, our partnership with West Suffolk College opens up exciting opportunities with over 75 apprenticeship programmes for you to choose from!
An apprenticeship is a work-based training programme for people aged 16 and over, where you will have a paid job whilst completing a formal qualification. Apprentices reap the benefits of gaining invaluable workplace skills and behaviours that will kickstart their career, while they complete a fully funded study programme, so it really is the best of both worlds.
Learn. Earn. Kickstart your career with an Apprenticeship.
How do apprenticeships work?
Apprenticeships are based in the workplace, so you will need to be employed to start one. You’ll have a formal contract of employment with your employer and your time will be split into 80% work and 20% learning. This learning can be delivered either by a day release to college, or in the workplace as protected study time.
Apprenticeships can take between 12 and 48 months to complete, depending on the level and qualification you are studying.
Apprenticeships vs University
Many more young people are now choosing an apprenticeship as an alternative to university. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to gain a qualification that is held in the same regard as, and often is equivalent to a degree, without racking up debt from university fees and accommodation costs.
Degree apprenticeships are rising in popularity, and employers are increasingly keen to recruit people who have been embedded in a workplace and possess the associated skills and behaviours that can be obtained from completing an apprenticeship.
Meet our current apprentices
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“If I hadn’t done an apprenticeship, there’s no way I’d be going into a digital marketing field...It will allow me to climb up the ladder here and give back where I can.”
Digital Marketing Apprentice
Top 5 reasons for studying an apprenticeship
FAQs and Mythbusting
Is there an age limit for apprenticeships?
You have to be at least 16 years old to complete an apprenticeship, but you’ll be pleased to know there is no age limit! So, whether you’re leaving school or college, or fancy a career change, an apprenticeship could be for you.
Will I have to go to college one day per week?
While some apprenticeship programmes require you to attend college on day release alongside other apprentices, many are now delivered directly to you during your working week. Your employer will be required to allocate you protected study time, which will consist of online learning, completing assessments and meetings with your Programme Tutor from college.
What will an apprentice earn?
One of the key benefits of studying an apprenticeship is that you can earn while you learn. All apprentices are entitled to be paid the national minimum wage for apprenticeships. This rate of pay can be different depending on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you are in and will change every year in April.
Although the minimum rate of pay is set by the Government, salaries can vary considerably between employers, with many apprenticeship roles paying above minimum wage. Apprentices also receive at least 20 days paid holiday per year, along with bank holidays, just like any other employee.
Apprenticeships Q&A Video
Myth: Apprentices don’t do real jobs.
As an apprentice, you’ll hit the ground running from day one and be working on real projects. You’ll be treated like any other employee, but don’t worry, you’ll get support from your employer and won’t be expected to know everything straight away.
Myth: Apprenticeships are only for manual jobs.
This is one of the most common myths. While there are some apprenticeships that are manual in the construction industry for example, you can now also find apprenticeships in business, digital solutions, engineering, pharmaceutical and so many other industries.
Myth: I have to go to university to have a good career.
False! You can complete qualifications equivalent to, and even receive a degree via an apprenticeship pathway. Employers highly regard those who have completed an apprenticeship as they have built invaluable workplace skills and experience while studying.
Myth: Apprentices aren’t paid a decent wage.
Businesses are required to pay the national minimum wage for apprentices, and you’ll find that many choose to pay more. Your pay will likely increase as you become more qualified, and you will receive all your training without taking out a student loan.