What's an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job with a structured training programme to support the employee in their role. 

What's an apprenticeship?
Image: Informer © Neal Street Productions

Apprenticeships are jobs with a structured training programme that takes up 20 per cent of the employees time. They are about supporting people to become capable professionals, building personal development and adding real value to businesses.

There are different levels of apprenticeship. They all have to last a minimum period of 12 months. Some involve study equivalent to that of an A-Level or Higher.  Others involve study equivalent to a degree and can last for up to three years.

Apprenticeships involve working with ‘apprenticeship standards’ - a set of knowledge, skills and behavioural standards, agreed by employers, that a person needs to be competent in a specific role.

Employers who want to take on apprenticeships then create their own training programmes, designed around the standard, in collaboration with a dedicated training provider.

How apprenticeships work:

Who can do an apprenticeship?

The following criteria makes someone eligible to be an apprentice:

  • Anyone aged over 16
  • Graduates and non-graduates
  • New or existing staff
  • Individuals that have a right to work in the UK

What types of screen industry apprenticeships are there?

There are lots of different roles for people in the screen industries and the range of relevant apprenticeships is broad and varied.

Apprenticeships are categorised by ‘routes’ for each industry type, and there are plenty of apprenticeships in the Creative and Design route that have been specifically designed for job roles in the screen industries. You can read each apprenticeship standard to find out who the programme is for, how long it usually lasts,  the knowledge, skills and behaviours covered during the training, and how it will be assessed. It also lists the names of companies that were involved in developing the apprenticeship standard, so you can search their websites to see the apprenticeships they offer.

There are also  apprenticeship standards available that have been designed for working in other industries, either in the Creative and Design sector or more widely. Screen employers and training providers may offer apprenticeships that have been adapted from these standards, giving you specific training for jobs in screen as well as relevant skills that could easily be transferred to working in another sector altogether.

The standards above are comprehensive programmes to train apprentices for the screen industry roles listed. However, training providers need to adapt how they deliver the training and assessment for the standard, to cover the most relevant skills and knowledge in the workplace or the classroom, and to contextualise the content specifically for screen.

ScreenSkills has worked with partner training providers and the Institute for Apprenticeships to develop mapping to show how the standards fit the specific skills and knowledge required in these screen industry roles. These can easily be downloaded and used by other employers and trainers, using the links above.

What are apprenticeship levels?

Apprenticeships are usually described as being a certain level.  This indicates the standard of learning that will be required to complete the apprenticeship.

  • Level 3 apprenticeships involve the level of study similar to that of an A-level
  • Level 4 apprenticeships involve the level of study similar to that of a higher national certificate or first year at university
  • Level 5 apprenticeships involve the level of study similar to that of a higher national diploma or first two years at university
  • Level 6 qualifications apprenticeships involve the level of study similar to that of an undergraduate degree
  • Level 7 apprenticeships involve the level of study similar to that of a master's degree

By the end of the apprenticeship the apprentice will have developed industry-recognised skills and have an apprenticeship certificate to prove it.

Find out more about apprenticeships