Parent's Page

Parent’s information

As a parent you want your child to get the best possible start in their career.  You might be aware that the government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training.  If your child was born on or after 1st September 1997 they must stay in some form of education or training until at least their 18th birthday.  This does not necessarily mean staying in school; young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post-16, which could be through:

• An Apprenticeship or traineeship
• Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
• Full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training

An Apprenticeship is a genuine job, with training, meaning you can earn while you learn and gain a nationally recognised qualification.

What are the benefits?
Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond. Over 70 national universities are currently offering a range of degree apprenticeships with more to be confirmed throughout the year.

– Earning a salary and paid holiday;
– Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace;
– Increased future earning potential – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases on finishing their training and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime

What levels are there?
There are various levels of apprenticeship to apply for depending on current skills and qualifications.  Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

Name Level Equivalent Educational Level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes at Grade A*- C or 9 – 4
Advanced 3 2 A Level Passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 HND Level and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree


All apprenticeships include elements of on the job and off the job training leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships will require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice`s ability and competence in their job role.

The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.70 per hour, but many employers pay more than this. This is dependent on the sector, region and apprenticeship level.

Common misconceptions about Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships offer a fantastic gateway to a range of career opportunities.
Here’s the truth behind the most common myths parents, teachers and students believe:

Apprenticeships are restricted to a certain age group>FALSE
Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 16 or over.  Apprenticeships offer the perfect solution for people looking to upskill, re-enter the workforce or even change their career path.

Apprenticeships are restricted to traditional manual industries>FALSE
Apprenticeships nowadays are a route into a much wider range of professional industries.  Preston’s College offers qualifications for most career paths, which you can view here.

Apprenticeships are for people with poor grades or who can’t get to University>FALSE
Far from being a secondary option for those who perform poorly at school, Apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative to further and higher education for those who are ambitious, career focused and want to combine learning with work experience and earning.  

Apprenticeships won’t lead to University level study>FALSE
Again this is simply not true. Apprenticeships open up a variety of doors and can take you all the way to the top of your chosen career.  Apprenticeships are widely recognised by employers and you can progress to study qualifications at degree and master’s level through an Apprenticeship.  The added value is, you won’t accrue student debt.

How can I support my child?
As a parent, the best way to support your child is to ensure they have enough information about the career they want to pursue to make an informed decision.  Whilst many young people leaving school might want to start an Apprenticeship, the reality is, they may not be ready and might not be in a position to compete against College learners or adults who may have relevant qualifications or work experience.  Think about how you can support your child to add value to their CV and consider how they might secure an Apprenticeship placement with an employer.