Information for parents

As a parent or carer you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. There are many options available to young people after they reach 16, with apprenticeships being a key route into a successful career.

An apprenticeship combines a real job with training which would allow your daughter or son to earn while they learn, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete and cover 1,500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from engineering to accountancy, public relations to veterinary nursing. Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond.

School leaving age
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 1 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.

» View Apprenticeships we offer » View the Parent and Carers Guide

Benefits of an Apprenticeship

  • Earn a salary
  • Training in the skills employers want
  • Excellent progression opportunities
  • Study further or climb the ranks within the workplace
  • Increased future earning potential
  • Marked salary increases on completion of training. Those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime
  • Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor
  • Paid holiday.

Entry requirements
Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job. View the apprenticeships on offer at Bedford College.

Benefits of an apprenticeship

Apprenticeship levels
There are various levels of apprenticeships your son or daughter could apply for at Bedford College depending on their current skills and qualifications. Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

Intermediate (Level 2)
3 GCSE passes at grades A* to D (9-3)

Advanced (Level 3)
4 GCSE passes at grades A* to C (9-4)

Higher (Levels 4 & 5)
2 A-Levels or a relevant Level 3 BTEC 

All apprenticeships lead to industry recognised qualifications and all will require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice's ability and competence in their job role.


As of April 2018, 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 e.g. some higher apprenticeships can pay as much as £300-£500 per week. More details on salaries and entry criteria in specific apprenticeship occupations can be accessed by looking at our apprenticeship vacancies.

We work with over 1,000 small, medium and large businesses across the county and further afield.

Some of the businesses Bedford College work with include:

Employers we work with

If an employer has offered them an apprenticeship

Step 1

Get them to call our Employer Engagement team on 01234 291747 and let us know the Apprenticeship programme they wish to undertake and the details of their employer.

Step 2

A member of our Employer Engagement team will visit their employer and complete all the relevant paper work and they will be invited in to enrol and complete English and maths assessments.

Step 3

They will start their apprenticeship.

» View apprenticeships we offer

If they are looking for an apprenticeship

Step 1

Get them to view our current vacancies and apply for any vacancies they may be interested in. If they can’t find a suitable vacancy, they can submit their CV and we will work with them to find the right Apprenticeship.  Alternatively, they can come to one of Bedford College’s Open Days and speak to our Apprenticeship Recruitment Team.

Step 2

They will be invited in to meet with a member of the Apprenticeship Recruitment Team to discuss their application further. This meeting will include an overview of apprenticeships and a discussion about the job they have applied for as well as others they may be interested in, a brief question and answer session,  support with CV and application forms,  interview technique and preparation.

Step 3

Once we have met with them we will forward their application to the relevant employers with feedback from their meeting, recommending them as a candidate to  interview. Once an employer has offered them an apprenticeship they will be invited in to enrol and complete their English and maths assessments.

» View Apprenticeship vacancies

If you would like to find out more, please contact the Apprenticeship Recruitment Team on 01234 291090.