How it works

You will complete most of your training on-the-job at your designated department. You will work with your supervisor to learn job-specific skills in the workplace. Any formal instruction will be delivered by the Training Provider and may take place in the workplace or through day or block release, depending on your type of apprenticeship.

Alongside your training, you will have the opportunity to achieve your qualification by completing different types of work and development. This will depend on the apprenticeship itself and the level of skill that it requires.

The different levels of apprenticeship correspond to the following:

Different Levels of Apprenticeship and their Equivalent Qualification upon Completion

Level of Apprenticeship

Equivalent qualification upon Completion


(Level 2)


Grades A-C (9-4)


(Level 3)

A Level


(Level 4)

Certificate of Higher Education or Degree


How long?

Apprenticeships last between one and four years depending on the level and complexity of the apprenticeship. For example, you would complete a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Customer Service in 13 months whereas a Level 4 in Engineering may require four years. The Apprenticeship will always be of adequate length to ensure that workplace learning and job experience is sufficient to prepare you for the role required of them.

What will I get out of it?

In general, through an apprenticeship you would obtain:

  • A technical diploma, based on material taught by your training provider through coursework
  • A competence certificate,* based on the skills learnt and demonstrated in the workplace
  • Employee rights and responsibilities
  • Functional skills (short courses in English, Mathematics and ICT)
*For the competence certificate, you will complete tasks at work and build up a portfolio demonstrating the range of skills acquired. Your portfolio will be reviewed periodically by an assessor from the college, who will guide you on what needs to be done to complete the portfolio. In many fields, the competence part is called an NVQ or National Vocational Qualification.

For more information on how to become an apprentice in the UK, visit the government sites here.

Mentoring and peer support

At the start of your apprenticeship, you will be supported by both a supervisor (normally a line manager) and a mentor. Your supervisor will be responsible for helping you organise the work-based training that will allow you to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship role and to complete your portfolio. Your mentor will be an experienced member of staff who will guide you through the day-to-day training and provide support if you were to experience difficulties during your time at Oxford.

Becoming an aprentice