How to get an apprenticeship paying up to £26,000 a year if you don’t get GCSE results you want


WE’RE often programmed into thinking good exam results leads to the best jobs but apprenticeships are worth considering and they can pay up to £28,000 a year.

Students across the country are picking up GCSE results today, but if you don’t get the grades you’d hoped for then it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Credit: Getty – Contributor

In England, anyone aged 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays can apply for an apprenticeship instead of staying on at school or college for A levels or similar.

With apprenticeships, you combine practical on the job training alongside studying – usually it’ll be four days in the office and one day studying.

They usually take one to five years to complete and some give you an additional qualification at the end too – we’ve rounded-up the varying levels in the box out below.

But the good news is you get paid while you do them.

The levels of apprenticeship

THERE are different types of apprenticeship as we outline below:

  • Intermediate – Level 2 – equivalent to GCSE
  • Advanced – Level 3 – equivalent to A level
  • Higher – Levels 4, 5, 6, and 7 – equivalent to foundation degree and above
  • Degree – Levels 6 and 7 – equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree

You can use the government’s website to find apprenticeships in England, while similar schemes also run in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Apprenticeships are offered by small independent businesses, such as hairdressers and childcare providers, while large nationwide companies also run their own schemes.

Pret apprentices can earn up to £26,200

Another big company to offer apprenticeships is Pret – it has a level 2 hospitality apprenticeship, a level 3 team supervisor apprenticeship, and it goes all the way up to a level 6 undergrad degree in business management.

You don’t need any qualifications to apply – you just need to be 16-years-old or over – and salaries start at £15,200.

These then rise to £17,000 while you’re completing level 3, then to £26,000 while you’re completing levels 4 and above.

We found roles goes in central London, which you can apply for via Gov.uk – bear in mind that we couldn’t find the roles listed on the Pret website.

Earn £15,615 with apprenticeships at Hilton

Hotel chain Hilton has a number of apprentices across the country for roles including chefs, waitresses/waiters, housekeepers, events planning and sales, and front desk.

The level 2 roles don’t require any qualifications and you’ll be paid £15,615.60 a year.

There’s no minimum age requirement but as these are level 2 roles you should be able to apply from age 16 upwards.

Credit: Getty – Contributor

You can apply on the Hilton website.

Specsavers pays apprentices around £10,000 a year

Specsavers has two types of level 2 apprenticeship with vacancies nationwide.

One is for optical assistants working on the shop floor and one is for optical technicians working in the lab.

Both pay around £10,000 a year – although we found one optical assistant role in Bognor Regis in West Sussex paying £11,154.

There’s no minimum wage listed, you just need to be a recent school leaver.

But for the technician role you’ll need a C/4 or above in both GCSE maths and English, while the assistant role requires a D/3 or above in GCSE maths and English.

You can view roles and apply on the Specsavers website for optical assistant and optical technician apprenticeships.

New Look has apprenticeships at £7,706

We found clothing retailer New Look offering level 2 sales assistant apprenticeships in Edinburgh in Scotland.

Roles pay £7,706 a year and you’ll be working 38-hours a week. You can apply via the Scottish apprenticeships website.

Credit: Getty – Contributor

There’s no minimum age listed and you don’t need any qualifications, although a national 4 qualification or equivalent is preferred.

Get paid up to £28,000 at Openreach

Communication company Openreach claims to be the country’s largest employer of apprentices.

Its trainee engineer apprentices start on £21,000 in their first year, rising to £28,000 once they’ve finished their first year of training – and those in London get up to £3,380 more.

You don’t need any formal qualifications but you do need a basic level of maths and English and you’ll have to pass a colour vision test.

The only catch is you need to be slightly older for this – at least 18 – and you’ll need a driving licence with no more than six points.

The number of top GCSE grades has soared for the second year in a row despite an exam shake-up.

While last Thursday saw older students picking up their A level results.

And if you’re planning to celebrate or commiserate your results, a number of restaurants, including Nando’s, are giving out freebies and discounts to students.

Nervous students opening A-level results live onTV given therapy dog to stroke


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