Four happy students having a conversation 

When it comes to apprenticeships, “the only way is Essex”!

Seriously, Essex is a county with a huge range of apprenticeship opportunities. Being close to London and having a mix of industries across towns, cities and rural areas means that Essex has a diverse range of apprenticeships, whatever type of career you are interested in.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job with training and is for anyone aged 16 and over. During an apprenticeship, you’ll work with experienced staff and gain qualifications by doing practical and academic learning. Your employer will give you on-the-job tasks, and a training provider will equip you with the theoretical skills to perform those tasks.

As an apprentice, you’ll earn while you learn, so you can gain an industry-specific qualification without needing a student loan. You’ll be employed full-time (usually between 30-40 hours per week), which includes time spent with your training provider.

Importance of apprenticeships for school leavers

For anyone about to leave school, an apprenticeship is an ideal alternative to A Levels or university. If you aren’t suited to full-time study, an apprenticeship gets you into the world of work while allowing you to gain practical skills in a job. What’s more, you will be earning a wage at the same time. At the end of the apprenticeship you earn a qualification which is nationally recognised, and which will give you a head start in your chosen career.

Types of apprenticeships in Essex

Industries offering apprenticeships in Essex

From construction to IT, engineering to teaching, Essex has a wide range of industries offering apprenticeships with on-the-job training.  

Popular apprenticeship schemes in Essex

Construction in particular is well served by apprenticeship schemes in Essex. Colleges such as South Essex College, Harlow College, Colchester Institute and Chelmsford College offer a great choice of apprenticeship schemes in association with local employers.

The South East Institute of Technology at Chelmsford College specialises in Level 3 and 4 apprenticeships in Construction and Engineering, including Level 3 diplomas in Construction and the Built Environment, and Level 4 HNCs, with courses in fields such as bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry and joinery.

Apprenticeships in popular Essex towns

Wherever you live in Essex, there will be an apprenticeship available nearby. If you are in the north of the county, in and around Colchester, there are plenty of opportunities in one of the South-East’s fastest growing cities. Further south, Chelmsford, the birthplace of radio, has a proud industrial history. Today it is construction which is making waves, and apprentices are needed right across Chelmsford and the mid-Essex area.

Apprentice bricklayers undertaking a task

Why do an apprenticeship in Essex?

Career development opportunities

Apprenticeships offer young people fantastic opportunities to develop their careers. Gaining nationally recognised qualifications at the end of each apprenticeship level opens up pathways to advancing your career in the future, or taking further apprenticeships such as higher or degree apprenticeships.

Earning while learning

One of the best things about apprenticeships is the chance to earn a wage at the same time as studying and training. You can earn the minimum wage if you are in the first year of your apprenticeship or under the age of 18, then your wages rise by specific ages up to the age of 23. Find out more about apprentice wages.

Access to on-the-job training and mentorship

Apprentices should be able to consult a mentor during their apprenticeship. Mentors serve different roles to line managers and are there to support apprentices should they have any concerns or questions about their apprenticeship. Apprentices should have access to regular one-to-one meetings with their mentor, performance reviews, mental health and wellbeing support.

Apprentices receive a structured programme of on-the-job training, related to a specific job role.

How to find an Essex-based apprenticeship

Steps to find suitable apprenticeships

There are several ways you can find employers who offer apprenticeships. You can use websites such as Talentview, apply directly to employers, contact local colleges or even ask friends or family members if they know of apprenticeships available at companies.

Tips for applying for apprenticeships in Essex

If you are applying for apprenticeships, it is always a good idea to: 

Explore apprenticeship opportunities in Essex

A wide range of apprenticeships, jobs and graduate schemes in Essex are advertised regularly on Talentview. You can filter your searches by location and job role, and also look for work experience, placements and internships which can be a great way to get an introduction to the industry before undertaking an apprenticeship.