Apprenticeships & School Leaver Schemes

27th March 2020

These are changing and unusual times. Many of the usual strategies we would use to research and find opportunities aren’t as easy or are difficult to comprehend or get our heads around. This guide is intended to help and give you a starting point; used alongside our main handout at:

School Leaver Schemes & Apprenticeships

Many school leaver schemes include apprenticeships as part of their programmes, others involve in house training (sometimes called work related learning). Apprenticeships can vary from level 2 to 6+ (with varying entry criteria).

At this time the labour market is in flux and it is unclear on how recruitment has been affected. For some of these schemes recruitment traditionally starts in the July of Year 12 (to start in the September after Year 13 finishes). For other companies, the recruitment window is much shorter. Therefore you will need to check with each employer or on websites such as: to be sure when each employer is recruiting.

For up to date labour market information and how the pandemic is affecting recruitment check out: and your local news station.


Interestingly, Degree Apprenticeships at level 6 allow you to gain a university degree as part of your studies, paid for by your employer (so no tuition fees), whilst you also receive a training wage!

Some of the most desirable schemes are very competitive but open up a wealth of opportunity a list of employers who run some of these schemes can be found at: Opportunities vary from business and engineering, through too law, nursing and architecture!

Next steps

If you are interested in finding an apprenticeship or school leaver scheme, use our handout at: and explore the following steps:


  • Depending on the sector some employers are still taking on and looking for staff. Consider whether these or similar areas interest you. Sectors include supermarkets, delivery drivers, farming and NHS volunteer responders. These links may help you:

(Accurate at the time of writing):


Find out what is available, in which areas and when applications open.

  • Link to companies online and set up a LinkedIn account if you haven’t done so already. Check out our guides on how to find work via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook at:


  • Follow the key movers online and the places you may wish to work; this will help you gain an insight. Use research on company websites and other social media, to find out what work is like at these companies.


  • Contact employers online, by email, social media or via the company website, to find out more and to show an interest in what is available. Follow and comment on company posts on social media. Network and ask if there is any volunteering you can undertake “virtually” to support, or physically if they are within a sector that is not within isolation.



  • Research apprenticeship placements, training providers and employers further using tools such as:


The guides here can help you prepare for this:


Over the next few months things may seem volatile. If you are trying to make a decision, your head and heart may not be in the right place. Be mindful of how you are feeling and if you require support, whether careers guidance or for your personal situation. Do reach out for support.

Check out these websites for help:

Many schools and colleges are still running remote careers services so, if you need support contact your school and arrange a virtual careers guidance session by phone or email with your school or college adviser.

Otherwise contact the National Careers Service for support:

Service Finder

This Site Uses Cookies

CXK uses cookies on this site, for more information please view our CXK – Website Privacy Policy

I Decline I Accept