Apprenticeships are a great way to combine practical training in a job with studying, and offer a range of valuable benefits to both apprentices and employers. Apprentices are able to earn a wage while gaining recognised qualifications and essential skills, often securing a job with their employer at the end of their apprenticeship.

For organisations, employing apprentices helps to create a talented and loyal workforce while injecting enthusiasm and new ideas into the business. At Lewisham and Southwark Colleges we work with a variety of employers across the capital and South East to create apprenticeship opportunities which help to bridge the skills gap in key sectors.

  • Why choose us

    We are a further education college, with three campuses across south east London with easy access from the tube/DLR, buses and trains.

    We passionately believe in encouraging talent in a friendly and supportive environment and deliver a range of exciting vocational courses and Apprenticeships.

    Our friendly Apprenticeship team can provide you with loads of advice and support – from helping you choose the right Apprenticeship to securing employment and beyond. What’s more, we’ll provide you with your own personal assessor to guide you throughout your Apprenticeship.

    We work with a large number of Employers in a lot of different industries from Construction to Theatre Support.

    We work across the South of London – and we will help you find the right Employer and Apprenticeship for you.

    Our Apprenticeships run all year round, so you do not need to wait until term-time to start one.

    We’ll help and advise you on your next steps once you’ve completed the Apprenticeship – continuing to support your career aspirations.

    We’ll help you stay on track with your learning through our online system – we have achieved Gold Status for this proving how well we use this to support our Apprentices.

    Our team is available every day – so whenever you need to talk to us, we’ll be here to answer your questions. We care about helping you reach your full potential at work, and are committed to supporting you throughout your Apprenticeship.

  • What is an Apprenticeship?


    Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study. Being an apprentice means that you have a job that includes gaining recognised qualifications and essential skills whilst you are working and earning a wage

    As an apprentice you will:

    • work alongside experienced staff
    • gain job-specific skills
    • earn a wage and get holiday pay
    • study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week)



    This will vary according to the employer, the type of occupation you are training for and the level of Apprenticeship, but Apprenticeships normally take between one and four years.

    The length of time taken to complete your training will also depend on your own skills and ability.

    Levels of Apprenticeship

    An apprenticeship has an equivalent education level and can be:

    Intermediate - is equivalent to 5 GCSE passes
    Advanced - is equivalent to 2 A level passes
    Higher - can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree

    Who can Apply?

    You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:

    • 16 or over
    • Living in England
    • Not in full-time education

    Pay and Conditions

    You’ll be paid during your Apprenticeship.

    You are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The current minimum wage rate for an Apprentice is £3.50 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

    You must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age if you’re an Apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed your first year. Often the rate of pay will increase as you become more skilled and experienced.

    As an Apprentice the hours you can expect to be paid for must include:

    • your normal working hours (minimum 30 hours per week)
    • training that’s part of your apprenticeship (usually one day per week)

    You will get at least 20 days paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays.

  • Guidance for Employers


    Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying for a work-based qualification - from GCSEs or equivalent up to degree level.

    The Facts

    Apprentices can be new or current employees.

    You could get a grant or funding to employ an apprentice if you’re in England.

    You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage during their placement with you.

    Your apprentice must:

    • Work with experienced staff at the workplace
    • Be provided with the opportunity to learn job-specific skills
    • Be released for study during their working week, e.g. a day here at the college
    • Ideally employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week

    Hiring your Apprentice

    There are several steps to taking on an apprentice, all of which we can assist you with.

    1. Check the apprenticeships framework for an apprenticeship in your industry and at a suitable level that you feel would suit you best – can advise and support you with this
    2. Register your interest in employing an apprentice with us and we will support in you with the complete hiring process
    3. Having contacted us as your preferred College/Training Provider we will handle your apprentice’s training, qualification and assessment.
    4. We can check if you are eligible for a grant and apply for this for you
    5. Advertise your apprenticeship - we will do this for you through apprenticeship vacancies. You can track your vacancies by registering as an employer.
    6. Select your apprentice and make an apprenticeship agreement with them.

    Employing an Apprentice – The Business Benefits

    Committed Workforce - One of the biggest benefits of running an apprenticeship scheme is that it helps create a dedicated, loyal workforce. The majority of apprentices are young school or college leavers, meaning that they have lots of energy with which to learn the ways of your business as you help them climb the career ladder within your organisation.

    With today’s high unemployment hitting the UK’s young the hardest, they are looking to join companies that will invest in their training and development. Research shows that 80 per cent of employers questioned feel that apprenticeships reduce staff turnover, suggesting that apprentices feel loyal to the company which trained them.

    Bridging the Skills Gap - Many companies, particularly those within the technology sector, are finding it tough to recruit people with the particular skills they need to help move their business forward. Taking on an apprentice solves this problem as you can hire someone with the enthusiasm and talent you are looking for and train them up for a specific role. If companies don’t take steps to fill these skills gaps, they could find themselves with serious issues when their current staff move on or retire.

    A Fresh Perspective - Apprentices may not have any actual workplace experience, but they can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas, which are just as valuable to a growing business. Young people often have strong technology skills which come from using computers and tools such as social media from an early age, and they can use this knowledge to build competitive advantage.

    And it seems many businesses are already aware of this, with research showing that 83 per cent of employers who employ apprentices rely on such programmes to provide the skilled workers they need for future development.

    Improving the Bottom Line - The cost of funding an apprentice may put some employers off, but in reality apprentices often pay for themselves within a few years and can improve a company’s bottom line by boosting productivity and making companies more effective.

    The initial outlay of hiring an apprentice is often smaller than many companies think, thanks to government funding and the fact that they are paid a reduced wage. A study by the UK Commission on Employment finds that 88 per cent of employers feel apprenticeships are a cost-effective way to train staff.

    Apprenticeships also make a contribution to the wider economy, with data from the National Audit Office showing that every £1 spent on apprentices already pays back £18 to the economy.

    With so many short and long-term benefits to hiring an apprentice, maybe it’s time for you to hire one and realise the advantages for your own company

    Find out more about the Apprenticeship Levy in place from 6th April 2017

  • Frequently asked questions

    What is an Apprenticeship?

    An apprenticeship is when an individual works and learns at the same time.

    As an apprentice, you will be working in a real job where you will be employed by a company, have a contract of employment, get paid a salary and be entitled to all of the statutory benefits such as holiday and sick pay.

    What makes an Apprenticeship different to other jobs?

    What makes an apprenticeship different to another job is that you will also be working towards a package of qualifications alongside your job. These qualifications will be directly relevant to the job that you are doing, whatever role you are working in.

    What kind of Apprenticeships are there?

    There are apprenticeships available at intermediate, advanced, higher and degree levels. These cover more than 1,500 job roles across 170 industries, from Nursing to Graphic Design, Horticulture to Electric Vehicle Engineering, Advertising to Nuclear Decommissioning.

    Up to 27,000 quality apprenticeship vacancies are available online at any one time at advertising real jobs, with real employers paying real salaries.

    It is really common that lots of people think that apprenticeships are only available in a limited number of job roles and only in certain sectors like construction or retail. But this isn’t true – there are literally thousands of jobs out there working in all sorts of different exciting organisations.

    Which companies offer Apprenticeships?

    It could be that you end up working with a large company who you might have heard of before, or it could be that you end up working with a smaller business that you may not have heard of before. It’s important you do your research and see what you can find out about the company before you start applying.

    Some companies that look really small can have amazing opportunities for their apprentices where you might work on some really innovative and creative projects, or even travelling overseas. The opportunities will be fantastic and research conducted by the National Apprenticeship Service shows that more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment at the end of their apprenticeship.

    As an apprentice you’ll:

    Apprenticeships take 1 to 4 years to complete depending on their level.

  • How to apply for an Apprenticeship

    New to Apprenticeships?

    Please complete the enquiry form and a member of our Team will contact you


    The National Apprenticeship Service have introduced a new way to find and apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship in England.

    Please register to use the find an apprenticeship service.

    If you are currently employed and your employer has agreed that you can complete an Apprenticeship or, you have an employer lined up ready for your Apprenticeship, then please contact us to discuss your training needs.

  • Apprenticeship Offer Lewisham Southwark College

    At Lewisham Southwark College we offer a wide range of Apprenticeships in:

    Hospitality and Support Services

    • Hospitality Services Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Food and Beverage Service Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Licenced Hospitality Intermediate Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Food Production and Cooking Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Hospitality Supervision Leadership Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Professional Cookery Intermediate Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Kitchen Services Intermediate Apprenticeship


    • Community Arts Administration Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Community Arts Management Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Supporting Live Events Promotion Intermediate Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Supporting Cultural Venue Operations Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Cultural Venue Operations Advanced Apprenticeship


    • Business and Administration Intermediate Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Customer Service Intermediate Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Team Leading Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Management Advanced Apprenticeship
    • IT Intermediate & Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Level 3 Assistant Accountant - New Standards


    • Carpentry Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Brickwork Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Painting and Decorating Intermediate Apprenticeship
    • Plumbing Intermediate Apprenticeship and Advanced Apprenticeship
    • Maintenance and Refurbishment Intermediate Apprenticeship

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