ApprenticeshipsApprenticeships – Applicant InformationWhat is an ApprenticeshipApprenticeships – How to ApplyCurrently in School or CollegeNot in Education?Apprenticeships – Interview PreparationApprenticeship FAQApprenticeships Parent GuideEmployers Information

Get a step ahead of the rest with an apprenticeship at Colchester Institute. You can browse through our latest apprenticeship vacancies, where you’ll find fantastic opportunities with local and regional employers across a number of industries.

Alternatively you can search through the many exciting subject areas we are able to offer apprenticeships in.


An apprenticeship is a great way to gain a new qualification whilst getting the skills and experience employers are looking for, and are increasingly popular and a fantastic way to start or further your career plans. We offer apprenticeships in a number of different subjects, each allowing you to complete a training programme specific to your chosen career.

With our apprenticeships you may be required to attend college at our Colchester, Braintree or Clacton campus or in some cases we will visit you in the workplace for your training assessment.

What is an Apprenticeship and how does it work?

An apprenticeship is your chance to gain valuable work experience whilst completing a nationally recognised qualification. You will typically work full-time and this will include your technical skill development, which will be online and/or in college. The best part is that, as an apprentice you will do a real job for a real employer, you will be paid a wage while you learn and you’ll gain a qualification.

An apprenticeship is a real job with training which allows you to earn while you learn. Your working week is usually made up of four days at work and one day in college, though this can vary depending on the course. For example training on the Childcare apprenticeship is all conducted in the workplace, while Business Administration apprentices attend college once a month. You will need to be employed for between 30-40 hours a week (this includes your day at college).

As well as earning a salary and being entitled to paid holiday, you will be gaining valuable training in skills employers want. Your apprenticeship will provide you with excellent progression opportunities, whether this is further study or future career development.

All apprenticeships lead to industry recognised standards or qualifications.

You will learn at a pace that suits you and will be assigned a mentor whilst at work. The College will support you every step of the way, via your Assessor/Training Advisor who visits you in the workplace to track your progress.

What does an Apprenticeship involve?

An apprenticeship is made up of a number of elements, called a framework or standard, designed to provide you with a combination of practical, technical and employability skills.

Who can study an Apprenticeship?

Anyone aged 16 years and older can study an apprenticeship.

What are the benefits of an Apprenticeship?
  • You earn a real wage whilst improving your skills
  • You develop skills and qualifications specific to your chosen career
  • You are entitled to paid holidays
  • You gain valuable work experience
  • You gain a nationally recognised industry specific qualification
  • You can also study maths, English or ICT if required
  •  You will work a minimum 30 hours per week. For more up to date information on wages for apprentices visit:
Currently in School or College?
Not in Education?

Aged between 15-18 years and in full-time education?

You can apply for an apprenticeship through our online application system. The process has changed slightly this year and to ensure you are keeping your options open we require you to apply via a full-time course and then select your interest in an apprenticeship:

You can make a ‘joint’ application for a full-time course and an apprenticeship. Your apprenticeship application can be in the same subject area as your full-time application or in a completely different area.

To make a joint application you will need to follow the steps below

How to apply:

  1. To start the process you will need to select a full-time course, you can do this by using the course finder button located further down the page
  2. Once you are on the web page of your chosen course, click the ‘Apply Online’ button for the campus that you would like to study at.
  3. You will be taken to our online application login page and you will need to set up an account. Click ‘create an account’ to begin the application process.
  4. Important – as you complete the application form you will be asked two questions related to applying for an apprenticeship;
    1. Would you also like to make an apprenticeship application?
    2. Have you already secured an employer to support you with your apprenticeship? (Don’t worry if you haven’t we will send you guidance to help you find an employer)

We will only contact you if you have selected ‘Yes’ to making an apprenticeship application. If you unsure or would like more information we would recommend you select ‘Yes’ and we will contact you.

  1. Once you submit your application we will contact you within 2 working days to request more information, this will include details of your employer if you have secured one and which apprenticeship you are interested in.

Please note: If you have an employer your apprenticeship application will take priority and your full-time application will still be processed but be a back-up (to secure an offer on the full-time course you will need to attend the mandatory interview). If you have not yet secured an employer your full-time application will take priority, we will send you guidance on how to find an employer.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our Apprentice Recruitment team call: 01206 712043 email:

Looking for a new career, job or maybe a qualification to take your current role to the next level?

Apply for an apprenticeship! Previously apprenticeships were primarily aimed towards 16-18 year olds but government reforms introduced in March 2017 mean that there is no longer an upper age limit for commencing an apprenticeship, even if you already possess a degree or higher level qualification (all applicants must be eligible for funding).

How to apply

Option 1 – We support you to find an apprenticeship

All you have to do is complete and submit our Talent Pool application form, attend a pre-screening assessment/interview and be available when contacted. We will then send your details along with your profile to employers looking for an apprentice, inform you if you are selected and send your guidance to prepare you for interview.

Download our Talent Pool Application Form

If you are unemployed you can also apply for an apprenticeship. If you feel you need to develop your skills in Maths and English, or would like to speak to a careers/employability advisor, please contact our Adult Learning Shops.

Option 2 – You apply for an advertised Apprenticeship Vacancy

Visit our Apprenticeship Vacancies page, which is updated weekly with all of our latest vacancies. Select the subject tab of the apprenticeship area you want to study and then click on the vacancy title. This will direct you through to the apprenticeship section of the government website where you can view the full job description and then ‘sign in to apply’. Your submitted application will then be sent to us directly.

Using the ‘Find an apprenticeship’ website

Visit ‘Find an Apprenticeship‘ on the website where you can search by job role, occupation type and location.

Download support guidance for the ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ service

Option 3 – You find/have an employer to support you with an Apprenticeship

There is another way to become an apprentice through Colchester Institute and we’re here to assist you every step of the way. In order to enrol onto an apprenticeship scheme you must find an employer willing to appoint you as an apprentice in your chosen field.

Contact us and we will guide you and your employer through the process. We will ensure you are applying for the correct apprenticeship to support your development and your employer’s business needs.

Currently working but want to change to an apprenticeship?

If you are working full-time or part-time, you may want to speak with your current manager and see if they have any opportunities for apprenticeships available, or if they would like to consider developing your skills through an apprenticeship.

Contacting employers direct

You might also wish to take some time to compose a covering letter and create a CV to send to companies in your local area (except those advertising apprenticeship vacancies on the website – these have to be applied for via the ‘Find an Apprentice’ service).

Download our ‘How to Find an Apprenticeship’ guide

If you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our Apprentice Recruitment team call: 01206 712043 email:

Make sure you are ready
  • Research the organisation, for example visit their website. Research the job that you
    are applying for and have some good examples of when you have used skills relevant
    to the job role.
  • Prepare answers to some typical interview questions and prepare two or three
    questions that show an interest in the job and organisation.
  • Work out how to get to the interview and how long the journey will take. Check the
    timetables for public transport. Allow enough time to arrive at least 15 minutes before
    the interview.
  • Have the organisation‟s contact details in your (charged up) mobile phone, in case
    you need to inform the interviewer of travel delays.
Make a positive impression
  • Arrive on time. Switch your phone off or set to silent (not vibrate). Bring a copy of your
    CV, the application form and job advert with you, and a pad and pen to take notes.
  • Use the interviewer‟s title (Mr/Ms) and surname. When answering questions refer to
    the job advert/description.
  • Answer questions concisely and speak clearly. Use proper grammar and avoid slang.
  • Avoid interrupting the interviewer.
  • Focus on your strengths.
  • Be positive, enthusiastic, professional and mature.
  • Appearance and body language
  • Wear clean, ironed clothes and take a bath or shower before the interview.
  •  Make sure your hands and finger nails are clean, and brush your teeth.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear (formal shoes, no trainers).
  •  Don‟t wear too much make-up and jewellery.
  • Avoid overpowering perfume or aftershave.
  • Use good posture and sit up straight.
  • Be attentive and composed (don‟t fidget or play with hair).
  • Smile and make eye contact, but avoid staring.
  • Avoid negative behaviour (crossing your arms, yawning, checking your watch, etc.).
Closing the interview
  • Ask any questions about the job role and organisation
  • Shake hands with the interviewer and thank them for their time
  • Emphasise your interest in the job and ask when a decision will be made

Apprenticeship FAQ

How much will it cost you?

You will not be required to cover any of the fees payable for the apprenticeship, however in some cases employers will be required to pay a contribution towards your qualification.

Apprenticeships and Child Tax Credits/Benefits

If your parent/guardian is claiming child benefit or child tax credit in your name then this may stop once you have successfully signed up to an apprenticeship. However the money you will be earning as a wage during your apprenticeship will usually amount to more. For more information please refer to the government website:

Childcare support for Apprentices

If childcare costs are stopping you from signing up to an apprenticeship then you may want to discuss this with one of our Student Services team members.


Do you want to study an apprenticeship but do not have an employer?

Don’t worry, we offer a completely FREE vacancy matching service. You can drop in at the times stated below, or email your CV and details of areas you would like to work in. We will search our catalogue of vacancies and send you details of those that match your criteria. If we are unable to match you to a vacancy in our catalogue we will hold your CV and details in our virtual apprentice POOL ready to put you forward to a suitable employer when the opportunity arises.

Apprenticeship Zone – Drop-in times – Room HE01/HE02 – Colchester Institute, Sheepen Road Campus.

Tuesday: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Wednesday: 9:00am – 11:00am

Thursday: 9:00am – 11:00am

Friday: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Apprenticeships Parent Guide

As a parent, you want the best for your children and that often means helping them to make the right decisions regarding their future (including what to do after school/college).There are a lot of options for school leavers and with such a competitive job market, a professional apprenticeship could be the right answer to ensure your son/daughter secures a career well-suited to their specific wants/needs. This leaflet aims to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get from parents about apprenticeships.If you don’t find all of the information you are looking for then you can contact the CI Business Solutions Team at: T: 01206 712128 or E:

From my experience, an apprenticeship is a really good way to get the best of everything – work experience, a qualification and to get paid too. It’s a great way to embed what you’re learning in the classroom as you learn along the way, which helps you excel at work. I’m only 17 and already have a secure job and experience in the real world of work. I have made my own business contacts and I depend a lot less on my family as a source of income. Lauren Wilson, Social Media and Digital Marketing Apprentice
The Facts
    • The apprenticeship is designed by employers giving apprentices the skills directly relevant to the job role
    • Apprentices study for around one day a week, or in a block. Some apprentices do not attend college and complete learning through our online platforms
    • Courses can last from 1 year to 6 years if completing a degree apprenticeship
    • All tuitions fees are paid by the government and your employer
    • Apprentices are becoming the future leaders
    • Employers are looking for initiative and enthusiasm as well as grades
    • Apprentices will learn the skills employers look for but say that graduates seeking employment don’t always have:
    • Creativity, Communication, Problem Solving, Project Management and Team Work
    • 90% of apprentices stay in work when they finish
    • 71% of apprentices remain with the same employer
    • 83% of parents say they would do a degree apprenticeship themselves if they could wind back the clock
    • Apprentices must be employed for between 16 and 40 hours per week
What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job, with formal training that will enable your son or daughter to earn nationally-recognised qualifications whilst earning a wage of £3.70 per hour. Experience is the key to a great career and by putting the job at the heart of what an apprentice learns, we ensure that they learn the skills that employers really needs them to have. The average wage for an apprentice is
between £150 to £200 pounds a week (depending on the type of role or employer). Government funding is available to cover the cost of most apprenticeships, which means your son/daughter will not have to pay for any of their training – they will be debt free! Our apprenticeships last between one and six years (depending on which programme the apprentice chooses) and we provide progression routes from GCSE all the way to degree and MSc level qualifications with our own University Centre Colchester.

Why choose Colchester Institute Apprenticeships?

Colchester Institute is the largest provider in Essex delivering apprenticeships and can boast achievement rates higher than national averages.

Plans to introduce more Higher Apprenticeship routes will provide learners with a real choice between work-based and traditional degree education. In 2015/16, 79% of apprentices secured full time employment after completing their apprenticeship programme. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths is at the heart of our Apprenticeships offer due to employer and economic demand. A £10m STEM facility was opened in Colchester in 2016 and a £5m+ STEM Innovation Centre opened at the Braintree campus in April 2017.  The college intends to increase its specialisation in STEM, including creative and digital media. Apprenticeships give your child the chance to work towards a fully paid qualification from Level 3 (A level equivalent) to a university degree whilst training for a high skilled job. Some apprenticeships are available at Level 2.

Will I lose any of my benefit entitlements if my child commences an apprenticeship?

Tax credits will not be affected by your child entering on to an apprenticeship; however, child benefit payments will stop once your child reaches 16 years old and officially leaves school year 11 and enters employment to commence the apprenticeship.