Marshall presented with Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2016What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are government funded work-based training programmes for people aged 16 and over. They combine on the job training with nationally recognised qualifications and are a great way to build a skilled and motivated workforce. Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.

As an employer you will be responsible for paying the wages of your apprentice and you must pay them at least the minimum wage rate for an apprentice which is currently £3.50 per hour. You’ll also have control over how the training is delivered and what they will learn, which means you can shape your apprentice in to a key member of your team.

Levels of apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels.



Equivalent educational level






A level


4,5,6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Some apprenticeships may also provide additional qualifications, such as a diploma.

Who can apply?

You can apply for an apprenticeship whilst you are still at school. To start one, you need to be:

  • 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays
  • living in England
  • not in full-time education

How can Cadets benefit from an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships provide the best of both worlds and offer high-quality, work-based training programmes and are a fantastic way to launch a career after school.

Key benefits include

  • Earn while you learn

You will have a contract of employment with your employer and will be paid a minimum level of £3.50 per hour if you are under 18 or minimum wage if you are 18 or over. However, many employers pay more than this. Pay is dependent on the industry, location and type of apprenticeship, for example some higher apprenticeships can pay as much as £500 per week.

  • Get qualified

You’ll gain nationally recognised qualifications that will be valid for any employer. That means you can change jobs and take your skills and qualifications with you.

  • Funding

Financial help is available and you won’t have to pay any fees if you’re between 16 and 18, the government will then pay the full cost of your training (If you’re over 19, your employer will be expected to contribute to your training costs). The funding you’re eligible to receive depends entirely on your circumstances, your employer and the type of Apprenticeship.

  • Enhance your CV
  • Get paid holidays
  • Become a valuable asset to any employer
  • Increase future earning potential when training is complete

What can employers gain from hiring Cadets?

According to a recent survey, 67% of UK business leaders say young employees lack the skills they are looking for such as time management and teamwork. This is where employing cadets could prove very beneficial.

The cadet forces can offer employers senior cadets (16+) who will typically have been in a disciplined organisation for around four years.  During that time they will have risen to be a junior leader within their group of cadets, and will have been accustomed to instructing the newer cadets on a range of subjects in the cadet training syllabus. Apart from gaining military qualifications, senior cadets will also have acquired soft skills including

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Communications
  • Problem solving
  • Fitness

Some will have gained recognisable first aid qualifications such as Heartstart or FAW and Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Senior cadets who have been on cadet leadership courses may also have earned a BTEC First Diploma in Public Services, a BTEC Level 2 in Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community or an ILM Certificate in Team Leading. You will also notice that cadets have a positive “Can Do” attitude, are reliable, have learned the habit of turning up on time and are keen to succeed.

This is all in addition to the regular ways in which an apprenticeship can benefit your business by

  • Solving recruitment challenges
  • Breeding creativity and enthusiasm with new talent who bring in fresh ideas
  • Providing training that’s tailored to the needs and requirements of your business – learning can even be done in your workplace, minimising disruption and maximising impact
  • If you employ an apprentice below the age of 25, you will no longer be required to pay employer National Insurance contributions for them

Would you like to advertise your apprenticeship opportunities to senior cadets?

If so, get in touch with us at

Who offers Apprenticeships?

The main place to search for apprenticeships is on the National Apprenticeship Service website which will show you the apprenticeship vacancies in your local area or you can search for a specific role.

Another useful website is The Apprenticeship Guide 

We are currently working with the following employers that we know offer/facilitate apprenticeships regularly across our region.

Anglian Water, East of England, HQ in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

Colchester Borough Council, Essex

Ginger Nut Training, Colchester, Essex

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Cambridgeshire

Raytheon UK, HQ in Harlow, Essex

As a business how do I contact local cadet units?

Businesses in East Anglia who sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant and are engaged in the Employer Recognition Scheme are invited to contact our Regional Employer Engagement Director Kristina Carrington to explore how they can extend that partnership through inviting cadets to apply for apprenticeships.  

Main Image: Marshall presented with Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2016. Pictured front, 3rd from left Keira Liddington – 3 year Apprentice with Marshall of Cambridge Aerospace Ltd and Lord Lieutenants Cadet

Reserve Forces