What are the expected apprenticeship hours?

Apprenticeship hours can be flexible, depending on your employer and the role. Find out more about the hours you could be working, and how long your apprenticeship might take to complete.

Full-time apprenticeships

A full-time apprenticeship is essentially a full-time job with a study or training element.

Expect to work around 30 hours per week, plus a day of study – either at your workplace, university, college, or online.

In a typical week, you’ll spend four days at work and one at university, college, or a training provider, but specific details will be decided between you and your employer in your contract of employment, just like any other job.

You should receive two key documents.

An apprenticeship agreement, outlining:

  • the length of time you'll be employed
  • details of the training programme
  • working conditions and benefits
  • the specific apprenticeship standard you'll complete

A commitment statement, outlining:

  • planned content and schedule for the training (a day per week to study or block study)
  • the qualification you'll get
  • what to expect from your employer and training provider
  • how to resolve any queries or complaints you have

Part-time apprenticeships

As a part-time apprentice, you’ll work fewer hours over a longer period of time. 

A part-time degree apprenticeship might last four – six years instead of the usual three – five. Just how many will need to be negotiated with your employer, but most offer enough flexibility to work around your other life commitments.  

Martha, apprentice at Co-op

I won’t lie, it can be difficult managing work and study. For me, I have to plan everything from work and study to my social life – but there’s plenty of support if I need it.

How will my time be split between work and study?

Your employer will either want you to study for:

  • one day each week – known as day release
  • or alternate weeks of work with a full week of study – called block release

How long does an apprenticeship last?

That depends on the profession, the employer, and the level of study. It could be anything from 12 months to six years.

Here’s how long you can typically expect each level of apprenticeship to last: 
Table showing apprenticeship duration

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Sign up to Career Finder

If you think an apprenticeship could be right for you, head over to Career Finder and create an account. 

You'll be able to: 

  • search for all apprenticeship roles
  • filter by subject area, role type, location, and level of apprenticeship
  • shortlist jobs
  • sign up for alerts
  • keep tabs on applications you've made

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