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Life as an Apprentice

Life as an apprenticeships


An Apprenticeship combines the best of both worlds. As a student you’ll gain skills, knowledge and behaviours and gain a recognised industry qualification, while at the same time being employed and earning a salary.

An Apprenticeship usually takes between one and four years to complete. 20% of your apprenticeship will be off-the-job training.

The requirements to start an apprenticeship are:

  • You must be 16 years or older
  • GCSE maths and English at grade A* (9) – D (3)
  • We can help you to find an employer to complete your apprenticeship with, or if you have an employer in mind let us know.
  • A student must either have their own employer in mind or work with us to find a suitable place of employment. Take a look at our current vacancies to see the types of employers we currently work with.

Once you have completed an Apprenticeship at College, you can either progress into employment full-time or go on to study a Degree Level / Higher Apprenticeship. We are part of the University of Derby, which means that we can help you and your employer with this progression.



  • Gain skills, training and knowledge through on the job training
  • Get real life industry experience and employability skills
  • Earn a real salary whilst gaining a qualification
  • Spend one day a week in College


A new style of apprenticeships has been designed to help apprentices develop the skills they need to be successful in their industry and make a real contribution to employers.

  • Your job – On and off-the-job training to develop skills and knowledge
  • Values and behaviours – that are relevant to the role and industry
  • Maths and English – all apprentices will be required to develop Maths and English skills and align them to their job
  • Endpoint assessment – employers and assessors will ‘sign-off’ the apprentice as being ready for assessment towards the end of the apprenticeship.


Click here to read our Student Blog, featuring current Business Administration Apprentice Joel Radcliffe who talks about why he chose to do an apprenticeship and what’s so great about it.


Congratulations to Danny Graham on successfully completing his Level 3 Apprenticeship/HNC in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Having undertaken his three-year apprenticeship with Buxton & Leek College, Danny has secured his first role within the technical team of the University of Derby’s College of Engineering and Technology.

Bev Meredith, Apprenticeships Adviser at University of Derby said: “Growing our own talent through the apprenticeship pathway, and seeing individuals securing established roles, is what the apprenticeship agenda is all about. Well done Danny and also a big thank you to his managers who have supported him throughout the programme.”

To find out more about a career in Engineering and the opportunities we offer at Buxton & Leek College – including Engineering apprenticeships – visit our course page.

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So are you ready to get your career started? Take a look at these videos and see what life is really like for an apprentice.