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Student Handbook

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Suffolk Apprenticeships

Handbook: Returning to the college

Our Apprentice Lockdown Heroes

Case Study: Kayleigh Elmer


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Case Study: Holly Lewnz


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Case Study: Catherine Leahy


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Suffolk County Council's Andi Spalding


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Apprentice Alex Howe makes it into WorldSkills Squad UK!


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Digital Marketer Level 3 Apprenticeship

Enrolment Guide 2020-21

Student Finance

Suffolk County Council's Sophie Conner


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Case Study: Cambridge University Press


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About College Life

The best way to train, qualify and gain valuable experience while being paid.

Studying while working is an attractive option. Rather than running up a debt, you’re raking in a wage. The minimum wage for an apprentice aged 19 or under is £4.15 per hour, but many employers pay much more. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. Apprentices must be paid at least the national minimum wage rate if they’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed their first year.

There’s rather more to it than the money

The choice of Apprenticeships is huge. You can develop a pathway that matches your career ambitions and suits the needs of employers. That makes it really focused on what businesses want as well as what interests you.

Apprenticeships can even offer you the chance to progress faster than the traditional graduate trainee route. Many employers are learning that people who join on an apprenticeship learn the business quicker and make faster progress – having had two years or more in the industry than fresh university graduates. You pick up vital skills, like how the workplace operates and how to manage relationships with people in business, as well as the specific workings of the company you’ve joined.

West Suffolk College works with more than 1,500 employers of every type and size, guiding a similar number of students through the early years of their careers.

Not all Apprenticeships require you to study at College but if you do, you will have access to the latest up-to-date facilities and equipment and be trained by our highly skilled and qualified tutors.

Entry requirements

There are different levels of Apprenticeships which demand correspondingly higher qualifications and grades. They each carry their own NVQ or higher qualifications, so it’s not an alternative as such, just a different way of achieving a similar qualification to full time study.

Intermediate Apprenticeships
Level 2 – equivalent to five GCSEs grade A* – C

Advanced Apprenticeships
Level 3 – equivalent to two A Levels

Higher Apprenticeships
Level 4 – can lead to Level 4 or 5 or even a degree

Degree Apprenticeships
Level 5 upwards have degrees attached.

Discover more about our Apprenticeships


Apprenticeship courses | Apprenticeship vacancies


01284 716 235


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