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If you’re finishing school this summer or you’re just thinking about a new direction for your career, an apprenticeship could be one option. You can get a qualification and learn on the job and you can even earn some cash too.

Don’t assume that apprenticeships are only for trades like carpentry or plumbing either – you could do an apprenticeship in a whole range of subjects. Let’s take a look at whether you could sign up for an apprenticeship, what you could get and whether it’s right for your career.

Who are they for?

Apprenticeships aren’t just for one type of person. If you’re 16 or over, living in England and aren’t in full-time education, you can apply for an apprenticeship. They last between one and four years, depending on the subject. Apprenticeships are available for 1,200 job roles, offering everything from sales and telesales jobs to health and social care positions.

Speak to your careers advisor at school or in a Job Centre, or see the full list of apprenticeships available on the Government’s website.

You might need a traineeship to get some basic skills before you can do an apprenticeship and these can last between six weeks and six months. You’ll have to do an unpaid work experience placement but you might be able to get travel and food expenses for this.

What you could get

How much you’ll get can vary but you can usually earn between £170 and £210 a week, depending on the role. Even better, you won’t have to pay for your course if you’re aged between 16 and 18. For 19 to 24-year-olds, your course is half-funded and those over 25 won’t get anything from the Government. Don’t worry – your employer might fund part or all of your course for you so it’s worth looking into.

What’s more, you’ll also work towards qualifications which could help you get a job in the future. Your new skills could mean you’ll be able to earn more in your next job too and throughout the rest of your career.

How to manage your money

While you’re on an apprenticeship, you’ll be on a fairly low income. This can make budgeting hard, especially if you’ve got bills and other financial commitments to think about.

Start by taking a look at your budget plan and see where your money’s going every month. You should be able to find a couple of key areas where you could cut back your spending. For example, could you spend less on clothes or takeaways? Be realistic though – don’t tell yourself you won’t need any new outfits if you’re starting a new job.

For more ways to manage your money better, check out our definitive guide to budgeting.

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