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Training - earn while you learn 

When you’re about to go into work or training there can be lots to think about. 

If you are not sure what next steps to take, don't panic! Get in touch with Connexions - they can talk through your options with you.

Find out more about Connexions and get in touch


Getting paid while you learn might sound too good to be true but as an apprentice you really do get the best of both worlds. If you are keen to start working but don't want to stop studying then an apprenticeship could be for you.

More information about apprenticeships

Young apprenticeship

Young apprenticeships give you a taste of real work while you learn. They combine classroom learning with practical learning. As well as studying the normal school curriculum, you –

  • spend 50 days (spread over Years 10 and 11) gaining experience of work with an employer, training provider or college
  • work towards Level 2 work related qualifications such as NVQs
  • assessment includes written examinations, observation by an assessor and the creation of a portfolio of evidence
  • you can use a young apprenticeship as a stepping stone to a full time apprenticeship or other training, and to further learning and employment

Check if your school offers young apprenticeships by speaking to your careers coordinator or your Connexions personal adviser.


National vocational qualifications (NVQs) are work related qualifications which reflect the skills and knowledge needed to do a job.

You can choose to take an NVQ when still in full time education or if you want to start a job which offers training. An apprenticeship will give you the opportunity to gain an NVQ Level 3 or higher or New Deal can offer you the chance to study or train for an NVQ for up to one year.

Foundation degrees

Foundation degrees are vocational qualifications that offer you the flexibility to earn while you learn and increase your career opportunities.

If you complete a foundation degree you can go on to achieve other professional qualifications, or study for an honours degree.

Examples of professions that people study foundation degrees for include teaching assistants, hotel managers, aircraft engineers and legal executives.

Foundation learning

Foundation learning is for young people who are not ready for a level 2 qualification (level 2 is equivalent to 5 GCSEs at A-C).

Foundation learning helps you gain the skills you need in order to move on into employment or further learning.

It will allow you to study at your own pace and gain certificates for small steps of learning.

Foundation learning consists of three main parts -

  • job related learning
  • functional skills (in maths, English and ICT)
  • personal and social development

However, all programmes should be designed around you. Foundation learning lets you choose what they study depending on what they wish to do next.

More information

If you would like more information about any of the training options listed here, telephone Connexions on 01482 331 000.

Find out more about Connexions