Apprenticeships: what you need to know

Posted on: 5 July, 2021

What is an apprenticeship?

Simply put, an apprenticeship is a job with training. Apprenticeships are available from levels 2–7, the equivalent of GCSEs all the way up to Master’s qualification.

Apprenticeships are a three-way partnership between the employer, the apprentice and the education provider. The aim of an apprenticeship is to provide the apprentice with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to meet the requirements of the end-point assessment (EPA) and, thereby, demonstrate competency in their job role.

Who can undertake an apprenticeship?

To undertake an apprenticeship, you have to:

  • be 16 or over (no upper age limit)
  • meet UK residency requirements
  • have the support of your employer
  • meet the academic entry requirements

Who pays?

Apprenticeship funding is available from the government through the apprenticeship levy for employers with a pay bill of at least £3M per annum (p.a.). For smaller employers, the government meets 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship training. Apprentices do not pay anything towards their apprenticeship and are paid a salary by their employer.

How long does it take?

It can take between one and six years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which discipline you choose, what level it is and your previous experience.

How do I find employment if I am not already in the built environment?

There are several ways you can go about this. You can visit the government’s find an apprenticeship webpage where job vacancies are published.

It is also worth looking on local built environment business websites to see if they are hiring. Some apprentices that are studying with UCEM found their placement by speaking to staff at firms they aspired to work in and asking if they would be willing to take on an apprentice.

What apprenticeship programmes can I study with UCEM?

We currently offer three apprenticeship programmes at degree level:

  • Chartered Surveyor
  • Building Control Surveyor
  • Construction Site Manager

Why would I choose UCEM over other providers?

Apprentices with UCEM will be studying at the leading provider of supported online education for the built environment. There is a dedicated apprenticeship team in place to support all apprentices with anything from academic queries to pastoral care. There are currently 1,319 apprentices studying with UCEM, 89 of whom are between 40 and 60 years old, so apprentices can join a diverse and inclusive cohort of like-minded people. UCEM is also the number one provider of chartered surveying apprenticeships in England.


To find out more about becoming an apprentice, visit our webpage.