A bricklaying student in the workshop at East Durham College's Peterlee Campus


An Apprenticeship is a great way for individuals to learn (and earn!) and for employers to discover skilled and talented employees.

There has never been a better time to consider an Apprenticeship. Young people can ‘get in and go far’ with an Apprenticeship at some of Britain’s biggest and brightest companies where they can gain skills and qualifications, some of which can go up to degree level, while working and earning.

The world is changing fast and to get ahead these days you need to have some great skills. But you don’t need to sit in a classroom all day to get them.

An Apprenticeship is a real job with training so you can earn while you learn and pick up some recognised qualifications as you go. Result!

If you‘re over 16 and not in full time education then you can apply.

Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and cover 1500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from engineering to accountancy, public relations to veterinary nursing.

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A trio of talented young engineers are getting their teeth into life in the real workplace as they have been taken on as manufacturing apprentices at the new VBites factory in Peterlee as part of an exciting new partnership between the company and East Durham College’s apprenticeship team.⠀ ⠀ Owned by celebrity media personality, businesswoman and activist Heather Mills, VBites creates healthy, plant-based foods sold all over the world.⠀ ⠀ The three apprentices – Ben Bridges, 19 from Peterlee, Calvin Wise, 20 from West Rainton and Szymon Gruchala, 20 from Horden - are working at VBites’ new production facility in Peterlee opened earlier this year. VBites and East Durham College worked in partnership to recruit and train their apprentices.⠀ ⠀ Heather said: “We’re really pleased to be working with East Durham College. They’ve helped us a lot with finding apprentices and it’s really important that more training happens, and you get assistance.⠀ ⠀ “We’re a family business just starting up and all the costs and everything are dependant on us so it’s good that we get this assistance to work out who’s going to be a good worker and who’s not. We’ve spent loads of money on agencies and they haven’t turned out very good, but these apprentices are turning out great and East Durham College is doing a good job training them up.”⠀ ⠀ Emma Norbury, Business Development Advisor at East Durham College, said: “VBites is set to bring a great amount of job opportunities to the North East, and at EDC we are thrilled to be supporting them with this.⠀ ⠀ “It’s great to see a company investing in the future, and our three apprentices are already hitting the ground running and doing some fantastic work at VBites.”⠀ ⠀ Alongside their work at VBites, the three apprentices work with East Durham College to complete their apprenticeship.

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Key Benefits

  • Progress your career: Employers recognise and value Apprenticeships so you’ll fly through the ranks.
  • Learn job specific skills: Learn from the masters and work alongside experienced staff to gain top notch skills.
  • Achieve sought after qualifications: Apprenticeships are the gold standard for work-based learning.

Earn While You Learn

One of the main benefits of being an apprentice is you actually earn money while growing your skills and abilities in a real working environment.

You'll be just like a normal employee, except you'll receive mentoring from other members of staff and expand your own confidence by learning from experienced people.

Here's some important information about apprenticeship wages:

  • You are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Click here for the latest details on the current minimum wage rate for an apprentice.
  • This rate applies to apprentices under the age of 19, or apprentices over the age of 19 in the first year of their apprenticeship
  • You must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age if you're an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed your first year

If you'd like more information on this, visit the Gov.uk website by clicking this link.

Your Career

Employers really value Apprenticeships. They know if you have one that you’ve got the skills so you’ll shoot through the ranks and your career will progress rapidly. You’ll feel the rewards in your pockets too. People with an Advanced Level Apprenticeship earn around £117,000* more than those without, over the course of their career.

From then on, the world is your oyster. You can collect UCAS points, study for Technical Certificates, go on to higher education at college or uni or carry on working, get promoted and take on the world!

There are three types of Apprenticeship you can apply for depending on your current skills and qualifications:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeship (Level 2)
  • Advanced Level Apprenticeship (Level 3)
  • Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4 or above)

There’s never been a better time to become an apprentice and East Durham College are here to help you turn your career dreams into a reality.

Contact Us

We have a dedicated team of specialists who work closely with you. They will guide and support you throughout the whole experience and will be there for you every step of the way.

To find out more information or to apply for an Apprenticeship, please call the Apprenticeship Team on 0191 518 5508 or email apprenticeships@eastdurham.ac.uk

Employers should contact our Employer Engagement team on 0191 518 5508 or email apprenticeships@eastdurham.ac.uk

Register Your Interest in an Apprenticeship

Are you interesting in learning more about apprenticeships, or getting in touch with the team to find the latest apprenticeship vacancies?

Click the link below to be taken to our web form where you can fill in all of your details, and our apprenticeship team will get in touch with you!

Click here to fill in the web form >>

National Apprenticeship Service

You can also find out more detail by visiting www.getingofar.gov.uk

Or have a look at the National Apprenticeship Service brochure in the PDF below.

A Guide To Apprenticeship Brochure (June 2017 Edition)

* Returns to Intermediate and Low Level Qualifications (September 2011).