As an apprentice you’ll gain work experience, do a nationally recognised qualification and earn a wage. An apprenticeship is a great way to develop your skills and knowledge to become a confident and skilled care worker.
If you’re new to adult social care an apprenticeship is a really good place to start. If you already work in social care, you can do an apprenticeship to help you progress in your career.
What is an apprenticeship in adult social care?
In adult social care you could be working with a range of people who need care and support, in a wide range of roles. This could include people with learning disabilities and/ or autism, physical disabilities, ex-offenders, recovering addicts or older people.
You could do an apprenticeship in a direct care role such as a care worker or activities worker, or in a support role such as a business administrator or finance worker.
As an apprentice you’ll work alongside experienced staff to gain valuable work experience. You’ll also do training to develop job-specific skills and do an adult social care qualification – you might do this in your workplace or you might attend your local training provider such as a college or university.
Most apprenticeships last between 12 months and two years and are primarily work-based, allowing you to develop practical skills.
Taking part in this structured development pathway can help you develop a rewarding and long-term career in social care.
Who can become an apprentice?
You can apply for an apprenticeship if you’re:
- over 16 years of age
- living in England
- not in full-time education.
You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school as long as you’re 16 by the end of the summer holidays.
You can also apply for an apprenticeship if you’re already working in social care.
Why choose an apprenticeship in adult social care?
They’re a great way to develop your skills and knowledge.
If you’re new to social care, hear why others chose an apprenticeship in adult social care.
Why did you choose social care as a career?
What roles can I do an apprenticeship in?
There are lots of apprenticeship roles in adult social care - it just depends what you’re interested in and what role best suits your skills.
You could work in the community, a care home, a hospital or visiting people’s homes. You could also work with a wide range of people who need care and support.
Some of the most popular social care apprenticeship roles are:
- care worker
- activities assistant
- health care
- personal assistant
- support worker
- senior carer
- community worker.
The sector’s also developing degree level apprenticeships so you can train to become a social worker or occupational therapist without going to university. Keep an eye on this page for further announcements.
There are also different levels of apprenticeships depending on your skills and experience. If you’re new to social care an intermediate level 2 apprenticeship is a good place to start. When you’re ready to progress you could do an advanced level 3 or intermediate level 4 apprenticeship.
How to become an apprentice
If you're new to the sector
If you decide that an apprenticeship is the right route for you, have a look and see what types of roles you’d like to do and who you’d like to work with.
You can then search on the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) database to find vacancies in your local area. There’s a feed below of current adult social care apprenticeships.
You could also speak to your local school, college, Jobcentre Plus or learning provider about opportunities. They can provide support on the process of finding an employer that will offer you the right opportunity within the sector.
If you’re already working in the sector
You can speak to your manager about starting an apprenticeship as part of your career development.
It’s easier than you think and there are opportunities for everyone, regardless of your previous experience.
Other key facts about apprenticeships
Did you know:
- apprenticeships are not just for young people and school leavers; they’re open to everyone aged 16 upwards
- apprenticeships in social care are often flexible with regards to the number of hours you work every week and the time of the day you work. Care isn’t 9-5!
- lots of apprentices who complete Apprenticeships are offered permanent positions by their employer
- adult social care is a growing sector that offers lots of opportunities for progression; many apprentices go on to take up management and leadership roles
- there are currently three different levels of apprenticeships in adult social care. Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships are available depending on your experience, skills and qualifications. The higher apprenticeship is designed for managers and senior practitioners.
Meet the apprentices: find out what others think about social care apprenticeships
Has this apprenticeship changed you?
Does the apprenticeship allow you to deliver a better quality of care?
Do you feel confident since doing the apprenticeship?
Did the apprenticeship meet your needs?
Would you say that working in care has changed your outlook?
Do you think this apprenticeship will help you develop your career?
When you click on the vacancy you’ll go through to the NAS website and find out more about how to apply. For queries about the vacancies contact the NAS on 0800 100 900.