If you, or a young person in your Army family, are looking for on-the-job training to gain qualifications leading to promising future career prospects, an apprenticeship could be the perfect solution…

THERE are some key advantages to fitting apprenticeships around Army life as you can apply at any time of year.

Depending on your employer, it may also be possible to transfer your training to a different location when posted and some organisations will grant flexible working or extended leave depending on your circumstances.   

The MOD is one of the biggest providers of apprenticeships in the UK.

Army spouse Charlotte Barrington (26) is undertaking an MOD information apprenticeship, a scheme designed to prepare employees for roles in areas such as software systems and application development.

Charlotte explained how she’s successfully balancing her apprenticeship with Army family life: “We were posted to Wiltshire one week after our wedding.

“After the birth of my son I was ready to return to work; this is when I came across the Information Professional apprenticeship with the MOD based at Corsham.

“With the uncertainty of Army life and my husband having to regularly go on exercise at a minute’s notice, it seemed like a good option and I didn’t hesitate in applying.”

Good support

“It’s a new and exciting career for me. I don’t have a background in IT but I am getting fully supported through both the team that I work with daily and also the apprenticeship team.

“It’s amazingly flexible. I’m entitled to 18 weeks’ parental leave, so if my husband is away I can take time off work.

“I agreed my own hours when I started to be able to take my children to school and if any of them are ill I can claim emergency leave.

“We are moving to Nottingham soon and the MOD has been great in finding me a new placement at Chetwyn Barracks, meaning I am still able to continue my apprenticeship and be managed by MOD Corsham.

“I would recommend it to others. I am learning new skills that are industry recognised, not just within the MOD, so I will have a huge amount of transferable skills.

“All the policies are tailored towards the working family – my employers understand that life sometimes isn’t straightforward.”

Is it for me?

You can apply if you’re aged 16 or over. Officially, there’s no upper age limit, but you or your employer must pay for your training if you’re over 24 as no funding is available from the government’s national apprenticeship service.

You can apply for an advanced learning loan to pay for your course.

Fast facts

Apprenticeships are real jobs with salaries. You can apply in a range of industries, from engineering to veterinary nursing. It takes between one and four years to complete and where you start depends on your existing skills:

Intermediate (2)

Five GCSE passes at grades A* to C

Advanced (3)

Two A-level passes

Higher (4-7)

Foundation degree and above

Degree (6 and 7)

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Think an apprenticeship might be for you? Contact AFF Employment & Training Specialist Laura Lewin at etam@aff.org.uk or visit www.gov.uk

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