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About apprenticeships

An apprenticeship offers an alternative to university or further studies and is a great option for those who want to earn as they learn. It's a real job where apprentices:

  • Learn and gain a wealth of experience
  • Work alongside experienced colleagues
  • Develop job-specific skills
  • Get paid

TfL apprenticeships are nationally recognised and offer professional qualifications at the completion of a programme. 

Our apprentices: 

  • Get a range of benefits
  • Can secure a permanent position upon successful completion of their apprenticeship

Find out more about our apprentices.

Levels and requirements

We offer a range of different apprenticeships starting from level 2 up to level 7. An apprenticeship level is equivalent to an education level. For example, completing apprenticeship level 3 means achieving the equivalent of an A level or BTEC.

Most of our apprenticeships require our apprentices to have five GCSEs or equivalent, including in English and Maths. Applicants can be currently studying these qualifications, as long as they have achieved them before they start with us. Higher level apprenticeships have higher entry requirements.

Certain schemes have specific requirements. Explore our apprenticeship roles to find out more about requirements for different apprenticeships.

Funding rules

Our apprentices don't pay towards their apprenticeships. We cover all training and qualification costs and apprentices' salary.

Length

The length of an apprenticeship varies depending on the level. They usually last from 18 months to five years: 

  • Lower levels (for example levels 3 and 4) are between two and three years
  • Level 6 takes around five years as apprentices attend university and study towards a degree

Learning method

Our apprenticeships offer a structured programme of college work, classroom-based activities and on the job training. 

All apprentices spend 80% time at work and 20% in education. Each apprenticeship scheme is unique:

  • Some apprenticeships are more hands-on as apprentices learn a specific skills trade, such as in engineering or London Underground
  • Some schemes will involve learning skills that relate to a job, for example in accounting or management
  • Some apprentices will study once a week while others will study in blocks, for example in Transport Planning

We provide accommodation and travel arrangements for apprentices that study outisde of London for several days.

Apprenticeships are also a great chance to develop many soft skills, including: 

  • Communication and influence
  • Team-working
  • Problem solving
  • Time management 

Apprenticeship cohorts are diverse, from young school leavers to career changers with more work experience.This means our apprentices can all learn from one another and develop different skills.

Assessment

Once apprentices have successfully met the requirements of the apprenticeship standard they will complete an End Point Assessment (EPA). This is a process to assess that apprentices are fully conversant in the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of them when working at this level and are occupationally competent in their roles.

On successful completion of their EPA, they'll receive their apprenticeship certificate.

Qualifications

Apprentices get professional qualifications at the end of each programme. These vary depending on the role, for example:

  • Civil Engineering level 3 apprenticeship - apprentices achieve a qualification in Civil Engineering Technician
  • Finance level 4 apprenticeship - apprentices gain a qualification in Business Accounting accredited by CIMA
  • Building Services level 6 apprenticeship - apprentices achieve a Building Services Engineering qualification accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

Help them to decide which career path is right

Sometimes it can be difficult to weigh up pros and cons of university, apprenticeships, degree apprenticeship or entry level employment. So to help we've put together some points to consider.

Qualifications

What qualifications do they currently have and what do they want to achieve? If they have 5 GCSEs including English language and Maths or equivalents, do they want to study towards their A levels qualifications?

If they have A levels or their equivalents, do they want to obtain degree qualifications?

For more information about different qualification routes, please visit our 

Learning preference

Do they enjoy studying traditionally or do they prefer learning through practical activities?

If they are academic and enjoy learning through theory, they might want to consider further education or university, however if they're more practical and like hands-on work, an apprenticeship would be a perfect option for them.

Finances

With the combination of tuition fees and costs of living, university can be very expensive and put a lot of people in debt. Apprenticeships, instead, are fully paid for and apprentices get their wage.

Apprenticeship salaries at TfL start at London living wage for level 2 and 3 and they get higher with the level.

Travelling

Do they want to relocate for a job/university or are they comfortable staying at home?

Would they want to travel abroad as part of their job/university exchange programme?

All our roles are based at a number of locations around London and currently we don't have international placements. During the pandemic, most of our office-based employees have been working from home.

Social life

Do they want to be part of a large campus community and develop their social life at university or would they rather build a wide network whilst also being part of a smaller cohort through their apprenticeship?

At TfL, we hire around 150 apprentices each year and we have many network groups in the organisation. Everyone is welcome to join.

Also, some apprentices, depending on a programme, are on a course with apprentices from other companies so they can network with like minded individuals from outside of the company.

We're here to help

It's not easy for anyone to decide on a career path. With so many options available, it can be confusing what the right choice is. So please contact us at ApprenticeshipRecruitment@tfl.gov.uk if you have any questions.

If you'd like to organise a school event with us such as a career fair, drop-in session or workshop, register your interest or email us at earlycareers@tfl.gov.uk