An introduction to social care apprenticeships

As a social care apprentice in south east London, you’ll make a real difference to people’s lives while learning new skills on the job, completing a nationally recognised qualification, and getting paid!

Most social care apprenticeships last between 1-2 years, although the higher levels can take longer. 
And they are often flexible as to the number of hours you work every week and the time of day you work.

What's covered?

We will provide you with the key information you need to take your first steps to getting an apprenticeship role.

You can either scroll through the entire page or jump to particular sections.

Who can do a social care apprenticeship?

Find out more about the entry criteria for a social care apprenticeship.

What apprenticeships are available?

Find out about some of the social care roles that you could apply for.

What salary can I expect?

Find out more about the pay you can look forward to with a social care apprenticeship. 

How can I get started?

Guidance on how to gain the skills, experience and qualifications you’ll need.


Who can do a social care apprenticeship?

You can do a social care apprenticeship if you’re:

over 16
living in England
not in full-time education

You can become an apprentice whether you’re completely new to social care or want to develop your existing skills and knowledge within the industry.

Entry requirements depend on the type and level of apprenticeship. There is more information on this later in this page.

What jobs are available for a social care apprentice? 

You can be a social care apprentice in many roles across south east London, working with all sorts of people. This could be people with a learning disability and/or autism, people with a physical disability, ex-offenders or older people. You can find out more about particular roles below.

Adult care worker

Caring for vulnerable adults within their own homes, daycare centres, residential or nursing homes, or other healthcare settings.

Lead practitioner in adult care

Managing teams of frontline carers to look after vulnerable adults with care needs.

Youth worker

Working with people aged 11-25 to promote their personal, social and educational development.

Nursing associate

Providing nursing care for people with  mental, physical, cognitive or behavioural care needs.

Social worker

Protecting vulnerable children and adults from harm or abuse, and supporting adults to live independently.

Occupational therapist

Enabling people to participate in meaningful occupations and activities of everyday life.

Physiotherapist

Using movement and exercise to help people affected by injury, ageing, illness or disability.

Registered nurse

Giving care, advice and support to sick, injured or disabled people.

Levels of apprenticeships 

You will typically gain a competence qualification (based on what you can do in the workplace) and a knowledge qualification, or a qualification combining both.

Social care apprenticeships are available at several levels:

Intermediate level 

Level 2 apprenticeships are equivalent to five GCSEs.

Advanced level

Level 3 apprenticeships are equivalent to three A-levels.

Higher level

Level 4-7 apprenticeships are equivalent to a foundation degree or above.

Degree level

Level 6-7 apprenticeships are equivalent to a full bachelor's or Master's degree.

 Many social care apprentices are offered permanent positions by their employer and can progress to management and leadership roles.
It’s always helpful to hear from people doing the job already, and to find out what they enjoy about their role.

Watch this video to hear first-hand from Madison, a Support Worker apprentice who works with people with a learning disability.
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What salary can I expect?

Pay for social care apprentices depends on the level of the apprenticeship.
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Example apprenticeship salaries

  • Adult care worker (Level 2) - £15,470.


  • Youth worker (Level 3) - £17,399.


  • Social worker (Level 6) - £26,046.

Progression

Here are some of the ways you can progress in a career as a social care apprentice:

Get into a social care role

- Care worker

Step into more senior roles

- Lead care worker

How do I progress through a career in social care? 

Take on management responsibilities

 - Lead practitioner 

Take a senior management role

- Leader in adult care

And so much more...!

How can I get started?

Entry requirements for a social care apprenticeship depend on the type and level of apprenticeship. Here's some of the key information you need to know before you apply.
01

Your qualifications

As a guide, you may need four or five GCSEs at grades 9-4/A-C or equivalent to do a level 3 apprenticeship. To start a level 5 or 6 apprenticeship you're likely to need A-levels, equivalent level 3 qualifications or relevant and sufficient experience.

02

Your skills and experience

To work in social care you need excellent people skills, with a caring and compassionate nature. You'll also need to be resilient, tactful, sensitive and patient.

It’s also a good idea to gain some experience before you apply for a role. It can help you to understand the role better, as well as helping with your application.

Some options could include:

  • A traineeship - a programme aimed at 16-24 year olds who want to gain skills and experience before applying for a job or apprenticeship.


  • Work experience or shadow days in a care setting (such as a care home).


  • Volunteering with a local charity or community group is a great way to develop your skills and experience, and demonstrate your commitment to working in care.


  • Joining a local group supporting or working closely with people in care.


  • Offering help to someone you know who might need help or support with daily tasks, such as shopping or gardening


  • Supporting or organising a fundraising event.

03

Where to apply

You can search for social care vacancies on the government apprenticeship website (see the 'Useful resources' section below). 

You could also contact particular organisations to ask whether they have apprenticeships available, including:

  • local and county councils
  • government departments (such as HM Prison and Probation Service)
  • charities
  • community organisations/centres
  • residential and nursing homes
  • rehabilitation centres.

Useful resources

There are plenty of resources available to help you prepare for, choose and apply for a social care apprenticeship in south east London.

More about social care apprenticeships

Visit the Prospects website for more about roles, skills and pay.

Example
roles

Although aimed at employers, the website below contains lots of detail about what you could be doing as a social care apprentice.

Hear from social care apprentices

Watch the videos at the top and bottom of the page below, to hear first hand from some social care apprentices.

Apply
now

Find your social care apprenticeship on the government apprenticeship website.

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