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Do GCSEs Expire? Guide to Apprenticeship Requirements

Do GCSEs Expire? Not Any More!

A controversial rule set in 2009 stated that if your GCSEs were taken over 5 years ago, you would need to re-sit or take equivalent qualifications in order to start an apprenticeship.

However on April 6th 2015 this rule was scrapped. As long as you can show evidence of GCSEs in English and maths, you will not need to qualify further in these subjects in order to start an apprenticeship.

Recognised Prior Learning

Apprenticeship Level RPL (Recognised Prior Learning)
Level 2 Apprenticeship

GCSE Grade E or higher in English, Maths and ICT

O Levels Grade C or higher in English and Maths

Key Skills English, maths and ICT

Other qualifications and relevant modules may be accepted

Level 3 Apprenticeship

GCSE Grade C or higher in English, Maths and ICT

O Levels Grade C or higher in English and Maths

Key Skills English, maths and ICT

Other qualifications and relevant modules may be accepted

Level 4/5 Apprenticeship No required prior learning required although a skills scan will be carried out to assess capability levels in these subjects.

If you don’t have GCSEs or Equivalent

GCSEs are not compulsory. If you are looking to start an apprenticeship and don’t have prior (relevant) qualifications, your training provider will require you to do functional skills training. If you don’t have recognised prior learning these are the qualifications you will be asked to take during your apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship Level Training offered for those without RPL
Level 2 Apprenticeship

Functional Skills L1 in English and Maths

(ICT may be needed if relevant)

For some subjects a level 2 functional skills qualification in English may be needed.

Level 3 Apprenticeship

Functional Skills L2 in English and Maths

(ICT may be needed if relevant)

Level 4/5 Apprenticeship No required prior learning required although a skills scan will be carried out to assess capability levels in these subjects.

Apprenticeship Eligibility

You must:

  • Be 16 years old or over
  • Have a contract of employment
  • Be working 16 hours or more
  • Be a resident of the European Union for 3 years or longer
  • Not hold a university degree/level 6 qualification (or higher)

Conclusion

In short, if you have taken GCSEs or equivalent in the past and you can show proof in the form of a certificate, you may be exempt from taking additional functional skills qualifications, however if you don’t have any qualifications, don’t let this put you off. Many of our learners start out with little or no qualifications and are surprised at how well they get on with their functional skills training.

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