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About Finding an Employer

You MUST have an employer before you can start an apprenticeship. You can search for an apprenticeship job here.
If you don't yet have an employer you can still apply for an apprenticeship and we wil try to help you find an employer.


Sales plays an important role within any business organisation. The sales and telesales workforce is one of the largest professional groups in the UK today, employing around 7% of the UK workforce. As a Sales Apprentice, your exact duties will depend on your employer. It's likely that you'll be working with a team or member of staff to handle various tasks. Sales Advisors duties include processing sales orders, supporting customers in obtaining finance for purchases and generate sales leads. This type of work requires a strong sense of responsibility, accuracy and attention to detail. One of the great things about Sales is that you can work almost anywhere, with your transferable skills; you could be working in a dynamic environment, call centre, large global organisation or maybe a retail outlet. Sales roles are also an excellent starting point to progress into different market sectors, start your own business or move into management once you have more experience.

Am I ready to start?

Entry criteria varies depending on the framework you are studying and the needs of the employer, but a good level of secondary education is expected and many employers expect you to have maths and English GCSE at a C grade or above if you don't have these we will work with you to achieve them on your apprenticeship. Employers also look for skills like motivation, good interpersonal skills, good communication skills, teamwork and a willingness to learn and will set their own specifications depending on the role.

It may be you don't feel you are ready for an apprenticeship and might benefit from a Traineeship first.

How does an Apprenticeship Work?

The Apprenticeship framework is made up of various elements. Each qualification requires a minimum GLH (guided learning hours) which covers both on and off the job activity. Amount of GLH will depend on qualification, level and pathway.

An assessment plan will be agreed with you and your progress will be monitored and reported on regularly. Information will be shared with your employer. Your course will be achieved through evidence and assessment both within your workplace and Harlow College. College attendance will depend on the level and elements you need to complete for your framework. Workplace visits will be carried out by your dedicated assessor to assess your competence whilst carrying out your job role.

To cover the requirements for each element, assessment will be evidenced through a variety of methods: observation, product, learner statement, case studies, witness testimony, professional discussion, assignment and exam.

The duration of the course is dependent on prior attainment and can range from 12 months to 18 months. You will attend College for 1 day a week and you be in the workplace for the remaining 4 days.

What does the course involve?

NVQ in Sales

You must demonstrate competence within your job role to meet the aims and objectives of the business and criteria set out in the qualification standards. Unlike vocational qualifications the competence elements are designed to be assessed in the workplace and evidence through a portfolio of work.

Principles of Sales

Delivery will be located at Harlow College and through distant learning. Units will be achieved through written assignments conducted at Harlow College under exam conditions.

Functional Skills, English, Maths

These skills include English and Maths, which are essential for people in order to function effectively within a sales environment. You will work towards level 2 in English and Maths, where GCSE A-C or equivalent has not previously been achieved.

ERR (Employer Rights and Responsibilities)

This part of the framework is embedded within the qualification which covers employment law, to include the Equality Act, Employment Rights Act and Health and Safety at Work Act.

PLTS (Personal learning and thinking skills)

This is achieved as part of the main qualification through class sessions and evidence provided. PLTS covers six areas of independent enquiry, creative thinking, reflective learning, team working, self-management and effective participation.

Down to business, what can I do and what can I earn?

With support, guidance and opportunities in the workplace a Sales apprentice can progress onto:

  • The next level apprenticeship in Sales or another relevant sector
  • A range of sales and marketing qualifications
  • A range of sales and marketing undergraduate programmes

After training, a career path could include, senior sales representative, senior telesales agent, sales manager, area manager, customer service manager, national accounts manager, export manager, international sales manager or sales director
You'll be paid at least the current minimum wage rate for intermediate apprenticeships, but it could be more than that as you progress. Examples of Careers/Job Roles on successful completion of your Apprenticeship include:

  • Business Support £25,000 - £30,000
  • Marketing Assistant £22,000 - £28,000
  • Sales Administration £18,000 - £25,000 plus benefits
  • Sales Consultant £30,000 - £35,000 OTE (70k)
  • Office Manager £25,000 - £50,000
  • Regional Sales Manager £35,000 - £40,000
  • Senior Recruitment Consultant £30,000 - £35,000 OTE (80-100K)

Got a job?

You must have a job to do an apprenticeship. If you already have a job you may be able to do an apprenticeship with your current employer.

If you don’t have a job for your apprenticeship – apply for your place at College by clicking the 'Apply Now' button at the top and bottom of the page.

Once you have applied please check out our apprenticeship job vacancies.

An apprenticeship comprises two parts:

  • Typically 20% study element (at Harlow College or Stansted Airport College).
  • 80% work based element with an employer. It is your responsibility to find an employer.

Great, so what do I do now?

Call 01279 868240 to speak to an Apprenticeships adviser

Contact us about applying for an Apprenticeship