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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.


A warehouse operative plays an important support role within a business organisation. The economy relies on the efficient movement of goods within the UK to ensure that goods arrive on time and in the right condition and warehousing and storage play a crucial part in making this happen. The warehousing industry is part of a wider logistics sector which employs around 8% of the workforce in England.

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 this apprenticeship is expected to be 12 months.

What does the course involve?

As a warehouse operative, depending on the size of the company, undertake a range of duties, working alone or in a team, including loading/unloading of vehicles and selecting and packing customer orders, ensuring goods are ready for dispatch on time. This type of work requires a strong sense of responsibility, accuracy and attention to detail.

One of the great things about warehousing and storage is that you can work almost anywhere, with your transferable skills; you could be working in a large retail organisation, distribution centre or a small localised business.

Warehousing and Storage combined qualification

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, as well as the knowledge required to meet warehouse and storage principles. Delivery will be through distant learning and within your workplace. Unlike vocational qualifications the competence elements are designed to be assessed in the workplace.

Functional Skills, English and Maths

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

ERR (Employer Rights and Responsibilities) in the logistics industry

This part of the framework is achieved through a separate award, which includes the completion of a workbook and covers the nine national outcomes in relation to ERR. It covers the knowledge and understanding of employee statutory rights and responsibilities, which are covered by employment law, to include the Equality Act, Employment Rights Act and Health and Safety at Work Act. You must show your understanding of your employer's procedures and how to get further advice and information.

PLTS (Personal learning and thinking skills)

Skills for logistics have mapped all of the PLTS to all units within all competence and knowledge units. Apprentices must record when, where and how the learning for PLTS has been delivered and demonstrated. PLTS covers six areas of independent enquiry, creative thinking, reflective learning, team working, self-management and effective participation.

How and when will I study?

Warehousing & Storage Level 3 Diploma

The apprenticeship will take a minimum of 12 months to complete prior to taking the end-point assessment, and will be reviewed after 3 years.

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

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

  • Intermediate Apprenticeship in Team Leading
  • Logistics Operations Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Warehousing and Storage Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Driving Goods Vehicles Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Further training and development through foundation or first degree in logistics, transport planning, logistics operations and administration.

After training, a career path could include team leader, warehouse supervisor/manager, transport manager or a wide range of other logistics roles.

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:

  • Warehouse Operative £12,000 - £17,000
  • Store Assistant £10,000 - £12,000
  • Stock Controller £18,000 - £25,000
  • Fork Lift Operator £18,000 - £21,000
  • Supply Chain Planner £23,000 - £25,000
  • Warehouse Manager £25,000 - £38,000
  • Transport Manager £30,000 - £35,000

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