Apprenticeship Application Guidance

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) offers Apprenticeships of up to £6,000 per year for the training and education of aspiring craftspeople. We provide these opportunities to sustain vital skills in traditional and contemporary crafts and contribute to excellence in the British craft industry.


About the Apprenticeship

Who can apply?

Our Apprenticeship programme funds individuals:

  • Aged 17 or older, (with no upper age limit);
  • Living and working permanently in the UK;
  • Learning craft skills within companies or directly from a master craftsperson. This working relationship should already be established before you submit your application.

What we fund?

We offer funding of up to £6,000 per year, for a maximum of a three year Apprenticeship. This should contribute towards the Apprentice’s salary (at least minimum wage).

We want to support excellence in British craftsmanship, so are looking for people planning to become an established craftsperson and stay in the UK to contribute to the British craft sector.

We encourage applications from a broad range of crafts and are excited by contemporary craftsmanship and innovative applications of traditional craft techniques. To see the types of craft we have funded, please look at the Alumni page of our website.

QEST cannot fund:

  • Anything that is not related to craft;
  • Retrospectively, meaning we will be unable to cover anything you have already paid for;
  • Business start-up costs;
  • Loss of income



Our application process is competitive and we cannot fund every application we receive. With this in mind, here are some tips.

As a general rule, try to be as clear as possible, keep your writing concise but easy to understand.

The application form has 3 parts:

  • For the Apprentice to complete: Apprenticeship Summary, About the Apprentice, Apprenticeship Future Plans, Career History, Equal Opportunities,
  • For the Employer to complete: About The Employer, Training Plan, Declaration
  • For both Apprentice and Employer to complete: Images and References,

The headings below will give you advice on how to answer key sections of the application form.

Section 1: The Apprentice’s answers

 Apprenticeship Summary

Briefly state the overall purpose of the Apprenticeship, what skills the Apprentice will learn and how you and the employer/Master will work together.*

This question is your first opportunity to let us know what your Apprenticeship will entail. Think of it as an outline for your application. You should clearly explain what you would like to learn during your Apprenticeship, in no more than one paragraph.

Apprenticeship Future Plans

Describe how your Apprenticeship will positively contribute to the UK Craft Sector (300 words)

This question gives you a chance to display any knowledge you have about your chosen craft field. Think about gaps in the market or an area of your craft that is currently overlooked. Try to explain how this Apprenticeship will help you to fill these gaps.

What do you hope to gain from the Apprenticeship (such as skills, work experience etc)? (300 words)

Let us know what your short to medium term goals are. More specifically: what do you want to achieve during the Apprenticeship and what would you like to do once you have completed the Apprenticeship?

What are your long term career plans? (300 words)

Tell us about your long term goals; they should be clear and realistic. Explain why you would like to complete this Apprenticeship and how your career will develop as a result of your training.

Section 2: The Employer’s answers

About The Employer

Company’s Financial Details

Explain why you would like to hire an Apprentice and why you need QEST funding in order to do so.

Employer Summary of Apprentice

Tell us about your working relationship and your shared and individual goals. Let us know why this applicant would be a great fit for this Apprenticeship.

Training Plan

Discuss and set clear and realistic training goals. These should be similar to what the Apprentice has written in answer to the question: What do you hope to gain from the Apprenticeship?

Section 3: The Apprentice and Employer’s answers

 Images and Reference

This section gives you both an opportunity to show off your existing skills. We want to see images of the Employer and the Apprentice’s work.

The Apprentice will be asked to upload 1 image of themselves and 5 images of their work so far. This can be completed work or current projects, which demonstrate their progress throughout their training. Make sure the images attached are high-quality and highlight the full range of the Apprentice’s skillset.

You will also be asked to include a pdf copy of the company’s most recent accounts, to demonstrate the company is solvent.


How we assess your application

All applications are reviewed by a group of experienced Skills Assessors who work in specific craft sectors. All applications go through a two stage process, and then the shortlist is drawn up for interview.

When we assess your application form, we will consider:

  • Existing skills and understanding of the craft;
  • Clarity and suitability of the training plan;
  • Is the Apprenticeship well planned financially;
  • Visible career progression after completing the Apprenticeship;
  • Delivery and sustainability of the Apprenticeship.


What happens after you apply?

We will be in touch approximately two months after applications close to let you know the outcome of your submission. If positive, you will be invited for an interview at the QEST office in London.

You will be notified as to whether your application has been successful within two weeks of your interview.

Your future with QEST

Successful applicants and their Employers will be invited to the QEST & RWHA Annual Luncheon in early June to showcase their craft, meet fellow QEST Scholars and Apprentices, network with QEST Donors and Supporters and celebrate becoming a QEST Apprentice.

Now part of the QEST family, you will continue to receive occasional news updates and invitations from QEST to participate in events and projects, which may include: scholar socials, opportunities to showcase/demonstrate/exhibit, business skills workshops and networking events with QEST supporters & guests of Royal Warrant holding companies.

You will be featured on our website and in our magazine as an Alumni of QEST, and are encouraged to continue to share your news with QEST for possible inclusion in future magazines and on our social media platforms.

For more information, browse our news and gallery pages.


Next steps

We are open for applications twice a year, in January and July. 

If you are still unsure about applying or have any questions please contact us.

Please click the button below if you are interested in applying for an Apprenticeship.