What do you get if you cross an apprenticeship with a university education?
Higher and degree apprenticeships are a form of work-based learning that are available at a range of different levels with level 4 being the equivalent to the first year of a foundation degree and level 7 being equivalent to a postgraduate, or master’s degree.
They offer a combination of a real job, real training and a real salary, and offer a real alternative to the traditional college or university route for those who want to gain a higher education qualification.
Fees are paid by the employer and there’s a high chance of continued employment once you’ve completed the course.
Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are a great option for those enthusiastic people who want to learn on the job while earning a living and a higher education qualification at the same time.
They are for anyone who is over 16, lives in England and is not in full-time education. You’ll usually need a level 3 qualification to qualify, which means you’re likely to be at least 18.
They are also for people with drive and ambition as undertaking a higher apprenticeship is no walk in the park. Remember, you’re going to be studying at a high level on top of working 30 hours each week.
Successful applicants will spend a minimum of 30 hours a week at work where they get to work alongside highly experienced professionals who impart their knowledge and skills required for the role.
You also spend time attending college or university, or a training provider. Each week could vary in structure, but your employer will usually decide this.
You also get your fees paid by your employer and a high chance of continued employment once you’ve completed the course.
Apprentices are there to make the tea and coffee.
There are all sorts of misconceptions lingering around from the past. Some people think that apprentices are there to make the tea and coffee. This is certainly not true. Employers are investing a lot of time and money into you as an apprentice as they usually intend to employ you when you become qualified. It’s an investment for the company and not an attempt at getting cheap labour.
Apprenticeships are for people who have failed their A-levels.
This isn’t true, although in some cases it is possible to start some apprenticeships without A-levels. Most employers prefer 5 GCSEs, though, including maths and English (A*-C or 9 – 4 on the new grading system).
Apprenticeships are just for jobs in construction.
Although you can undertake a variety of apprenticeships in the construction industry, they are not confined to it. More and more employers are offering higher and degree apprenticeships in industries such as Business, IT, Retail, and many many more.
Wouldn’t I be better off just getting a job?
Possibly in the very short-term. But, gaining a higher education qualification is an investment in your future and it’s highly likely that it will lead to earning more money in the long-term, with better career opportunities and job satisfaction.