An alternative to University

Taking an apprenticeship in the UK

Work while you study – an apprenticeship is a way to gain the skills, knowledge and experience you need to get into many careers. They combine work, training, and study, letting you ‘earn while you learn’.

There are many different apprenticeships available across a wide range of industries, and for a wide variety of job roles. As a paid employee, each apprentice works alongside their studies. There are no student fees – your training costs are funded by the government and your employer.

It’s an ideal option if you have a clear idea of the career path you want to follow, providing you with practical, on-the-job training, and classroom-based instruction.

Understanding post-18 apprenticeships

What are degree apprenticeships?

Degree apprenticeships are a new type of programme offered by some universities. Students can achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree as part of their apprenticeship.

These programmes are being developed by employers, universities, and professional bodies working in partnership.

Degree apprenticeships combine working with studying part-time at a university. Apprentices are employed throughout the programme, and spend part of their time at university and the rest with their employer. This can be on a day-to-day basis or in blocks of time, depending on the programme and requirements of the employer.

They can take between three to six years to complete, depending on the course level. Currently, the scheme is only available in England and Wales, although applications may be made from all parts of the UK.

Degree apprenticeships are still quite new, so there are a limited number of vacancies. It’s anticipated that the number of vacancies will grow over the next year or two.

Following Sixth Form study students should be looking to progress into either an advanced apprenticeship or a higher or degree apprenticeship. Some students may consider following a new pathway option and may wish to seek an intermediate apprenticeship following successful completion of their A Level courses.

The degree apprenticeships currently available are listed below.

Click the name of the sector to go to the list of approved apprenticeship standards. Each standard sets out the occupation/job role, what an apprentice will be doing, and the skills they’ll develop to complete the apprenticeship.

During Year 12, Simon Balle students get the opportunity to hear more about higher and degree apprenticeships through presentations from external agencies, employers and trips to events such as the National Apprenticeship Show.

Those interested students can join an apprenticeship working group towards the end of Year 12. This offers students, serious about gaining an apprenticeship, the chance to learn more about the higher and degree apprenticeship programmes available to them as they leave Simon Balle post-18 and a further understanding of the application process including assessment centres. Students are encouraged to attend careers events, exhibitions and employer talks both in and outside of school, throughout their time in Sixth Form.