An apprenticeship is a skilled job with training. Every apprentice is guaranteed a minimum wage linked to their age. They're available at all academic levels - whether you're leaving school without GCSEs or completing your A-levels. There are apprenticeships in industries like engineering, health and accountancy - plus a host of careers you'd never think of. And 9 in 10 apprentices stay in work after completing their course.
A higher apprenticeships is your ticket to a high-skilled job. You'll usually need at least 2 A-levels to start one, and you'll come out with qualifications equivalent to a foundation degree or higher - with any tuition fees paid by your employer! Higher apprentices can earn between £300-500 per week (although you may start lower). You could train to be a solicitor or a lab scientist, and even learn how to design sweets with a confectionery apprenticeship!
Degree apprenticeships guarantee you a university degree, as well as on-the-job training for a high-skilled job. You'll spend 30 hours a week learning from experienced colleagues at work, and the equivalent of one day studying towards a bachelor's or master's degree at uni or college. It gives you the kudos and academic grounding of a degree along with sought-after employability skills employers say graduates don't have. And 8 out of 10 parents think it's better than an Oxbridge degree!
Should I apply for an apprenticeship or university?
Today, apprenticeships offer a route into high-skilled jobs that you had to go to uni to train for in the past. If you know what career path you want to follow, an apprenticeship could get you there without the fees - while enabling you to develop employability skills too. University is essential for certain careers and great for those with passionate academic interests. Carefully consider the pros and cons of both university and apprenticeships before making your decision.
If you are considering applying for an apprenticeship, you will have to go through an application process that is similar to applying to university or a regular job. RateMyApprenticeship has an advice section with guides to writing a CV and cover letter for an apprenticeship application.
Apprenticeships are changing, with opportunities to start a career in 1500 different job roles, across 170 different sectors. More and more career-conscious young people are choosing to do degree level apprenticeships as an alternative to going to university. It's important to consider all of your options when you'e about about to take your 'next step', this guide to the different types of apprenticeships is the first place to look when making these important career decisions.