Degree apprenticeships and school leaver programmes offer you a worthwhile alternative to the traditional university degree programmes. It is now possible to achieve a master’s degree (Level 7) while in the work place. Not only do you get paid, but the employer will sponsor you throughout the degree programme at no cost to you
A wide range of universities are now offering the degree apprenticeships including some of the prestigious Russell Group universities. The entry requirements for a degree apprenticeship at one of these universities will be as competitive as applying for a degree programme at the university. If you are unsuccessful in achieving the required UCAS points, then you will not be able to start on the apprenticeship programme.
School Leaver Programmes
A large number of firms are now offering school leaver programme which offer professional training up to Level 7 qualifications. These professional qualifications equate to a degree programme although they are specific for the industry sector. Some organisations offer a Level 3 qualification as a starting point. However, you are able to start on a Level 4/5 and 6 programme of study, for example: investment banking.
There are a number of jobs that you cannot get without going to university and these include medicine, veterinary science, dentistry and pharmacy. New apprenticeship programmes are being announced on a regular basis and it is important to research into these opportunities; however, some careers will always remain as graduate entry only programmes.
Why are firms offering School Leaver Programmes and Degree Apprenticeships?
- Improves employee loyalty
- Reduces staff turnover
- Employees have a real understanding of the business from a theoretical and practical basis.
- School leavers have a more realistic approach to their career.
Advantages of a School Leaver/Degree Apprenticeship Programme
- Salary from day one.
- Additional benefits as an employee.
- Additional qualifications at no cost.
- Practical experience of the work place.
- Be a valued team member from the start.
- Start developing a professional network.
- Less competition applying for school leaver programme than graduate programmes.
Disadvantages of a School Leaver Programme/Degree Apprenticeships
- Miss out on university student experience.
- An average degree student has 15 contact hours a week with the remaining time to complete all assignment, whereas working and studying means that you have to complete assignments during your evenings and weekends.
- No long holidays.
- Potentially missing out on living independently at a young age.
- The programme takes longer.
- You can now study to become a solicitor through a degree apprenticeship.
- There are now in excess of 600 different apprenticeship programmes.
- Once qualified you are invariably offered a full time contract.
- Salaries will rise during the apprenticeship programme.
- You have equal opportunities to be promoted into managerial roles.