Degree apprenticeships and school leaver programmes offer our students 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 through the degree programme at no cost to you as an individual.
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.