Combine study and employment
Why not combine study and employment and do an apprenticeship?
You’ll earn a competitive salary whilst getting great experience and skills, and you can gain qualifications from GCSE equivalents up to degree level.
An apprenticeship is a great alternative to university if you want to do some vocational study whilst taking the first steps on your career journey. You get paid, and enjoy other benefits of being employed, whilst having time to study towards a relevant qualification.
There are hundreds of different apprenticeships to choose from, with a vast range of businesses, from local small firms to national and international companies. Working whilst you learn gives you great skills, boosts your confidence and helps you build a career. When you complete your apprenticeship you’ll be fully competent in your chosen career and ready to develop your skills and experience even further.
Apprenticeships are available with companies across a huge range of industries.
In England, apprenticeships are for anyone aged 16 and over, as long as that you spend at least 50% of your working hours in England for the duration of the apprenticeship, and aren’t still in full-time education. Also you don’t need to have any qualifications to be able to apply.
In Scotland, you can choose a Foundation Apprenticeship that starts while you are in school years S5 and S6, or choose a Modern Apprenticeship if you are over 16, which is employment with an element of study towards a college qualification. There’s also a Graduate Apprenticeship that helps you work towards an Honours or Masters degree as part of your day job.
In Wales, you can apply for an apprenticeship if you are over 16, living in Wales and not in full-time education.
In Northern Ireland, there are Level 2, Level 3 and Higher Level Apprenticeships available. To apply, you need to be 16 or over, with an offer of employment of over 21 hours on a permanent contract, have the right qualifications for your chosen apprenticeship, and you must meet a number of eligibility considerations. If you're 25 years and over, there are restrictions on the type of apprenticeship with funding available.
Find out more
To help you with your decisions, we caught up with some of our apprentices, to learn about how they made their first career choices. They tell us what they wished they’d known at the time, and share some great insight and advice. See what you can learn from their experience.
Learn more about how to become an apprentice and the kind of careers available. It is also worthwhile knowing what employers offer apprenticeships and what support is available to you.Get more advice here