Apprenticeships are not all alike. Top of the range degree apprenticeships are as good as a university degree. Below that there are many apprenticeships that offer a wide range of practical and theoretical training. These are well respected in the industries they serve. And then there are others that do not amount to much at all. All the employers in our Apprenticeship Reviews offer high-class apprenticeships – ones that can form the foundation of a fine career.
Answers to questions that may be bothering you before you commit to any apprenticeship programme.
Q. Is this a real apprenticeship with a company, or a form of training?
A. This is a real job, with us paying a lot of money to train you at the same time.
Q. Is there a job at the end of it?
A. Yes. We intend that all our apprentices will end up with full-time jobs with us.
Q. Will I end up with a full university degree?
Yes. An X degree from Y university is included in the apprenticeship, and it will have the same worth as that degree obtained directly from the university. (In businesses like engineering where the professional bodies require a Masters degree for entry, this should be on offer.)
No, this apprenticeship does not reach degree level, but if you do well we would expect to sponsor you on to a degree level in due course.
No. We offer an alternative qualification to degree level, one which is accepted by the relevant professional bodies and by major employers in our industry as equivalent to an X degree. (Say if the qualification is narrower than a university degree, or specialises in the skills required by a single employer, or may not be regarded as equal to a degree outside your profession.)
Q. Will I have the same status in the company as a graduate entrant?
A. If you are good you automatically will have a higher status than a new graduate entrant, also as we by then will know you and you will know us our relationship will have changed anyway. No doors will be closed to you. We would expect to sponsor you for any qualifications that you need for a job with us that we agree you are capable of performing.
Q. How much will I be paid?
A. Not much, at least the apprentice minimum wage, but no great shakes. The company will be paying for your training and or degree, and for a lot of other training and supervision besides. Rewards come later.
Q. Can I move from a technical to a management role?
A. If you show management potential and have an interest in such a move, we will be delighted to give you the training and opportunities that you need. That said, you may well be enjoying your job too much to want to swap it for administration.
Q. Will I be looked after?
A. From day one you will be one of us, part of the company. We will mentor you to make sure that you flourish. You will be working as part of a team and will have constant support from your colleagues.
Q. Will my education be as broad as it would be at university?
A. If you mean the partying and the sport, no. Hangovers will not be appreciated. Your degree will be the same, though, and if you want to add additional breadth to your studies a language, for instance, we would support that.
Q. I have just dropped out of university. Does that matter?
A. Not at all. You will be that much more informed and sure of your wish to join us. Equally, you may have opted for some humdrum employment after school, but now be ready for a challenge once more. That suits us fine.
Q. What do your current apprentices think of the job?
A. Go online and have a look! We encourage all our apprentices to contribute a video or a diary.
Q. What happens if it all goes pear-shaped?
A. This may happen, of course. You may change your mind about your career (you are not legally bound to stay with us, as medieval apprentices were), or we may have a falling out. You will then be in much the same position as a student dropping out of university (except that you will have no student loan debt): you will have an employment record which should help you get another job, or you may head for university.
Compared to universities, apprenticeships are subject to the extra risk that we may hit hard times, and may end your apprenticeship early for that reason. If you have been working towards an external qualification such as a university degree, then it will be possible for you to resume your studies at that university or with another company.
Q. How do I apply?
A. Most of the companies who offer degree apprenticeships have a link to the application form and comprehensive details about the programme, and what qualifications you need to have online via their website. You do not need any specialist help to apply just give yourself some time to fill in the forms carefully.
NB. Unlike a UCAS application apprenticeship applications are treated as a proper job application and therefore a current CV is required, and a covering letter which explains why you want the job. Have these documents ready.