The Good Schools Guide


Firstly, no-one should be put off from applying for a Degree Apprenticeship because of lingering pictures of brutal treatment and medieval servitude, this is a proper paying job that can allow you to grab a degree without facing debtor’s prison at the end of it.

Companies fork out real money in wages and tuition fees in the hope of attracting bright, sparky, young things who will turn into serious assets. From the potential apprentices’ angle, this can be a great start, putting lots of Brownie points on the CV as well as earning a salary, which may not be a world-beating sum but will certainly be above the minimum wage.

The actual apprenticeships fall roughly into two camps, the advisers, lawyers, accountants etc and the doers, engineers, technologists etc but both approaches require you to join a team and learn about the company ethos as well as the work. This means that when you have graduated you will be ahead of your contemporaries who have only attached the academic strings to their bows but it also means that you should research the companies you apply for thoroughly to avoid being stuck in an unsympathetic environment for a minimum of three years.

Some employers appear completely clueless as to how to interact with school pupils who are also considering university. “Throughout 2017 we will have many new Customer Service apprenticeships so check back for further information in the new year.”; “Check back for further information in early 2017.” Both these statements were found on websites in late April! However, some have finally seen the light and are realising they need to woo high fliers away from Oxbridge into their courses by making themselves relevant and attractive to younger, future employees.

Innocents abroad, we wanted to compile a list of companies offering Degree Apprenticeships, together with details of their schemes and how to apply. We decided to choose about fifty companies, look at their websites and then send them a simple questionnaire to complete.

Finding the companies was not entirely straightforward (easier if we’d stumbled on the website “find a degree earlier in the day) but still no Herculean task, the fun began looking at their websites. Trying to establish what they offered, with notable exceptions, was similar to treasure hunting in a maze where logical planting has been replaced by totally random but impenetrable hedges.

No worries, we thought, we’ll send them the questionnaire. Wrong again: “oh no you won’t”, a techy Chinese wall, apparently specifically designed to deter you from contacting them has been ruthlessly built by almost all these companies. Armed with lateral thinking and dogged determination we battled on, only to be met with wildly varying responses. These ranged from brilliant, efficient and helpful via uninterested and inefficient through to off-hand, surly and deliberately obstructive.

In all cases, we have only been able to list the information that we have obtained and there are, sadly, some gaps. We would be delighted if any of the companies listed (in particular the ones without details) could give us more information or at least confirmation that they participate in this scheme. We would also like to emphasise that we have not been reviewing how the schemes work but simply looking at them to see how easy it would be for a potential apprentice to access them and apply for a Degree Apprenticeship.

Questionnaire and process

We tried to apply the same modus operandi to them all.

  1. Look at website using search words x company plus degree apprenticeships
  2. Look for HR contact details on website, if available we rang or sent emails with questionnaire
  3. Chased up all contacts at least once
  4. Re-visited website to try and find information
  5. Wrote up details available plus comment


For the latest Good Schools Guide information please visit our Degree Apprenticeships page.