If you have achieved 5 good GCSES (grades 4-9) and good post 16 results at Level 3 (A levels, BTECs, Advanced Apprenticeship, etc.) you might be interested in looking at a Higher Apprenticeship.
A Higher Apprenticeship is similar to other apprenticeships; it gives you the chance to build up practical work experience while progressing academically up to higher education level, all whilst being paid a decent salary.
Higher Apprenticeships offer existing apprentices, employees and school/college leavers a different route to traditional university study.
In the last academic year thousands of people started a Higher Apprenticeship in one of 75+ employment areas, and numbers are growing rapidly.
Employers in England (a study by ICM Research) states that qualified higher apprentices are rated 25 per cent more employable than those who took an alternative route into work.
What's involved in a Higher Apprenticeship?
Higher Apprenticeships involve a combination of learning on-the-job, working alongside experienced colleagues, with off-the-job training at a college, training provider or university.
As a higher apprentice you might find your off-the-job training to be:
- day-release, for example, one day a week at college or university.
- block-release, for example a ‘block’ of several weeks (or even your first year) full-time at a college, training centre or university. For example, higher apprentices on Rolls-Royce's Higher Apprenticeship spend the first year at a specialist engineering training centre.
What will you earn?
If you are 16-18 you will earn at least the minimum wage for apprentices which is £3.50 an hour, but many companies pay more. The salary of a higher apprentice does vary, but you could expect to start on a salary of around £10,000 per year, increasing every year and even rising up to £25,000 on completion. Also, you will get a higher level qualification without having a debt as your tuition fees will be paid by the employer and the government.
Progression after a Higher Apprenticeship
- A Higher Apprenticeship can lead to further academic qualifications such as an Honours Degree.
- You might also be able to work towards professional qualifications specific to your industry - for example, engineers can take the first steps towards gaining chartered status.
- The majority of apprentices continue working for the company they trained with and work towards promotion at a higher level.
- Higher level qualifications can also help you to move to another company if you need to.
Search for a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship
The Higher and Degree Apprenticeship Listing shows vacancies from over 40 employers. You can apply for many of these apprenticeships and a place at university at the same time.
You can also search for Higher Apprenticeship vacancies by going to Find an Apprenticeship. Enter a keyword, which could include job title or employer name and select 'Higher' for Apprenticeship level. Don't forget to select a location or use your postcode to get vacancies in a particular area.
You might also want to look at the Finding an Apprenticeship section for more helpful advice on how you can search for opportunities.
Which sectors offer Higher Apprenticeships?
Look at an A - Z list of all available apprenticeships and their levels. Or search a website list to find out whether there is an approved apprenticeship in a job area you might be interested in. Remember, these are not vacancies just possible apprenticeships.
Below is a summary of some of the sectors offering Higher Apprenticeships.
- Advanced Manufacturing Engineering
- Advertising and Marketing Communications
- Broadcast Production
- Broadcast Technology
- Business and Administration
- Business, Innovation and Growth
- Care Leadership and Management
- Construction Management
- Engineering Environmental Technologies
- Express Logistics
- Facilities Management
- Fashion and Textiles: Technical Textiles
- Fashion and Textiles: Product Development
- Food and Drink
- Hospitality Management
- Human Resource Management
- Interactive Design and Development
- IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals
- Life Sciences
- Management Accounting
- Power Engineering
- Purchasing and Supply Chain Management
- Professional Services
- Project Management
- Providing Financial Advice
- Public Relations
- Retail Management
You can also find out more about how you can earn while you learn on a Higher Apprenticeship by watching this short film.