Degree apprenticeships are a new development in the UK starting only in 2015, and the numbers of people enrolling on such courses has been growing. This is the vocational route to take if you wish to learn a high-level profession in the trade industry. It is much more flexible than a traditional degree, and you will get hands on experience working in your desired vocation.
It works by combining a small amount of study in a university or specialist college with actual full-time work which is paid. They normally arise out of a partnership created between universities and local employers in fields including nursing, aerospace engineering, nuclear power, construction and even business management. This gives students aged 16-19 (and even mature students) the diversity and breadth of study they need to follow their chosen career path in a professional, officially recognised way.
Highly flexible, you can study from 1 to 6 years in your chosen vocation and leave fully qualified in your sector. Each degree apprenticeship varies greatly, and times are worked around both the needs of your employer and the facility where you will study. Much of the work can take place via distance learning (either online or offline), and you are likely to do block learning of the various aspects associated with your career choice.
What’s great about degree apprenticeships is that in addition to most of the funding being covered by the education facility and your employer, you will be paid for the work you do even though you are just learning on the job. Of course, pay can be low to start, but it will rise as you gain more relevant experience and skills, and become an asset to your employer’s business.
It is the ideal solution for students who have already completed work experience and junior apprenticeships through their college or secondary school because it enables them to gain a deeper knowledge about their trade in a way which is neatly laid out across the division of work and study. It is the middle ground between entering full-time employment straight out of school, and spending up to four years studying full-time at uni where work is often difficult to obtain – and can put a strain on full-time studies.
There are currently over 1,000 degree apprenticeships available right across the UK which give young students the opportunity to work with big names in their respective chosen industries. For example, Toyota and Vauxhall offer automotive courses, Barclays and Santander have courses in finance, and Raytheon and Serco provide students with the training to become part of the UK’s defence industry.
Wherever you find yourself on the career ladder begins with good training, and this is exactly what degree apprenticeships are best known for. You can start from the bottom and gradually build your skills inside a multi-national organisation whilst at the same time receiving an award-winning education from one of the UK’s internationally-recognised academic institutions. Whichever sector you plan on joining, attending open days for degree apprenticeships is one of the best ways to know if you’re passionate enough to call this profession your own for many years to come.