Is an Apprenticeship the right option for you?

Questions you need to think about…

An apprenticeship is essentially ‘on-the-job’ training, whilst working full time for an organisation and studying towards your qualification at the same time. 

You can apply for an apprenticeship at any age, however, it is most common for apprentices to start as school/college/sixth-form leavers. In this blog, I have listed questions you need to ask yourself when thinking about applying for an apprenticeship, to make sure it is the best option for you. This is all from my own knowledge and experience as I have completed a Level 3 Business Administrator apprenticeship and I am currently studying towards a degree apprenticeship in Business and Leadership. 

This is the first blog in my ‘apprenticeship series’, so please look out for more content, which will provide you with more depth about how to apply for apprenticeships, what you can expect from apprenticeships, pro’s and con’s of apprenticeships etc…

  1. What career do you want to have?

Do you have a dream career in mind? Make sure you do your research into the qualifications and work experience required for the specific careers you want. There are many apprenticeships that you can undertake for roles in sectors such as business, construction, accounting, HR, marketing, health & beauty, engineering and so on… However, for more specialist professions such as doctors, ecologists, psychiatrists and surgeons a degree is required and there is unfortunately no apprenticeship route. 

2. What qualifications do you already have? 

Think about the highest level of qualifications you already have achieved and what is your next step? Apprenticeship qualifications are the equivalent to the qualifications in full-time education. 

Apprenticeship LevelEquivalent qualification 
Intermediate25 GCSE’s 
Advanced32 A Levels 
Higher4Level 4 – Foundation Degree, HNC or first year of undergraduate degree. 
Higher5Full Degree
Degree6 & 7Full Bachelor’s Degree Masters Degree
Understanding Apprenticeship Levels

3. Are you ready for a full time job?

With most apprenticeships 20% of your working hours will be work towards your apprenticeship qualification, however, the other 80% will be on-the-job training. Going from a full time education into a working environment can be very different.

Things you can expect to be different: 

  • 38+ hours per week
  • Less time for lunch/breaks compared to school/college 
  • Less holidays compared to school/college

These are just a few things to think about if you are wondering whether you are ready for an apprenticeship. Some times a degree, gap year or part time work can be a better option if you want more time to socialise and want to have more holidays!

On the other hand, an apprenticeship is a great way to get your ‘foot in the door’. If you are a highly motivated individual who can’t wait to earn money whilst working and learning on the job, then an apprenticeship will be a great option for you. There is also a misconception that you cannot have fun or socialise like other young people who go to college or university. You can still do all of this on the weekends! It is highly likely some of your friends will be attending university, so if you want to have that experience of being at university, then go and visit them on the weekend or book some annual leave and live that ‘uni experience’ through your friends!

4. Do you still want to be in education?

Another misconception is that there is not a lot of academic work involved in an apprenticeship. However, 20% of your working week will be towards academic work for your apprenticeship. This will include lessons/lectures, coursework, presentations, end point assessment, knowledge tests etc… 

An apprenticeship is classed as part-time education. So it is not as intense as full-time education, but still requires you to put the effort in where needed. 


I hope that this blog was useful and has helped you decide your next steps towards your future career. This is the first of many blogs in the apprenticeship series, so any of your questions about apprenticeships may be covered in future blogs, however, if you have any questions now, please comment them below and I’ll get back to you! 🙂 x


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