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Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships are designed to meet employers' need for higher level skills.

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A Higher Apprenticeship is similar to other apprenticeships; it gives you the chance to build up practical work experience while progressing academically up to degree 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.

To get onto a Higher Apprenticeship you will need to have entry qualifications at Level 3 - such as A Levels, BTEC or OCR Cambridge National, NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Apprenticeship.

They are available in 40+ job areas.

They lead to qualifications such as NVQ levels 4 and 5 and in many instances higher apprentices also study for academic qualifications such as Foundation Degrees, HNCs or HNDs. In addition, you might be able to work towards professional qualifications specific to your industry - for example, engineers can take the first steps towards gaining chartered status. 

Some of the UK's most established and respected companies offer these types of courses. Rolls Royce is just one of those employers, offering: "aspiring engineers who are keen to start building up practical work experience while progressing academically to graduate level."

You can find out more about how you can earn while you learn on a Higher Apprenticeship by watching a short film from recent recruitment fairs.

Higher Apprenticeships

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 or training provider.

As a higher apprentices you might find your off-the-job training to be:

  • on day-release - for example, one day a week at college
  • on block-release, for example a ‘block’ of several weeks (or even your first year) full-time at a college or training centre. For example, higher apprentices on Rolls-Royce's Higher Apprenticeship spend the first year at a specialist engineering training centre

What will you earn?

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.

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

What sectors offer Higher Apprenticeships?

Look at an A-Z list of all available apprenticeships and their levels.

Higher Apprenticeships are currently available in 40+ job areas, which include the examples below:

Search for vacancies

One place to search for Higher Apprenticeship vacancies, is through but there are other ways too.

The Higher and Degree Apprenticeship Listing showcases thousands of vacancies from over 40 employers starting in 2018. You can apply for many of these apprenticeships and a place at university at the same time.

Look at the Higher and Degree Vancancy Listing February 2018.

Look at the 'Finding an Apprenticeship' section to find out more.

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