Stephanie Khan
6th Nov 2017

What is a higher apprenticeship?

Higher and degree apprenticeships are increasingly becoming a choice for working professionals to continue their learning and development, while also being an option for young people that want a university education without going full-time. Higher apprenticeships are levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 apprenticeship programmes that are equivalent to degrees. In order to become eligible for any level of apprenticeship, you must be undertaking new training and not duplicating any skills you already have. For example, you can’t hold a marketing degree and start a level 3 apprenticeship, as level 3 is equivalent to A-Levels.  

What are the different higher apprenticeships available? 

Level 4/5 – is equivalent to a foundation degree and is a perfect stepping stone from a level 3 apprenticeship. It’s for those that are over 18 and already have some knowledge/experience in the industry. 

Qualifications required:  

Five GCSEs in English and Maths grade A* – C (including English and Maths) and three A-Levels (or equivalent) at grade D or above. Some may require that you have taken its level 3 counterpart apprenticeship first. 

Level 6 – is equivalent to a degree. This could be for people that are aspiring to become a managerial or specialists.  

Qualifications required: 

Five GCSE’s grade A* – C and three A-Levels (or equivalent) at grade D or above . Some require that candidates have qualifications that related to the apprenticeship subject.   

Level 7 – is equivalent to a Master’s degree. This is for people that are already degree holders or are quite experienced in their field already.  

Qualifications required: 

Five GCSE’s grade A* – C and hree A-Levels (or equivalent) at grade D or above. Some require that candidates have qualifications that related to the apprenticeship subject.   

What are the benefits of doing a higher apprenticeship? 

Level 4/5 apprenticeships offer candidates a stepping stone before dedicating at least two years of their life to working towards a degree. You can gain a foundation degree and delve deeper into the industry they work in and help support them in their career progression.  

Degree apprenticeships offer candidates the chance to gain a degree education without going to university full-time. Level 6/7 apprenticeships are made up of working with your employer while attending university part-time. They take at least two years to complete, so require a commitment to both your employer and the apprenticeship. However, by the time you’ve finished, you will have two years of experience AND a degree – far from what full-time university goers will leave with.  

What programmes can you do a higher apprenticeship on? 

At Arch we offer the following higher apprenticeships we offer: 

  • Level 4 Data Analyst 
  • Level 4 Software Developer 
  • Level 4 Network Engineer 
  • Level 4 Accounting Technician 
  • Level 5 HR Consultant 
  • Level 5 Digital Leadership 

Why should I start an apprenticeship? 

Long gone are the days of spanners and hard hats being the full spectrum of what an apprentice can do. Now everyone and anyone can do an apprenticeship, from starting off in your career as an advanced apprentice to managers doing a Master’s equivalent apprenticeship. In fact, higher apprenticeships have soared in popularity by a massive 424% according to recent Department of Education statistics. The recent revolution of how apprenticeships are funded now forces employers to take control of their commitment to hiring apprentices.

There is now such a large array of apprenticeship programmes available with 510 already published and in development, in nearly every industry you can think of. As an apprentice, young people have the opportunity to work for top global brands without the need for a degree, while existing employees can gain formal certifications and training that they may not have received otherwise. 

Is a higher apprenticeship for me? 

Are you someone that doesn’t yet have experience or knowledge of the industry you’d like to do an apprenticeship in? 

If the answer is yes then it would be best to start off with a level 3 apprenticeship. They are usually only around 15 months long, so in no time at all will you be able to move onto a level 4 or above.  

Have you completed a related level 3 apprenticeship or have some experience/knowledge of the industry? 

If the answer is yes then you will be equipped to start a higher apprenticeship. The level 4’s and above become degree equivalent, so it’s vital that you’re prepared enough to complete the programme successfully. 

By now you should be able to know if you’re ready to start a higher apprenticeship or an apprenticeship in general. We offer level 3 to level 5 apprenticeships so there is something for everyone. See what opportunities we have available now.  

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