A Guide to Picking the Perfect Graduate Apprenticeship

Guest contributor, Clay, explains the advantages of a graduate apprenticeship and how to apply.
man in suit

Photo: Hunters Race on Unsplash

According to a recent report, 65% of UK employers rated relevant work experience as a critical or significant factor when assessing new recruits. In this environment, then, it’s not surprising that more and more young people are seeking graduate apprenticeships to propel themselves into the world of work and learn skills specific to their desired careers. With a graduate apprenticeship, you have the opportunity to study up to Masters level and work at the same time – supporting your studies and enhancing your CV. However, with so much information out there, it can be overwhelming deciding on the right avenue; here are 5 steps to picking the perfect graduate apprenticeship for you.


1. Learn what a graduate apprenticeship means

Essentially, a graduate apprenticeship is a great opportunity to get a job, get paid and get a degree all at the same time. There are three types of apprenticeships in Scotland, for example, – Foundation, Modern and Graduate (if you’re in the rest of the UK, you’ll have similar options available).
As a graduate apprentice, you will spend the majority of your time learning practical skills on the job, but you will also be studying at a university or college – typically for one day a week. These apprenticeships are designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills that industries need. It is a valuable chance to put your learning into practice straight away, applying your studies to real-world tasks and projects. Your apprentice work counts towards gaining your qualification, even up to a Masters level, and apprenticeships may allow you to gain your degree quicker.


2. Consider what a graduate apprenticeship can offer you

Student in denim jacket

Photo: Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Apprenticeships have some big advantages when it comes to carving out your career. Not only are they an amazing way to enter a range of different industries and a chance to earn while you learn, but they also help you gain valuable skills and knowledge that will help you succeed in your desired industry. You’ll have the chance to begin your career progression and earn a good salary earlier too. Having a graduate apprenticeship on your CV also shows future employers that you are keen to get stuck into the working world and that you already have practical skills to put to good use. Most importantly, graduate apprenticeships offer an excellent varied learning experience that means you can jump straight into working life.


3. Take a look at the fields & institutions where apprenticeships are available

Graduate apprenticeships are available in a wide range of fields, including accounting, business management, financial services, civil engineering, construction and building, cybersecurity, data science, childcare and early learning, engineering and IT. If you are interested in pursuing a career in one of these sectors, take a look at the graduate apprenticeship opportunities. There is also a range of institutions that participate in graduate apprenticeships, so it’s important to consider what’s most important to you: Where would you like to study? What is the institution’s reputation, and what kind of teaching style does it offer?


4. Find the right balance between study & work

Apprenticeships usually combine full-time work and a part-time degree, allowing you to gain a full Bachelor’s degree or Masters whilst also training on the job. Candidates can usually choose a method of flexible study that also suits the employer’s needs. This could take the form of blended learning, distance-learning or block learning, where the apprentice takes a period away from work to engage with full-time study. In addition to being employed and receiving a wage while studying, an apprentice’s training costs and tuition fees are often settled between the university/college and the employer. However, candidates will usually have to plan ahead to cover their living costs, as degree apprentices are not eligible for a student loan.


5. Assess your options & apply

Applying for a job

Photo: Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

If you have decided a graduate apprenticeship is right for you, that’s great! UK applicants can search and apply through this GOV.UK service, which will redirect you to wherever your chosen course accepts applications. Unlike traditional degrees, there are no fixed dates for apprenticeship applications – but many recruitment processes happen in January with a February start date, or August with a September start date.
Apprenticeships are an option for everyone. If you are disabled or have learning difficulties there is additional support available, such as Access to Work grants. Find more information about what’s available to you, and seek advice where needed.



About Clay Morrison

Guest contributor, Clay Morrison
Clay is an English Literature graduate, and now a freelance researcher, writer, and graphic artist from Berkshire. He started his one-man business in December 2018 and hopes to see it prosper in the coming years. As a researcher, he was able to acquire knowledge on business, education, technology and healthcare. When he’s not writing, he’s usually being walked in his local park by his chihuahua, Ozzie.
You can follow Clay on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ClayMediaProd