Apprenticeships are a great alternative to full-time further education, allowing you to work and study at the same time. These programmes often lead to a qualification, some of which can be at degree level.

At a glance
  • You need to be 16 or over
  • You don’t need any specific qualifications
  • They are a great alternative to full-time education
  • Study for a professional qualification

An apprenticeship is a real job where you learn, gain valuable work experience and get paid. You'll have a contract of employment and holiday leave. There are hundreds of apprenticeships to choose from. They offer flexible, but structured training, which comes in 2 forms: 'off-the-job' and 'on-the-job'.

Off-the-job training

Usually delivered by a training provider during your normal working hours, so you don't need to be training in your own spare time. You'll spend at least 20% of your time doing off-the-job training. This could take place online, at college or university, or at your place of work. Depending on your existing qualifications you may also be asked to study English and maths.

On-the-job training

On-the-job training is what you'll do at work with your employer, so think of this as learning as you're doing your day-to-day job. Your employer will support you with your training and you'll have a great team around you which will include your line manager or supervisor and sometimes a buddy or coach.

So if you're aged 16+ and want to get a professional qualification for a particular role or industry, but maybe don't think university or full-time further education is right for you, then apprenticeships are worth exploring.

Alternatively, if you're looking for a career change or want to get into a completely new field, apprenticeships can be a great option no matter your age or experience level.

Find out more

To find apprenticeships you can look at the government websites for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and as always, UCAS is a great resource for these things. Also, NatWest Group offers apprenticeships across the UK. To find out more visit our careers website.

Visit UCAS apprenticeships
NatWest Group Careers