Alternatives to University

What is an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship?

Advanced Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A-level passes)

Advanced apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge based certificate such as a BTEC. To start this programme, the applicant should ideally have five GCSEs (grade C or above)

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation degree. Apprentices can also progress to higher education, including university degrees, but please check university courses entry requirements.

To find out what is available in the UK visit the Apprenticeships website.

Also check out Not Going to University and RateMyApprenticeship websites

Accountancy Apprenticeships


Deloittes is one of the top accountancy companies and will hire direct from schools.


KPMG: Start a Career Instead of University

Price Waterhouse Coopers
Jobs, placements and internships

Business Apprenticeships
Tesco : Tesco Management Trainee Scheme
Arcadia : Arcadia Group – Retail Management or Business

Engineering / Science

This four-year apprenticeship programme offers a unique insight into one of Europe’s largest plants, getting you to grips with the equipment used to make some of the world’s most famous brands.
Unilever now offer advanced apprenticeship frameworks in the following areas: Manufacturing/Engineering Logistics Research and Development Design (Science)

GCHQ – Government Communications Headquarters – is a key part of the UK’s intelligence and security service.

BT : BT Apprenticeship Scheme

Oil & Gas Industry
My Oil and Gas

Merchant Navy
Careers at Sea
Ship Safe Training Group

BAE Systems : The BAE Systems’ Advanced Apprenticeship programme

National Grid : Advanced Apprenticeship Programmes

ICT, Business Apprenticeships

IBMInterested in a career in business, finance, marketing or software development?

Building Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors : Chartered Surveyors Training Trust
CSTT is the UK’s only educational surveying charity dedicated to providing apprenticeship opportunities to young people aged 16-24. It offers apprenticeships for Building Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors, and General Practice Surveyors in London and the south-east. Its vision is to open up the surveying profession to individuals from all backgrounds and to provide employers with committed and talented employees.

Organic agriculture and food businesses apprenticeship

The Soil Association
“Developed in close partnership with our growers, the Soil Association Organic Apprenticeship Scheme is a two year work-based placement with an organic farmer or grower. Combined with a series of structured seminars throughout the two years – designed to build upon the practical knowledge you will gain out in the field – the aim of the Organic Apprenticeship Scheme is to produce well-rounded and experienced individuals with specialist skills and a broad knowledge of organic agriculture and food businesses.”

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