Our Higher Level Apprenticeship Masterclasses are inspiring young people to take alternative pathways to higher education

As part of our Higher Level Degree Apprenticeship Programme, we are delivering a series of employer-led Higher Level Degree Apprenticeship Masterclasses in collaboration with our industry partners.

The sessions are aimed at students in years 12 and 13, as well as parents and teachers, who are interested in discovering more about alternative pathways to higher and further education.

One of our main aims for the masterclasses is to debunk the common misconceptions that surround the apprenticeship route. Industry offers opportunities for apprenticeships in a massive range of roles, from trade roles such as bricklaying to professional roles such as project management or architecture. Far from being the easy route, degree apprenticeships require students to attend university as well as working at a company – with full employee rights and protections.

A massive benefit of apprenticeships is that young people finish their qualification armed with practical skills that they have already implemented in real life work scenarios; experience that is invaluable to employers. Companies are required to pay apprentices at least the National Apprenticeship Wage when they begin, with some offering more to attract the best talent. Therefore, unlike university students, an apprentice can begin earning immediately and finish without any debt.

“In the past I would never have encouraged anyone to do an apprenticeship. But now I think it’s just as good as doing a degree” - parent

We want to ensure that all young people are aware of alternative pathways, as we know that higher education is not suited to everyone. Apprenticeships are a great option for young people who are disillusioned with traditional academic learning and respond more to a learn-by-doing approach, as well as those eager to get a foot on the ladder and start earning money early.

The masterclasses themselves are split into two sections: a Q&A with a panel of young apprentices from a variety of disciplines, followed by an industry networking session. During the Q&A, the audience are welcomed to ask questions on topics ranging from how the apprenticeship application process works to what a typical day is like as an apprentice. As those on our panel are young apprentices themselves, this is a great opportunity for the young audience to get information from a relatable source, and see first-hand what they could be doing in the future should they take the apprenticeship route.

“I really enjoyed and gained a lot of information from today’s event, which boosted my confidence” - young person

The masterclasses are only the first step in our Higher Level Degree Apprenticeship Programme. Interested students will go on to recieve one-on-one support from our experienced team as they navigate the apprenticeship application process, including CV support and developing their interview skills. A major aspect of the programme is the opportunity for participants to attend a mock assessment centre supported by industry employers who will give individual feedback on their performance. We want to ensure that all our young people are thoroughly prepared and have the best chance to achieve their apprenticeship goals. We are committed to supporting young people throughout the entirety of their apprenticeship journey, from introducing them to alternative pathways right through to helping them secure an apprenticeship.