It’s National Careers Week and one of the most frequently asked question on the Remit web site is ‘can I do an apprenticeship after a degree?’ Yes, you can.

In recent years the image and perception of apprenticeships has changed. Traditionally seen as a job for a school leaver in an industrial environment, a great deal of work has been done to grow and develop apprenticeships and they are now an attractive and positive alternative to college or university. With higher levels of investment from employers in the form of the apprenticeship levy, more and more organisations are now creating fantastic apprenticeship schemes aimed at young people leaving school, college or even after University.

But, for those considering their future in 2020, the choice no longer has to be either a university degree or an apprenticeship, now you can do both. And many recent university graduates are seeing the benefits of an apprenticeship after a degree. Hear David’s story (remit.co.uk/former-estate-agent-moving-on-up-with-an-it-sales-apprenticeship/)

At this time of year, there are many young people that will have already commited to a degree or college course, some may be part way through one and want to change their mind. So, if you or a young person you care for is looking to find out what their options are, they should know that they can pursue an apprenticeship route, but just need help to know what to do next.

While using an apprenticeship to gain UCAS points is a common route to university, the ability to do an apprenticeship, after a degree may be new news. Previous eligibility rules for graduates had always prohibited those with anything higher than a foundation degree (Level 4) from being able to sign up and be funded on an apprenticeship. In addition, as most apprenticeships were previously available at relatively low levels, many graduates felt they were overqualified to start one.

In May 2017, however, with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, the Government changed the regulations and has spent a lot of time and money to create a number of apprenticeships at Level 6 and 7, equivalent to degree and Masters levels. It has even given its approval for MBA-level apprenticeship funding.

As an added bonus, college leavers and graduates are also eligible for full funding, which means that many employers, with training budgets boosted by their apprenticeship levy pot, are looking at how they can attract a whole new intake of personnel via an apprenticeship route.

And if a graduate wants to enter a sector that is different from their degree or college course this is also possible. With the development of new apprenticeship qualifications, (called apprenticeship standards), these have been designed in conjunction with employers to ensure that they teach the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers want for a specific job role.

Many college and university graduates, who don’t have similar prior qualifications, can be funded on an apprenticeship programme to gain these new skills. For those looking to pursue this it is worth knowing that there are still some important eligibility criteria for graduates and their employers to note. The rule is that the apprenticeship needs to provide the apprentice with substantial new skills and the content that is different from any previous training.

So, graduates cannot already have a degree in a similar qualification to their chosen apprenticeship. So, for example, a graphic design graduate can’t apply for a graphic design apprenticeship but, for example, they  could apply for a digital marketing apprenticeship

With this in mind, apprenticeships represent a great opportunity to develop work-ready skills and gain the practical experience that employers really want and value a that a degree may not offer.

These days, students can do apprenticeships in almost all of the subjects they can study at college or university. If someone is interested in law or medicine, they’ll need to study at college, then university, but if they’re interested in any range of subjects including hospitalityIT, business, sales or the automotive sector, they can actually reach the top of their field – with or without a degree- by completing the  relevant apprenticeship before they go to university, after they graduate or even instead of university.

For further information on apprenticeships and how to apply, follow these links

Link to parents guide on apprenticeships

Link to careers advisor guides on apprenticeships

Link to an apprentice’s guide to apprenticeships