In recent years, an increasing number of RMGS students have expressed an interest in pursuing an apprenticeship as an alternative to university education. We currently have alumni working in some incredible roles, having been successful in the apprenticeship application process. These include roles at Transport for London, L ’Oriel, BT, The Bank of England and the Civil Service.
There are several types of apprenticeships, however our students should generally be looking for higher or degree level (levels 4-7). An apprenticeship course that allows the student to gain a bachelor’s or master's degree is often ideal, but will not be necessary in every case. For example, many higher apprenticeships (e.g. in accounting) will allow apprentices to gain the necessary professional qualifications to progress in the industry.
It is important for students to understand that the best apprenticeship courses are extremely competitive. Our students have proven capable of succeeding in securing prestigious positions despite these odds, but it requires an organised and proactive approach to the job search.
In contrast to applying for university, there is no centralised system for submitting apprenticeship applications. Each business will ask candidates to complete a bespoke application form and there will be a series of assessments, which will certainly involve at least one interview. Additionally, finding appropriate courses is more challenging than searching university degrees using UCAS. It is often sensible to check individual company websites for recruitment adverts (if the student has particular companies/industries in mind) or even contact these companies directly to enquire about upcoming opportunities. There are some excellent websites where most courses are advertised (e.g. GetMyFirstJob and Not Going To Uni), and students can also search this information via the Unifrog app which the school subscribes to: https://www.unifrog.org/
Apprenticeship providers will cover tuition, or similar, fees as well as paying a salary. This is obviously very attractive to many of our students. However, businesses expect their apprentices to earn this reward and hit the ground running; they will not merely be making the coffee! A large percentage of the course will consist of on-the-job training, with apprentices expected to complete academic assignments on top of this. The amount and structure of university/college teaching varies across apprenticeship courses, with some having one day per week or one week per term, for example.
The Sixth Form Team have experience in supporting students through the selection process and our alumni are very happy to provide advice. If you wish to discuss the process further, please do not hesitate to contact the school on 01634 364 151 or email any of us:
- Mr M McDowell (Assistant Head Teacher and Head of SixthForm) MMcDowell@rmet.org
- Mr J Twizell (Head of Year 13) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Miss L Lacey (Head of Year 12) email@example.com
- Miss Jobbins (Careers Advisor) firstname.lastname@example.org