Apprentices are employed by companies and spend around 80% of their time at work and 20% studying.
There are different levels of apprenticeship, with schemes lasting a minimum of a year and up to five or six years for some degree apprenticeships. To find out more about the benefits, download and share the free UCAS Guide to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
Sponsored degrees share some characteristics with degree apprenticeships but there can be significant differences; notably, those on sponsored degrees don't have to be employed by the sponsoring company.
In addition, the specific package on offer can vary from employer to employer: full-time study or part-time study; bursary, salary or course fees paid. Which University have a free guide to sponsored degrees explains more about this route and the different options.
There are school-leaver schemes too, which are typically run by employers. These offer professional qualifications rather than academic ones. Such schemes are quite common in finance, professional services and retail management.
To confuse matters, you'll find the different terms used interchangeably. Students should focus on the detail of their chosen scheme to ensure they know exactly what they're getting.
Each company offering an apprenticeship has its own application process and timescale, so 6th form students will need to be on the ball to avoid missing out.
If you thought apprenticeships were just for 16 year-olds leaving school, it’s time to take another look.
Did you know that sponsored degrees allow you to combine full-time study with paid work experience and reduce the amount you pay for your degree?