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Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships are designed to meet employers' need for higher level skills.

A Higher Apprenticeships is similar to other Apprenticeships; it gives you the chance to build up practical work experience while progressing academically up to degree level, all whilst being paid a decent salary.

Higher Apprenticeships offer ambitious existing apprentices and employees as well as A-Level school leavers, a different route to traditional university study.

They lead to qualifications such as NVQ levels 4 and 5 and in many instances higher apprentices also study for academic qualifications such as Foundation Degrees, HNCs or HNDs. In addition, you might be able to work towards professional qualifications specific to your industry - for example, engineers can take the first steps towards gaining chartered status. 

Some of the UK's most established and respected companies offer these types of courses. Rolls Royce is just one of those employers, offering: "aspiring engineers who are keen to start building up practical work experience while progressing academically to graduate level."

You can find out more about how you can earn while you learn on a Higher Apprenticeship by watching a short film from recent recruitment fairs.

Higher Apprenticeships

What's involved in a Higher Apprenticeship?

Higher Apprenticeships involve a combination of learning on-the-job, working alongside experienced colleagues, with off-the-job training at a college or training provider.

As a Higher Apprentices you might find your off-the-job training to be:

  • on day-release - for example, one day a week at college
  • on block-release, for example a ‘block’ of several weeks (or even your first year) full-time at a college or training centre. For example, higher apprentices on Rolls-Royces Higher Apprenticeship spend the first year at a specialist engineering training centre.


The salary of a Higher Apprentice does vary, but you could expect to start on a salary of around £10,000 per year; increasing every year and even rising up to £25,000 on completion.

What sectors offer Higher Apprenticeships?

In total, there were over 40 Higher Apprenticeships to choose from in 2013 and Apprenticeships at bachelors and masters degree level will soon become available for the first time. 

Full List of Higher Apprenticeship Frameworks available in 2013: (*denotes still in development)

For more information about the Higher Apprenticeship sectors download the factsheet below.

Higher Apprenticeship Frameworks in England

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