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Apprenticeships

Level 7 (Higher or Professional) Apprenticeships.

Level 7 (Higher or Professional) Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for you to gain a great qualification while working with an employer; all while being paid!

A level 7 apprenticeship is much like any other apprenticeship you might choose to do. You’ll spend 80% of your time working with your employer in your day job, which will vary depending on the job and employer who you apply to. You could be working in an office, factory, working remotely or even working onsite or visiting clients depending on what your job entails.

You’ll spend the remaining 20% of your time working towards your apprenticeship and level 7 qualification, which again will vary depending on the apprenticeship you choose to do and your training provider. There’s a really simple way of understanding qualifications. They’re all given a number between 1 and 8, where 1 is made up of low GCSE grades (grades 3,2 & 1 or grades D,E,F & G) and 8 is a PhD (a doctorate) – the highest level of qualification from a University. A level 7 apprenticeship is the highest level of apprenticeship that you can do in the UK!

If you choose to do a level 7 apprenticeship there are a number of different qualifications that you could achieve. There are level 7 degree apprenticeships which mean that by the end of your apprenticeship you’ll gain a Master’s degree qualification (without the normal university debt)! Alternatively, you could do a level 7 (higher) apprenticeship which will give you the equivalent to a Master’s degree, Level 7 NVQ, PGCSE or Postgraduate Certificate.

Due to the level of this apprenticeship, you will find that you’ll be academically challenged when you’re working towards your qualification. You will likely need formal qualifications to get onto a level 7 apprenticeship. You will likely need at least a level 4 qualification, which could be a level 4, 5 or 6 apprenticeship, a degree apprenticeship, undergraduate degree or significant experience in the apprenticeship discipline to be accepted onto the course. This isn’t to put you off of applying for the opportunity, but to ensure that you succeed in the position.

We’re almost missing one of the best parts of a level 7 apprenticeship; you’ll get paid and won’t have to pay a penny towards your qualifications! As an apprentice, you’ll be paid at least Apprentice Minimum wage for the first year of your apprenticeship and then National Minimum Wage for your age group after that. However, we’ve seen some level 7 apprenticeships pay over £30,000 per annum from your first year! You’ll have the same benefits as other employees at your organisations, which includes paid holiday and as you’re an apprentice you’ll be able to get student discounts too. Don’t mind if I do!

A level 7 apprenticeship is currently the highest level of apprenticeship that you can achieve in the UK.

What qualifications do I get?

When you finish your level 7 apprenticeship, you’ll get a Level 7 apprenticeship qualification and potentially additional qualifications alongside this, such as a Master’s degree, or a qualification the equivalent to this such as a Level 7 NVQ, PGCSE or Postgraduate Certificate.

You could also get – or work towards - chartered status in your role. This means being professionally recognised for your skills, knowledge and experience. In many areas of work, membership of a professional body is more important than a qualification on its own.

How do they work?

The way an apprenticeship work depends on the apprenticeship you choose to do and the employer and training provider that you choose. You’ll spend 20% of your time working towards a qualification, it is just how this is worked out could change. You might spend once a week training or spend block release away from work and training. The way this training is conducted also varies. You might train online in the workplace, at home or go to an external training provider, college or university.

You’ll also spend 80% of your time working with your employer in your day job. What you do in this time varies on the employer who you work with and the job that you choose to do. However, due to the level of this qualification you’re likely to have significant responsibilities within your job.

Are level 7 apprenticeships suitable for graduates?

Level 7 apprenticeship are a great option if you’ve recently graduated from university. They’ll give you experience working with an employer but also allow you to continue academically challenge yourself by working towards a qualification which is the equivalent to a Masters level qualification.

Can I do a Level 7 apprenticeship?

Entry requirements for level 7 apprenticeships vary depending on the employer and training provider that you apply through, however there are some basic requirements most (but not all) level 7 apprenticeships will require. You’ll likely need to have a minimum of a level4 qualification, which could include a higher apprenticeship at level 4,5 or 6, a degree apprenticeship or Bachelors degree or equivalent industry qualification. However, you may also be able to do the apprenticeship if you have relevant experience, or if you are retraining. We know of some graduates who are offered a Level 4 apprenticeship to gain new knowledge and skills when leaving University.

If you search for opportunities on the GetMyFirstJob website, entry requirements are listed for each opportunity, so you’ll know what you’ll need to get in. If you’re unsure, contact the person at the bottom of the opportunity listing!

What kind of level 7 apprenticeships are there?

There are over 50 apprenticeships that have been approved for delivery across the UK. Some of these will mean at the end you’ll achieve a Master’s degree, whereas others will be a standalone level 7 qualification (an equivalent to a degree).

  • Play Therapist
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Clinical Pharmacology scientist (integrated degree)
  • Operational research specialist
  • Senior journalist
  • Ordnance munitions and explosives specialist (integrated degree)
  • Curator
  • Storyboard artist
  • Physician associate (integrated degree)
  • District nurse
  • Ecologist (integrated degree)
  • Research scientist
  • Chartered town planner (integrated degree)
  • Architect (integrated degree)
  • Solicitor

Although there are a lot of choices when it comes to the type of level 7 apprenticeships available, you may notice there aren’t many opportunities around when you search for them. As they’re relatively new and at such a high level often people progress through lower-level apprenticeships and work their way up to a level 7 apprenticeship. It may be beneficial to look at other higher apprenticeships and see if there are development opportunities at the end of them.

What support will I get?

As a level 7 apprentice, you’ll get support from your employer and your training provider to ensure that you succeed in both your role and your qualification too. You’ll have someone at the training provider who will help you through the qualification and for each module you could have different lecturers or teachers who will help you with the content they are teaching you. When you’re at work, you’ll have a manager and potentially even a mentor to help you through your day-to-day responsibilities too.

We’d recommend not to forget about your peers either! Most often the other apprentices around you will support you more than you know as you’ll be going through a similar experience together!

How much does it cost?

If you choose to do a level 7 apprenticeship, you won’t have to pay a penny. You’ll be paid at least Apprentice Minimum wage for the first year of your apprenticeship and then National Minimum Wage for your age group after that. Some level7 apprentices have told us that they earnt over £30,000 in their first year – that’s a salary anyone would be happy to earn!

You also won’t have to pay a penny towards your qualification; your employer will cover all those costs. That means you could get an additional qualification without having to pay a penny – amazing!

Are level 7 apprenticeships difficult?

There is no beating around the bush on this one, level 7 apprenticeships are difficult. Not only will you be working towards one of the highest levels of qualification you can achieve in the UK, but you’ll also be working full-time with all the responsibilities that come with that too!

Due to the level of this apprenticeship, you will also have considerable responsibilities within your day job, which could be stressful on its own. To reassure yourself, if you’re successful in a level 7 apprenticeship application, it means that your employer believes in you and knows you are capable of the role!

What happens at the end of the apprenticeship?

At the end of your apprenticeship, there are a lot of different options that are available to you. Your employer may be able to offer you a permanent position within their organisation where you can continue to achieve great results and apply your knowledge from your apprenticeship. However, you could also consider other opportunities in other organisations too, as not all employers will be able to offer you a permanent position at the end of your apprenticeship.

If you choose to do a level 7 apprenticeship, you won’t have to pay a penny.

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