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Apprenticeships

Level 6 (Higher) Aprenticeships.

A Level 6 (Higher) Apprenticeship combines working for an employer with a qualification which is the equivalent to the final year of a bachelor’s degree – all while getting paid!

As a level 6 (higher) apprentice, you’ll spend 80% of your time working in a paid opportunity with real responsibilities and you’ll spend the remaining 20% of your time with a training provider, college or university working towards your level 6 qualification. A level 6 qualification is a competitive one, it’s the equivalent to the final year of a bachelor’s degree and you could finish your apprenticeship with something like a Graduate Certificate, Level 6 NVQ or Level 6 BTEC.

If you choose do a level 6 apprenticeship, you’ll find that you may need formal qualifications to be accepted onto the programme due to the level of the qualification. Entry requirements for a level 6 apprenticeship often include qualifications at a lower level than level 6, which includes a Level 4 or 5 (higher) apprenticeship or level 3 qualifications such as A-Levels, BTEC or NVQ. Some apprenticeships may not require you to have formal qualifications and will expect that you’ve got considerable experience in the apprenticeship discipline. We recommend checking the entry requirements for the opportunity you’re considering before applying to an opportunity.

As a level 6 apprentice, you could take on considerable responsibility as you progress through the apprenticeship. You could manage your own team, handle official processes within your organisation and even have your own responsibilities and targets! If this makes you a little nervous, don’t worry – you will get support from your manager or workplace mentor to help you achieve your objectives.

Most level 6 (higher) apprenticeships take between one and three years to complete, so slightly less time than if you chose to do a level 6 (degree) apprenticeship. You’ll spend most of your time either working in an office, onsite or working remotely for your organisation and spend the remainder of your time studying towards your level 6 apprenticeship and qualifications. You could go to college, university, a training provider or even work online to study towards this, giving you the opportunity to meet plenty of like-minded people.

A level 6 (higher) apprenticeship will also give you a competitive salary! The minimum you’ll be paid for your work will be National Apprentice Minimum Wage for the first year of your programme, and then after that it will go up to the National Minimum Wage for your age bracket. However, because this is a higher levelled apprenticeship, employers want to attract the best talent (like you), that means they often pay competitive salaries, we’ve seen level 6 apprentices be paid over £26,000! You’ll also get the same benefits as other employees at your organisations, including paid annual leave and sick leave, however these will depend on the employer that you work for.

When you finish a Level 6 apprenticeship, you’ll leave with a qualification which is the equivalent to the final year of a bachelor’s degree.

What is a Level 6 (higher) apprenticeship like?

As an apprentice, you’ll spend 80% of your time working with your employer and the rest of your time studying towards your level 6 qualification. You’ll be working at the office, factory, onsite or even working remotely depending on your employer and job requirements. You’ll also be studying with a university, college or training provider either in-person or online with plenty of opportunities to put your learning into practise in your day job.

It’s difficult to say exactly what your level 6 apprenticeship will be like, because it varies on the employer and organisation you get your qualification with. You’ll be working with different people, on different projects with different responsibilities, even if you’re on the same team. Look at the job description to see exactly what you could be doing, but before you know it you could be managing projects, processes and even people as part of your programme.

If you’re worried about missing out on the social side of university, don’t be! You’ll meet people at work and when working towards your qualification and likely have social events with both of those groups of people!

What qualifications do I get?

You’ll finish your level 6 (higher) apprenticeship with a variety of qualifications; you’ll get the apprenticeship qualification as well as a level 6 qualification. This could include something like a Graduate Certificate, Level 6 NVQ or Level 6 BTEC.

Depending on the apprenticeship you choose, you may also work towards other qualifications with your training provider or employer. You could work towards a chartered qualification or towards additional qualifications to allow you to use certain systems, machinery or do certain things such as lone working or administrating medication.

What the difference between level 6 and other higher apprenticeships?

To put it simply, all apprenticeships are the same in that you will spend 80% of your time with the employer and 20% of your time working towards your qualification. The bit that varies with each apprenticeship is the level of qualification that you work towards, as well as the employer or training provider you choose.

There are a range of higher apprenticeships which include levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 and the bit that changes is the level of qualification you complete the course with. When you do a qualification, it has an associated ‘level’ with it, which ranges from level 1 which is the equivalent of GCSEs (grades 3,2 & 1 or grades D,E,F & G) through to level 8 which is the equivalent to a PhD (a doctorate). So if you chose to do a level 4 apprenticeship you’ll get a level 4 qualification, whereas if you do a level 6 apprenticeship, you’ll get a level 6 qualification.

Why are there level 6 higher and degree apprenticeships?

With a level 6 apprenticeship you will get a level 6 qualification, regardless of if you do a higher or degree apprenticeship. The difference is that with a degree apprenticeship you will get a bachelor’s degree, whereas with a higher apprenticeship you’ll get an equivalent qualification, it just won’t be a degree.

How do they work?

As an apprentice, you’ll spend 80% of your time working with your employer and the rest of your time studying towards your level 6 qualification. You’ll be working at the office, factory, onsite or even working remotely depending on your employer and job requirements. You’ll also be studying with a university, college or training provider either in-person or online with plenty of opportunities to put your learning into practise in your day job.

Can I do a Level 6 apprenticeship?

Entry requirements for a level 6 apprenticeship will vary depending on the training provider and employer that you apply for. We recommend checking the entry requirements for the opportunity you’re considering before applying to an opportunity.

Typically, for a level 6 apprenticeship you will require formal qualifications due to the academic nature of the qualification. These will often include qualifications at a lower level than level 6, which includes a Level 4 or 5 (higher) apprenticeship or level 3 qualifications such a level 3 (advanced) apprenticeship A-Levels, BTEC or NVQ. Some apprenticeships may not require you to have formal qualifications and will instead expect that you’ve got considerable experience in the apprenticeship discipline.

What kind of Level 6 apprenticeships are available?

There are over 30 level 6 (higher) apprenticeships that are available in a multitude of roles across a wide range of employers. Some of these apprenticeships include:

  • Clinical Practitioner
  • Nuclear Reactor Desk Engineer
  • Agriculture or horticulture professional adviser
  • Harbour master
  • Assistant buyer and assistant merchandiser
  • Career development professional
  • First Officer Pilot
  • Marketing Manager
  • Teacher

How can I stand out in an application?

Level 6 apprenticeships are very competitive to get onto as there aren’t that many of them available in the UK at the moment, so it’s important to make yourself stand out. The best ways to do this are to show that you have work experience in the industry, enthusiasm, character and have a strong academic ability too.

If you don’t have much experience, there are still ways that you can impress an employer. Make sure you emphasise these key skills on your CV, whether that’s by using examples from extra-curricular activities or taking from experiences that you had at school, college or in your free time.

What support will I get?

If you choose to do an apprenticeship, you will get a great amount of support from both your training provider and your employer. You’ll have someone at the training provider who will help you through the qualification and a manager in your workplace who will support you in your day-to-day job. You may even get a workplace mentor from the training provider or your employer who can help you with things you may not want to talk to your manager about.

How much do level 6 apprenticeships cost?

Absolutely nothing! In fact, you’ll be paid to do your apprenticeship and you won’t have to pay any fees towards your qualification. 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. We’ve seen some level 6 apprentices earn over £26,000 per annum from your first year – that’s a salary graduates would be happy to receive!

Are level 6 apprenticeships difficult?

Level 6 qualifications can be difficult due to the level of the qualification. So this on top of work can make a level 6 apprenticeship quite difficult to do. However, don’t worry – if you’ve been selected to do an apprenticeship its because the employer or training provider believes in you, and so do we!

What happens at the end of the apprenticeship?

At the end of your level 6 (higher) apprenticeship, there are a few different things that could happen. You could be offered a permanent position at your current employer, or you could be offered to go onto a different apprenticeship at a higher level, such as a level 7 (higher) apprenticeship.

Sometimes, there isn’t a job offer or alternative position available to you at the end of your apprenticeship. If that’s the case, you could look at opportunities with other employers or even consider a gap year – the world is your oyster!

As a Level 6 apprentice, you’ll get the same benefits as any other employee, including a salary, sick leave and paid annual leave.

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