If you'd rather earn-as-you-learn than go into further education, find an apprenticeship at one of these big UK based companies - who not only pay you a salary and offer you full time employment, but the opportunity to gain qualifications, too.
From Virgin Media to BT, Barclays and more, here are 22 apprenticeships actually worth paying attention to.
Although the main bulk of their apprenticeship roles are in Engineering, Field Operations and Planning, Virgin Media offer opportunities from Level 3 to Level 7 across the board. You can get hands on experience in everything from installing broadband in homes and securing networks to monitoring and maintaining connections, or even the legal side of things.
Toni & Guy
Toni & Guy say their apprentices work "alongside hairdressing experts in salons covering all aspects of hairdressing including bespoke cutting, styling, technical and perming techniques, will be supported by qualified assessors and internal verifiers every step of the way." In addition to on-the-job work, the programme also includes functional skill learning, meaning you can gain Maths and English GCSEs if you don't already have them.
The Rush Hair Assistant role means attending the their Academy one day a week to complete the NVQ Lebel 2 qualification, assisting hair stylists with colouring and styling of client's hair, keeping up to date with the latest trends, techniques and industry news, and learning the correct techniques for shampooing and conditioning client’s hair and carrying out head massages.
An in-house scheme run by Costa Coffee, candidates will cain nationally recognised qualifications focusing on wider business management, as well as customer service and communication skills and training in traditional barista skills.
The year long apprenticeship at McDonald's gives you the opportunity to gain a Hospitality Member Apprenticeship (Level 2, the equivalent of five GCSEs grade A*-C), as well as practical work experience including skills in planning and organisation, communication, confidence when dealing with customers, decision-making and team work.
With schemes in Business Services, Journalism, Coordination and Broadcasting, ITV offer a competitive apprenticeship salary, nationally-recognised qualification in Business & Administration, Broadcast Production, Digital Marketing and Journalism and career support from industry experts.
The BBC offer trainee schemes to school leavers in Broadcast Operation, Broadcast & Communications, Business Management and Software Engineering, which gives candidates the opportunity to gain diplomas and work alongside senior BBC editors and staff, as well as a competitive salary.
Greggs' Retail Apprenticeship Programmes last for 12 months at Level 2 and Level 3, and apprentices will work towards as externally recognised Retail qualification. They'll also be paid the same as other team members, gain a permanent role with a contract of 30 hours a week, and receive plenty of support from their Manager and Greggs Retail Trainer, as well as an hour a week to study, monthly reviews and ability to take part in Retail workshops.
Greene King offer a variety of 12 month hospitality apprenticeships in their bars, restaurants and hotels in everything from front of house and kitchen roles, right up to supervisory and management levels. They offer Level 2 to Level 4 opportunities, and took on over 2,500 apprentices in the last year.Superdrug
Offering Technology Programmes, Customer Service Programmes, Business Programmes and Media Programmes, Sky's apprenticeships range from 18 months to two years, and "offer great support and excellent benefits", as well as the opportunity to gain qualifications alongside experience in a top technology brand.
Marks & Spencer offer opportunities in Retail, Distribution and Head Office as well as Engineering and Data Analyst, in programmes that they describe as "an invaluable learning opportunity; a way into retail with a high street icon; a head start on your peers." Over 12 to 18 months, you'll get experience in retail in real time, as well as obtain a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship qualification in Retail Management.
If travel is your thing, check out Thomas Cook's opportunities, which they say offers the opportunity to work and travel abroad alongside dedicated training, mentoring and development to help you succeed. There are head office jobs as well as e-commerce opportunities, IT, retail and customer service.
Whether you're interested in Retail Apprentice or an Engineering Apprentice with the airline, TUI offer on and off-the-job training alongside a competitive weekly salary, shared subsidised accommodation and an optional food scheme.
The supermarket gives candidates the opportunity to earn as they learn though their Level 4 apprenticeships, including the Commercial, F&F (ENSPIRE), Finance and Food Science and Technology Apprenticeships. Tesco also offer a competitive salary starting at £20,000 depending on the programme, and their own campuses for learning.
BT's apprenticeship programmes span everything from Customer Experience to BT Sport and EE, as well as Openreach Trainee Engineers, Vehicle Technicians, Finance and more. Whatever you're interested in, they'll almost definitely have something to suit you - and they pay for your training as well as a competitive salary.
The bank offers Foundation Apprenticeships right through to Higher, as well as Technology Foundations and Technology Higher, so you can essentially apply at every level. There are opportunities at Barclays in Agriculture, Compliance, Leadership and Management, Relationship Management and more, and you will learn transferable skills as well as gain them in a classroom.
Deloitte's Entry Level Apprenticeships in Finance, Specialist Research, HR, Customer Service and More offer a permanent job alongside professional or vocational qualifications which are fully funded (and you receive paid time off to study)! They give you the chance to work with industry leaders and a working mentor, as well as benefits and opportunities to further your career.
The 18-month apprenticeship program offers a comprehensive introduction to the world of financial services and the chance to obtain industry-recognised qualifications at the JP Morgan office in Bournemouth. They dedicate one day a week to online and in-person lectures, and on-the-job experience runs through a curriculum to make sure you learn everything you need to.
This apprenticeship scheme aims to "help you develop your business skills while completing formal training and studying towards qualifications, alongside real client work with support from us all the way". PwC say you'll be coached by experts, earn a competitive salary and study towards a professional qualification.
The Building Society offer four types of apprenticeship - Intermediate, Advanced, Higher and Degree - in areas including Retail, HR, Contact Centres, Digital & Change, Finance and Marketing & Engagement. Nationwide pay their apprentices at least £8.45 an hour, and provide additional soft skills learning in a number of areas such as Influencing, Presentation Skills, Self Awareness and Communication.
Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds offer a wide range of apprenticeships from Level 2/Intermediate right up to degree level (Level 6/Higher), lasting from 12 months to three years. They pay a full salary for the job you are doing, not an ‘apprentice pay rate’. give you real responsibilities, and you'll build a career alongside studying for a nationally recognised qualification that compliments your job.
Their three year apprenticeship scheme includes the first 21 weeks living and learning at Network Rail's training centre in the Midlands, before being assigned to a depot closer to home, where you'll receive expert training to ultimately specialise in electrification and plant, overhead lines, signalling, telecoms, track or off track.
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