Higher Apprenticeships

With Higher Apprenticeships, the clue is in the name: it’s the only type of apprenticeship that leads to a Level 4 or above qualification, which is the equivalent of a higher education qualification.

What is a Higher Apprenticeship?

A Higher Apprenticeship functions pretty much like a normal apprenticeship in the sense that it will give you a heady mix of on and off-the-job training.

However, these apprenticeships are designed to develop your skills and qualifications to the highest standard. In some cases, they offer another (albeit sometimes longer) route to gaining a university qualification. It’s a really unique chance to earn while you learn.

Because it’s the crème de la crème of apprenticeships, there are fewer higher apprenticeships. However, more and more companies and organisations are offering them, particularly as students start to get put off by the high cost of university.

At the moment, there are around 51 Higher Apprenticeship frameworks and in 2014/15, 19,800 people started a higher apprenticeship.

More on Apprenticeships

Advanced Apprenticeships 

Intermediate Apprenticeships 

Search for Apprenticeships 

What are the entry requirements for a Higher Apprenticeship?

It’s a serious apprenticeship and, as a result, those doing this level of apprenticeship are usually 18 and over.

Entry requirements will vary, but usually people who have already done an Advanced Apprenticeship or who have a minimum of two A-levels will be eligible for a Higher Apprenticeship.

If you don’t have those, employers might take into account previous work experience or other criteria instead.

What qualifications will I get with a Higher Apprenticeship?

The high entry requirements reflect the nature of the qualifications you’ll gain with this apprenticeship.

Qualifications that higher apprentices might work towards as part of a higher apprenticeship include a Level 4 or above Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification, such as a foundation degree, HND, or undergraduate degree.

In some sectors, Higher Apprenticeships will offer apprentices the chance to gain a master's degree. 

You might then be able to top up your university qualification to a full undergraduate degree or pursue a master’s degree, or a relevant professional qualification.

Will I get paid?

Of course you will. If you’re under 19, you’re entitled to the national apprentice minimum wage. Once you are over 19, you’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage. However, many employers will pay higher apprentices more than the National Minimum Wage.

As higher apprentices are a step above Advanced and Intermediate Apprenticeships, you’ll likely get paid a little bit more than other apprentices. 

Employers offering Higher Apprenticeships…

Small and medium-sized companies do offer Higher Apprenticeships, but if you’ve got your sights on the big guns, these large companies also offer Higher Apprenticeships (sometimes as part of a school leaver programme):


Jaguar Land Rover



“Me eat cookie! Om nom nom nom!!!” We use cookies at AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk to make sure you enjoy the best possible user experience. To continue using our site, please allow cookies. Allow Cookies
Find out more